In our time of virtual – well everything! – CIOs may wonder why they should bother worrying about where their IT support staff is located. If you can have instant communication with anyone, at anytime from anywhere in the world – who cares if their man power is located out of state, out of country or out of continent?
The answer is that you should care. I would challenge that, in some situations, nothing can replace humans. We had a client who used to be in the same building as us when we lived in the South Loop, and they called us one afternoon absolutely frantic. Water was rushing down from the ceiling, and it was starting to accumulate in their datacenter. Aside from just being ten extra sets of hands that could run down and help sponge and soak up the pool of water, our team was prepared to physically failover their entire infrastructure and help move their servers out of the racks. Had we been housed out of NY or LA, our client would have been SOL. Our client support would have stopped at the phone call; we would have been too late.
Even in less dramatic situations, having help on-site can expedite workflow and improve business processes. By emerging ourselves in client environments, we frequently catch issues through observing and becoming part of operations. It’s easier to identify wasteful practices, underutilized systems and unexploited technology resources when you’re right there – you can just do a better job.
In some scenarios location may not matter (and the powers of WebEx, conference calls, iLo and RDP can solve all your woes), but when you’re drowning, proximity counts!
Linda is the founder, owner, and CEO of YJT Solutions, a Chicago-based provider of IT consulting and managed services to companies in a variety of industries that depend on technology. As the primary director of all YJT operations, she provides vital technology guidance to YJT clients who include large financial institutions, trading firms and hedge funds.