Serendipity: Toastmasters and Managed Services


Serendipity. Yes, this edition of the Pertinent Pequod Posts is the result of serendipity. First, it was a software engineer and fellow Toastmaster writing about the process of considering “not just the ideal or expected way to input and interface with the code but also look at how the code handles an error or an improper input so the program would not crash or cause problems.”* In other words, this software engineer PLANS AHEAD before simply wasting time writing code. It’s a best practice used not only by software engineers but also by systems integrators and successful professionals in many different fields.

Then a Pequod corporate opportunity came up to offer IT managed services to business customers. One we just could not refuse. More detail is forthcoming soon!

The basic delivery of IT managed services is fairly straightforward. It allows a non-IT business with serious investments in computer technology to get on with its own efforts without worrying about backups or cash flow unpredictability due to a sudden hardware breakdown or unplanned, software incompatibility as a result of an inappropriate upgrade. It includes an automated survey of computing assets and infrastructure, which will form a basis for planned updates. All the business has to pay attention to is an agreed-upon Service Level Agreement by your managed services provider. Staff in businesses with a Service Level Agreement for Managed Services are now completely engaged in doing and managing those tasks for which they were hired to do.

At the same time, a high quality provider of managed services makes a point of having status conversations with the customer on a regular basis. Hardware assets purchased five years ago may or may not be on their way to final failure. Hardware assets purchased five years ago may not provide the performance needed for today’s software applications. Regardless of the economy, no customer should discover these facts because a piece of hardware fails.

Similarly, no organization or company should proceed down a course without total front end analysis of what happens if Plan A (or perhaps no plan at all!) does not serve well, or starts to crash and ultimately fail. Large organization (think 225,000 members) or small business (think 50 employees), every enterprise will have greater opportunities to succeed when its focus is on its primary mission rather than on the details of the infrastructure that gets it there. Toastmasters International should have consulted with professional change management experts before it went down its current path. A businesses that thinks it cannot afford managed services really needs to reconsider its corporate mission and what infrastructure services it depends on to achieve that mission.

*Thanks, Will Hsiung, for your blog about Proposal A.


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