Status Go: Ep. 246 – Be Impatient with Old Ideas | Gray Mabry


Are you ready to revolutionize your approach to technology and leadership? Tune into the latest episode of “Status Go” with host Jeff Ton and special guest Gray Mabry, CEO of iVenture Solutions, where we dive into why it’s crucial to be impatient with outdated concepts and embrace the possibilities that come with fresh ideas. Explore the innovative strategies for tackling the tech talent shortage and learn how to effectively integrate cloud technologies into your business while maintaining a strategic edge. From dynamic hiring practices to the design and security in cloud adoption, this episode promises actionable insights for staying ahead in the fast-evolving digital landscape. Don’t miss out on this thought-provoking discussion that will challenge the way you think about tech leadership and change management!

About Gray Mabry

Gray Mabry is the CEO of iVenture Solutions and has emerged as a key figure in the company’s journey, originating from a spare bedroom over two decades ago. Under Gray’s 23-year leadership, iVenture has transformed into a nationally acclaimed managed services provider, deeply committed to solving IT challenges with a personalized touch and steadfast dedication to excellence. Through Gray’s vision, the company not only delivers top-tier IT experiences but also thrives on fostering relationships with its over 200 employees, ensuring each workday is not just counted but deeply valued.

Episode Highlights

[00:00:00] – Kick off your leadership transformation and shatter the constraints of convention!

[00:00:37] – Status Go: The launchpad for tech leaders ready to challenge the status quo.

[00:00:54] – Get psyched for an episode that’ll have you rethinking everything you know about tech and leadership!

[00:02:12] – Dive in as we toss old ideas out the window and cozy up with the new!

[00:03:19] – Unpacking the discomfort of novelty to forge fearless paths in tech.

[00:05:34] – Ever wondered how technology is reshaping the very fabric of leadership? Find out now!

[00:06:58] – Discovering the unique blend of qualities that set Iventure Solutions apart in the tech landscape.

[00:09:11] – Revealing the secret sauce behind choosing customer service charm over tech wizardry in hiring.

[00:10:56] – Tune in to the unconventional interview tactics turning the recruitment process on its head!

[00:12:41] – Cloud confusion busted! Learn why cloud tech isn’t just plug-and-play.

[00:13:34] – Strategies for staying razor-sharp and tartan-tight in your cloud technology game.

[00:15:13] – Design isn’t just for graphics – it’s critical for cloud strategy and security!

[00:16:51] – The unsung heroes of tech strategies: Regular assessments and an appetite for innovation.

[00:18:24] – Decision-making distilled – speed, security, and savvy shared responsibilities.

[00:20:36] – Don’t just take our word for it – actionable insights to secure your annual security health-check!

[00:24:14] – Battling the bane of professional interviewing – discovering the true essence of a candidate.

[00:26:42] – Stepping into the holistic world of multi-stage interviews for that perfect fit.

[00:28:21] – Psychological savvy meets tech hiring: The what, why, and how of behavior assessments.

[00:30:07] – Balancing speed with caution in the hiring race – the art of an ‘active bench.’

[00:32:17] – Why every tech leader needs to get emotional – about decisions, hires, and alignment!

[00:33:59] – Skilling up for the cloud era doesn’t have to be a stormy affair – here’s how to prep your team.

[00:35:39] – Don’t be a stranger! Connect with us at to continue the conversation.

[00:38:16] – Signing off with a promise of revolutionary dialogues in episodes to come – Stay ahead, stay inspired!


Episode Transcript

Gray Mabry [00:00:00]:

I think we have a tendency when we try something new, we try something new and we tend to dismiss it quickly. Like see, we shouldn’t go down that road. It’s like riding a bike. The first time we rode a bike it was hard. The old is comfortable, the old is the, you know, the bike with training wheels was definitely easier and we lean back on that. Be impatient with old ideas and be patient with new ideas.

Jeff Ton [00:00:43]:

Welcome to Status Go. This is your host, Jeff Ton. Today we’re going to explore two different but related topics. The first is the tech talent shortage. The news last year was filled with stories of layoffs in tech. The part of the story that didn’t get enough coverage, in my opinion, was that those layoffs occurred primarily in big tech. The truth of the matter is if you are in mid-enterprise or in the SMB space, you continue to struggle to find tech talent, good tech talent.

The other story that has captured a lot of attention in the last couple of years is the explosion of cloud in this new digital economy. At the same time, we hear stories about repatriation, bringing cloud workloads back to on-premises. Why do so many organizations struggle with their cloud and digital initiatives? With a bit of a throwback to our Mythbusters series that we did last year, we’re going to dive into the question of how do you get it right in cloud and digital.

Our guest is Gray Mabry. Gray is the CEO of iVenture Solutions, a Florida-based MSP. He has spent almost 25 years wrestling with these two interlinked problems. He is here to share what has worked and perhaps what has not worked.

