Our business decisions are the key to our continued success. Sadly, many companies miss out on opportunities due to hidden biases. Find out if attentional biases having been limiting your I.T. plans.
We all have biases. Often these biases are useful, helping us to sort quickly through information based on our past experiences. Unfortunately, biases can also cause us to miss out on valuable opportunities. Potential clients might fail to see the benefits of one of your products or services, or your employees might miss ways to improve. Here’s what you need to know about attentional bias and how it might be impacting your business right now.
Attentional bias is a cognitive bias in which perceptions are impacted by our recurring thoughts. With businesses, these biases can cause decision-makers to miss the broader picture.
What Is an Attentional Bias?
For example, when considering a server upgrade, your accountant might exclusively evaluate the options based on the annual costs. A facility manager might worry if it will require additional space or specialized temperature controls. Employees who work with large files could focus on the amount of server space, access speed, and/or whether there will be a file backup feature.
Why You Should Look for Attentional Bias
It’s important to reduce the impact of attentional bias. Obviously, the first step is realizing that each person has biases. If you’re personally responsible for a decision, you can try to take a few extra moments to look at the whole range of information. Getting feedback from someone with a different background can provide you with another perspective before you make a decision.
When it comes to I.T. and biases, people tend to think the only biases that are a problem are those of people who are resistant to newer technologies. In fact, attentional biases impact a whole range of people. Those of us who are comfortable with I.T. can be even more likely to overlook our biases about technology because we don’t expect it.
The truth is, it is only natural that each person’s experiences impact how he or she views every aspect of our world, including your company’s I.T. systems. The problem is those biases might be causing your company to miss out on the best options.
Is Attentional Bias Limiting Your Company?
Why does your company have its current combination and types of software, hardware, and I.T. support? Is it because these are the best fit or the best overall value, or is it because an opportunity for something better has been missed? Here are some ways specific attentional biases might be holding your company back.
Costs are always an important factor, but attentional biases frequently cause people to look at the price for products and services in isolation, rather than evaluating them based on the overall economic impact.
When considering the price of services like network or outsourced I.T. management, there are many factors to consider aside from the service cost. It is necessary for the decision process to include the cost savings created by the reduced amount of overtime and/or lost productivity for the company’s employees.
Hiring a reliable MSP to provide these services instead of in-house technical experts would eliminate the base salary costs and recruiting, plus the long-term cost for employee benefits, overtime, office space, vacation coverage, continuing technical training, and the potential long-term costs of disability or severance pay, supervisory time, and all the other costs related to maintaining a full staff. For technical positions, retaining an experienced, skilled staff can be particularly challenging because technologies, software, and outside risks like hackers and viruses continue to evolve, which makes it more difficult for a small in-house team of employees to remain current on how to prevent and repair these problems.
A common attentional bias related to I.T. support services is often based on unfortunate personal experiences people have had with contacting consumer call centers. The remote support offered by many companies for their customers is often a maze of 800 phone numbers that lead to automated answers and busy signals. Their online support might amount to no more than a database of answers their customers have to search themselves.
These types of negative impressions of what remote support services are like can cause people to assume any outsourced assistance would be the same, instead of viewing the quality of support on a case-by-case basis.It is important to realize that decision-makers in your company might be overlooking an important option because they—consciously or unconsciously—are associating it with another service offered by a different company. Make sure they are comparing the features offered and the actual quality of service rather than relying on preconceived notions.
Is your company assuming that the closer the I.T. experts, the better the service? Attentional biases can cause people to think that an in-house employee will be more readily accessible than an outsourced service.
The key to evaluating that is to look at how many in-house employees would be available to provide necessary assistance compared to a full-sized MSP. Look at how things like vacations, lunches, sick days, and the obligation to help others in your company will reduce the availability of those in-house employees.
If your company has multiple locations, your in-house employees might not be located any closer to where they’re needed at a particular moment than an outsourced team. A reliable MSP should have a service team set up to manage I.T. and telecommunication systems for clients wherever the clients are located.
That means that remote computer and network access, phone service, and other help options are readily available and customer-friendly. Instead of having to track down your in-house employee while you’re on the road or at one of your facilities, your MSP’s service team can assist you when and where you need it.
In addition, your MSP’s larger staff means they’ll be able to assist many of your employees at the same time instead of them having to wait in line. This is particularly vital when third-party software updates or other outside forces results in the need to assist multiple workers at the same time.
Keeping Ahead of Biases
Remember that everyone has their own set of attentional biases. That means that every company faces these same issues. Being aware of attentional biases can help you to overcome this problem and ensure your company is making the best decisions for your business. That will not only improve your company’s bottom line, but it can also give your company a key strategical advantage over your competition.
Not sure if attentional biases are holding your company back? Contact our team at JMARK! We can evaluate your current I.T. systems and staffing and identify possible options that could improve your operations while reducing risk and costs. Call 844-44-JMARK or email JMARKIT@JMARK.com.