5 reasons IT owns the business phone system (and how to stop)

Business phone systems are a mainstay running every business despite the growth of alternatives like email and chat. And the reality for most companies is that, somehow, the IT department became the owner of this octopus of technology. If there's one thing I've learned over the years in this industry, it’s that very few IT people actually want to.

IT can be the super hero (and get out of the business of managing telecommunications) when they move from PBX to the cloud.
IT_super_hero

To be frank, you, dear IT professional, have more important things to do with your time than setting up and managing a legacy PBX phone system. After all, that's why hosted VoIP companies like Fonality are in business - to manage your business phone system so you don’t have to.

So how did IT teams get stuck with this responsibility? Here are  the top 5 reasons, plus tips on how a business phone systems solution could help relieve your IT department.

  1. Phone systems have been a pain to manage, and IT knows how to manage pain. 
    Imagine asking the head of sales to own setting up, configuring, and making changes to an old Avaya PBX.  Either he or she would quit, or the white-beige PBX chassis in the telephone closet would get an “Office Space”-style makeover with a baseball bat. IT folks, on the other hand, are used to dealing with misconfigured networks, bad Microsoft patches, and Wi-Fi dead zones –inevitably during important meetings. The complexity of legacy business phone systems have driven the need for IT to manage them.

    If there’s a solid phone system solution that would free up their time to work on bigger internal issues, wouldn’t you want it? They would certainly answer “yes.”  

  2. There reward handing off to other groups hasn’t justified the risk. 
    Like it or not, there are very few rewards that come from being "the perfect phone system manager."  The reality is that the best you can do is not screw up, so the risk gets thrown to IT because you’ve got the skills for dealing with sticky systems.  Now imagine for a moment: what if you could change that risk/reward profile by choosing a hosted business phone system that makes a real, measurable business impact? What if it had features that allowed you to increase sales, or service your customers better.  That kind of strategic impact is what drives many of our customers to make the switch to VoIP. For IT organizations, this switch provides the chance to be heroes for solving a business problem rather than just avoiding a business calamity.

  3. If it doesn't work, the business needs a throat to choke. 
    For something as critical as the ability for your employees to communicate and do their jobs, the business needs a single, responsible owner.  The dirty little secret is that IT will continue to be that responsible owner regardless of whether or not a phone system is on premise or in the cloud. Howeverby partnering with a provider who takes care of many of your business communication tools, IT can soak up the praise instead of the blame.

  4. Only IT really understands how it works anyway. 
    When business phone systems required a technical degree to install and run, only IT had the background and training to do it successfully. When you select a provider to deliver easy-to-use features and included end-user training, say goodbye to the days when you needed training degree for  programming an ACD, recording telephone system prompts, or changing your auto-attendant schedule.

  5. IT folks have been willing to do it.
    It really all comes down to this.  Without an alternative, owner, IT hasn't had a business case to push back.  It's time to take control folks! Don't agree to own the aging tangle of wires that will make your life suck one late night or weekend in the future, arguing with telco vendors, calling in dispassionate support teams, or paying a consultant ungodly sums to push buttons for you. There’s a better way!

What's the solution?

How does IT get out of the business of running the business phone system? The answer is clear - get thee to the cloud! Cloud-based business phone systems make life easier for everyone, and allow you to focus on your business instead of PBX programming. 

Sure, IT should be (and needs to be) involved in the purchase decision, but by outsourcing the headache, your hybrid-hosted PBX or pure cloud vendor of choice can handle the day-to-day for you.  And you, hero cape waving in the breeze, ride this wave of success into other business-impacting projects.

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