Founder and CEO, BestIT
How did the recession affect the IT industry?
I think it really hurt IT. It really did, especially with larger corporations, I saw. It was almost like within a couple of month period that companies just shut everything off — especially large, multinational, Fortune 100 companies. You could talk to each one of them and they all had the same kind of story where “we have to cut it off,” and if they had a program they had been working on for a year, they just shut it down. I think there was a lot of fear, absolutely. The small- and mid-sized (companies), I think, really kept it up more than the large, to me. I think they felt a little bit more nimble. They stayed a little more positive, frankly. They were fighting through it more than the large companies. I think decisions from the top kind of cut everything off all the way down. It really hurt (IT) companies that were focused with larger companies, major projects. It changed them. It changed things a lot.
What signs of recovery are you seeing in your industry?
What I’m seeing right now is mostly that companies are taking a deep breath after everything and they’re looking at, “OK, maybe I’m not ready to do something today, but what should I be doing tomorrow?” They’re starting to plan for later this year, next year; (they) don’t want to let things get to the point where things are just falling apart. (They) want to stay on top of it, but what’s (their) next step? So they are really in the planning phase in my book, and they are opening up their ears and thinking about what they need to do next. Even though they may not be ready today, they are taking those initiatives to move in the right direction.
What are the benefits of IT outsourcing?
It allows you to focus on your core business. It can reduce costs greatly, if it’s done right. It can also create more of an efficiency in your business, because you aren’t focusing on an area that you aren’t an expert in. You can stay focused on what you’re really good at and just do it that much better, rather than being distracted by an area that’s not really a core. Our company, we outsource areas where it’s not our competency or something we want to do long term.
In terms of image, does the outsourcing of services still face challenges?
I think so. I think people in the late ’90s and early-2000s got a view of outsourcing that it’s shipping a job or a service overseas, which is not the case. That’s a piece of it, but lots of companies — I’ll use manufacturing as an example. You may manufacture a whole component, but maybe a piece of that is something you’ve never been able to manufacture correctly, you haven’t gotten the quality you wanted, you haven’t gotten the pricing right, and you essentially outsource that piece. Maybe it’s a local company down the street that does it … I think that if (people) are just looking at it as (work) goes overseas, that is not the right way. I think you need to look at what the solution is. (BestIT) is a U.S.-based organization; essentially when a company signs on with us, if it’s an extensive enough contract, we’re going to need to hire here. AZ Business Magazine March 2010So we’re going to be creating jobs, as well as they are going to be creating jobs for themselves, because now we’ve reduced what their costs are and they can hire in sales or project management — wherever they feel the gaps are in their business.If (people) look deep enough, they’ll find organizations that offer outsourcing that may not be what the typical outsourcing is.
What does an IT professional need in order to be considered part of the C-level team?
(There needs to be) a lot of hard work, a lot of focus, a great attitude — people that are really committed to helping support the business. And not taking this (job) as a nine-to-five, but also thinking out-of-the-box in terms of where can you take the business up to the next level, or what you can do yourself to help the business.
- CEO of BestIT
- Founded BestIT in 2004
- Owned an investor relations firm with a focus on small-cap technology firms
- Worked as an investment adviser at Charles Schwab
- Worked at Oracle Direct Sales for Oracle Corporation
- Attended Buffalo State College