Today I was sitting at my desk in my cargo shorts and bunny slippers when one of my long term clients called to talk about their aging infrastructure.

Now most of you know that I do my best thinking in bunny slippers, so he couldn’t have called at a better time. The conversation was light and pleasant with a lot of phrases like “treated me right”, “been great for my business”, “perfectly good gear”, and the famous: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  But yet, here we were, on the phone discussing the life and times of 8-year-old server technology!

So, why were we discussing the infrastructure if it was “perfectly good gear”?

Simply put, reality had set in.  While the general feeling of nostalgia ruled the conversation, it belied the hidden issues that had been ongoing for the better part of 2 years.  They were spending a significantly larger amount of money on a monthly basis with our firm and other vendors just keeping the technology running.  Yet, this was not enough to make him want to pull the plug.  (I found that interesting, because I like saving money.)

Like I said, reality is a harsh mistress.  Customers were asking my client to produce reports and data that their systems simply couldn’t provide.  Running reports and data analysis brought the systems to their knees causing a real concern that they couldn’t keep up with the demands from their customers. This customer-facing challenge was enough to get the ball rolling and to start the conversation about how to get out of aging infrastructure and what kind of impact that would have on the business.

I am thankful for that demanding customer for getting my client to move out of ancient technology into the modern world.  However, as a professional, it leads me to ponder how easy it is for business owners and decision makers to get stuck in the technology rut. I have this conversation often and the reality is never as simple as the platitudes provided.  Most of the time, the reason people hesitate moving is simply… Change Is Hard!

With Change, a company has to change their software, systems, and licensing.  Sometimes this means training and new vendors.  New client tools, new Desktop PCs, new, new new….. New means that you can’t do everything the way you were used to.  It’s no longer the comfy leather recliner in the den.  It’s a new post-modern era sofa with leopard print…ok, bad analogy…but you get the idea.

Change Is Hard  – but it doesn’t have to be!  Really! tWhen was the last time you bought a new car and wished for the good ol’ days of crank-up windows? (I don’t know anybody that liked those things and the Drive-Thru was just painful!)  Upgrading to the nice new car smell is never a bad thing.

So, why does everyone think technology changes have to be akin to walking on hot coals or pokers in the eye?

Let’s change the conversation and the mindset.  Anticipate the future role of technology in your business with an open mind, good planning, great technology partners, and looking forward to better ways of doing things.  Time doesn’t stand still and neither should you.

Look FORWARD for your better tomorrow!