“We were penny wise and pound foolish,” says Peter Trimble, finance and systems director of the V8 Supercars, about the IT set-up he found when he started with the motor sport organisation 18 months ago.
The V8 Supercars were like many businesses which had outgrown their basic IT set-up and were struggling as a result.
A touring organisation – “a travelling circus” as described by CEO David Malone – with 15 races in Australia, New Zealand the US has some fairly unique challenges as contractors, teams and a dispersed workforce put demands on the businesses which a basic small business system struggles to cope with.
What Trimble found at the business were employees struggling with cheap internet connections and antiquated, inadequate servers.
Focusing on the pennies and missing the bigger picture is a common problem when managements skimp on technology, which leaves their staff spending more time on IT problems than getting their jobs done.
Basically, the $80 a month home internet connection doesn’t cut it when you have more than two or three workers, and the server that worked fine when those people were in the same office becomes a security risk when a dozen people are trying to log-in over the internet.
It wasn’t surprising the V8 Supercars management decided to go with a cloud computing service – in this case Microsoft Office 365 – and invest in proper, reliable internet connections.
What the Supercars found was that being penny proud and pound foolish with IT doesn’t work for a business – office tech is an essential investment.
(Paul travelled to the V8 Supercars in Launceston courtesy of Microsoft Australia.)
Paul Wallbank speaks and writes on how industries and societies are changing in this connected, globalised era. When he isn’t explaining technology issues, he helps businesses and community organisations through his business Netsmarts.