Evan Standish is sales manager for OnDeck Systems, which has been providing technology consulting, sales and implementation to North Island businesses for over 20 years. He can be reached at 250.334.0638 or at evan@ondecksystems.ca

Evan Standish, OnDeck Systems

I’m sure your own industry or profession has its share of overused clichés, but in the IT world, those two words – best practices – have become one of the most hyper-invoked, supposedly credibility-inducing phrases in recent memory.

Don’t believe me? Search the internet for “IT services” and tack on the city or region where you live. Visit the websites of any randomly selected group of results. Go to the “services offered” or “about us” section. If you find the phrase “best practices”, see if you can understand just what exactly those companies do. Chances are, what they do will sound wonderful: something like “we use state-of-the-art technologies and methodologies to align your network and computer infrastructure, and your information management, with industry leading best practices”.

Seriously??? What does that even mean?

What it roughly translates to is: “we’ll do what we’ve always done, but you’re supposed to think it’s something special and you can’t get anything better”.

Do I think best practices are a waste of time then? No. Are there really best practices that are well defined for IT? Yes. Should IT consultants and providers be using them? Absolutely.

But to truly help a client, an IT provider must be able to interpret, scale, and apply them to the real, often messy world that makes up a business’s IT structure and budget for same. The gold-standard technology or software for a business of three employees is not necessarily the same as for a world-wide enterprise with hundreds or thousands of workers.

The “best practice’ gurus should wipe the hype from their websites and focus on having intelligent, friendly, but candid conversations with their clients about what’s required to stabilize, secure, strengthen, and enhance the client’s entire IT setup.

Evan Standish is sales manager for OnDeck Systems, which has been helping North Island businesses apply real-world IT solutions for over 20 years. For an intelligent, candid discussion contact Evan at 250.334.0638 or evan@ondecksystems.ca.

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