Evolution is an interesting thing to watch. It is fascinating to see each subtle change and adaptation over a period of years. Over my 12 year tenure at CNS, we have been blessed with a number of long term customers. I’m sure each of them has a great story about how CNS has evolved over time, but this is the story of how a company evolves. People change, locations change and even ownership changes. But the key to longevity and survival is process evolution
Of all our long term customers, I can only think of a single one that has not dramatically changed the way their business is run. Regardless of their industry, enacting major change is a regular part of what we do at CNS. To be fair, not every change is a result of technology. Sometimes the industry changes and the customer must change with it to stay relevant. Perhaps the company is sold and a new owner enacts changes to better fit with their style. All reasoning aside, change is pinnacle of business operations.
That said, I would like to state that the modern office has evolved, and most companies have failed to evolve with it.
Over the past five years, so much technology has been introduced and become commonplace to a professional worker that the concept of an office where someone sits at a desk for eight prescribed hours a day seems like a relic out of the 1950′s. We now live in an age where ‘core hours’ and ‘home office’ are common terms. Life lives alongside work, and emails are returned from soccer games. The ‘office’ has become a place to go have a meeting and interact with your team, but is certainly not a place for distraction-less independent focus.
While most companies have modified their employment policies to allow for working from Starbucks or a home office, most have not seriously examined their IT infrastructure to ensure that their staff can be as productive as possible. In other words, companies have sanctioned and legitimized this remote aspect, but the only place to get the best productive IT experience is at the office. That seems wrong. At CNS, we have a branch office and several work at home employees – and we are guilty of the same thing! The solution? Reinvent the modern IT office infrastructure.
With the bandwidth explosion of the last five years, the cloud initiative becoming mainstream, and the overall desire to let people work where people work best, the stage is set to ditch the server closet and local computer IT model. Why do you store your most precious data in your office? It’s subject to theft, fire, heat issues, water issues and backup problems. Why not use a safety deposit box to store your data in the cloud where you can get to it from anywhere? Why spend capital expenses to buy expensive equipment and software when you can spend operational expenses on a monthly basis? Why not provide the same great productivity boosting environment where’ve your staff is sitting? Be it at the office, at home with the plumber, at Starbucks across town waiting for a meeting, or on a trans-Atlantic flight. The technology is here, we just need to get behind it!
Over the next year, CNS is going to evolve again. We are going to work with our customers to develop the next generation of small business IT. The idea is that we develop the picture of the modern office setup and use real world issues and ideas to make sure the overall solution works for everyone. I’m very excited about the opportunity. If you are too, drop me a line and let’s chat about your thoughts.