January 1, 2009

Scraping the Landlines and The Total CIO

It’s long overdue. It’s time to get rid of the landline telephones from the office (and also from our homes, if you still have them). Wireless phones are more than capable of doing the job and just think you already probably have at least one for business and one for personal use—so redundancy is built in!
Getting rid of the office phones will save the enterprise money, reduce a maintenance burden (like for office moves) and remove some extra telejunk clutter from your desk. More room for the wireless handheld charger. :-)
USA Today, 20 December 2008 reports that according to Forrester Research “Estimated 25% of businesses are phasing out desk phones in effort to save more money.”
Additionally, “more than 8% of employees nationwide who travel frequently have only cellphones.”
Robert Rosenberg, president of The Insight Research Corp., stated: U.S. businesses are lagging behind Europe and Asia in going wireless, because major cellular carriers…are also earning money by providing landlines to businesses—an $81.4 billion industry in 2008.”
“In Washington, D.C., the City Administrator’s office launched a pilot program in October in which 30 employees with government-issued cellphones gave up their desk phones, said deputy mayor Dan Tangherlini. Because the government has issued more than 11,000 cellphones to employees, the program could multiply into significant savings.”
A study by the National Center for Health Statistics between January and June found that more than 16% of families “have substituted a wireless telephone for a land line.”
So what’s stopping organizations from getting rid of the traditional telephones?
The usual culprits: resistance to change, fear of making a mistake, not wanting to give up something we already have—“old habits die hard” and people don’t like to let go of their little treasures—even a bulky old deskphone (with the annoying cord that keeps getting twisted).
Things are near and dear to people and they clutch on to them with their last breath—in their personal lives (think of all the attics, garages, and basements full of items people can’t let go off—yard sale anyone?) and in the professional lives (things equate to stature, tenure, turf—a bigger rice bowl sound familiar?).
Usually the best way to get rid of something is to replace it with something better, so the Total CIO needs to tie the rollout of new handheld devices with people turning in their old devices--land lines, pagers, and even older cell phones (the added benefit is more room and less weight pulling on your belt).
By the way, we need to do the same thing with new applications systems that we roll out. When the new one is fully operational than the old systems need to be retired. Now how often does that typically happen?
Folks, times are tough, global competition is not going away, and we are wasting too much money and time maintaining legacy stuff we no longer need. We need to let go of the old and progress with the new and improved.


No comments: