Occam’s razor is a problem-solving principle stating that the simplest solution tends to be the right one. This is a maxim that IT providers can learn from. With technology, processes, systems, and philosophies evolving, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That simple-but-great solution tends to get tangled up like cables in a messy server closet. As an IT pro, you may feel pressure to learn new skills, offer new products and services, and always strive to do more. But there are surprising benefits to doing less. Here are the ways a less-is-more approach to IT might help.
Eliminating the Paradox of Choice for Customers
When is the last time you bought a toothbrush? The options are staggering. You might find yourself over-analyzing to the point of not being able to decide at all. This is a concept known as analysis paralysis, and you might be putting customers and prospects in the same situation. Too many choices can actually create anxiety for customers, and as psychologist Barry Schwartz explores in “The Paradox of Choice – Why Less is More,” reducing the number of options customers have can increase how satisfied they are with their choices. Giving them fewer options for hardware, services, and so forth, can actually make them happier with you as their provider.
Fewer Options Are Easier to Sell
If you look through top software as a service vendors, you’ll notice they don’t burden users by forcing them to create their own custom solution, instead, they keep it simple. Visit Adobe’s pricing page and you’ll see just a few options that are easy to compare. Within a few seconds, you can find the plan that fits you. In the IT realm, there’s a tendency to offer services a-la-carte so clients get a tailored solution, yet standardizing on just a few simple options can be better for a few reasons:
- You can develop standard implementation processes that save time
- You can easily explain your services to customers
- Your customers pick an option with less effort
- You can more easily on-board new clients
Fewer, Better Options Keep Clients Productive
There are plenty of people who are die-hard Dell fans. Just as many might thump their chests for Lenovo. And don’t get us started on the Mac nerds. While there are many reasons people love one manufacturer or another, there’s actually a benefit to promoting just a few quality choices. In addition to simplifying the decision-making process, providing better hardware and software solutions will result in a more stable, productive work experience for clients. When it comes to bottom-of-the-shelf hardware, why bother? Focus on the few things you know work well and make sure your clients know you’ll stand by them.
You Can Simplify Maintenance
The more kinds of software and hardware you have, the more complex systems can become, which means they start to become tough to maintain. If you buy the same few hardware and software options, you get to know what makes it tick and how to get the most of it. Using fewer options helps you focus and develop a better understanding of the tools so you can use them more effectively, which will ultimately save you time in future implementations, troubleshooting, and basic maintenance.
You Can Develop a Specialty
What if instead of offering everything from physical security to IT security, backups, storage, and so forth, you just decided to be the absolute best at just one thing? Picking a specialized niche isn’t right for everyone and it may be tough to feel like you’re missing out on potential revenue. But being an expert in an area can pay massive dividends in the long run. If you become the one everyone calls when they need help with a specialized task, you can stop worrying about doing the actual implementations and start earning huge bucks just for consulting.
Taking a moment to simplify your business can have an impact on everything from your psychological state to your bottom line. A less-is-more approach won’t work for everyone and it may not work for every aspect of your business. But if you take steps toward minimizing complexity, you’ll quickly start seizing the benefits.