Gray, welcome to Status Go.

Gray Mabry [00:02:10]:

Awesome. Thanks, Jeff. Thanks for having me. And thanks for setting the expectation I can share more about what hasn’t worked and what has. Appreciate that.

Jeff Ton [00:02:19]:

Well, sometimes those are the best lessons, right? Is. Oh wait, that didn’t work. That was kind of painful. Let’s do something else.

Gray Mabry [00:02:26]:


Jeff Ton [00:02:27]:

Before we dive in, could you share a little bit more about your background and a little bit about iVenture?

Gray Mabry [00:02:35]:

Sure. Just the brief version is I founded, iVenture with a business partner and friend 23 years ago. Interesting story. We were childhood friends. We worked together at a grocery store in high school, went to college, went our separate ways, did different things and always kept coming back to we liked tech. We liked the business of problem solving around tech we liked being experts in that field and really helping other people. And so we came together at this point about 24 years ago, and were encouraged by a close friend and mentor to start a business doing this. And here we are. And here we are, 23 years later.

Jeff Ton [00:03:17]:

Wow. That’s incredible.

Gray Mabry [00:03:22]:

It was just that easy, too, by the way.

Jeff Ton [00:03:24]:

Yeah, I bet it was.

What’s the focus of iVenture? What’s your target? What do you specialize in?

Gray Mabry [00:03:33]:

Yeah, in a nutshell, if you kind of get to the heart of who we are, we are a group of experts and problem solvers and critical thinkers that try to make life easier for other people. And so that’s sort of a lofty explanation. But what we do is take our expertise to make technology easier for small medium business. And for us, that’s anywhere from, it could be a two or 20 user business, up to a 500, 700 user business. But the common thread is tech should make life easier, not harder. And so we’re there to use our expertise and our problem solving skills to remove those barriers for our clients.

Jeff Ton [00:04:13]:

Do you generally work with an on-staff IT team, or do you primarily become their IT department?

Gray Mabry [00:04:23]:

Sure, it’s about half and half. And about half of our clients, we are the IT resource. Like if it has a plug, we get a question about it and we take care of it. And the other half, there’s an IT direction in the organization, whether that’s an IT manager or some other similar IT title. We’re working with that team and supplementing and filling in gaps with expertise.

Jeff Ton [00:04:46]:

Yeah. Well, let’s dive into this topic of the tech talent shortage, because my guess is, as a business yourself, you all struggle with finding the right talent, like many of our clients do. Many of your clients do finding that good tech talent. So talk to us a little bit about this tech talent shortage and your view on maybe what’s causing it, and then we can get into how do you solve for that?

Gray Mabry [00:05:17]:

Yeah, sure. I think tech talent shortage has been something we’ve grappled with in our industry since we started the company. I don’t think we really knew when we started the company. We started right around in 2000, I would say tech. There was more technical resources available, but not exactly what we needed for the type of business we’re in. Obviously, we’re balancing solve the problem, but do it with a smile. Right. There’s customer service element.

There was then and there is now. There’s a shortage of people that fit that profile. So in a nutshell, early in our business, we just thought this is the way it was. And what we realized as we got into the business is this is a problem that we need to get well ahead of to address and not wait on. It’s not going to get solved by the best recruiter in the world is not going to solve it. The best tech school in the world is not going to solve it. It’s something, if we want to grow our business, we’re going to have to take and do ourselves.

Jeff Ton [00:06:25]:

So how did you approach it when you’re trying to solve the talent shortage? Were you hiring more for the tech skill or more for the do it with a smile skill?

Gray Mabry [00:06:41]:

Yeah, I think we’d oscillate, but it was really the beginning, or at least it was all tech based hiring. So we’d look at a resume or we’d use a recruiter, or it would be, do you have these skill sets? Do you have a proven history with this particular technology or this aptitude? And then if you seemed okay on the customer service side, then that was a fit and a hire. And over the years, we’ve flipped that around to say, okay, it’s all about attitude and about that aptitude and desire to learn. And then let us fill in the blanks. Let us fill in the technical blanks. So we’ve done a 180 in that regard.

Jeff Ton [00:07:26]:

From an execution perspective. Take us through maybe how you’re weeding out, if you will, the resumes that you see or the job candidates that you see. And then what’s their onboarding like as you begin to train them up in the skills that maybe they have a gap in.

Gray Mabry [00:07:50]:

Sure. This is like one of my favorite topics, and I realize there’s finite time for us today, but we can always do a part two later by popular request. I hope so. No, the first part, I would say, is we had to get our hiring mindset as an organization. So our managers, me, business partner, we had to be in alignment that it’s more important that we get the person right than the technical skill set right. And then obviously, once they start a rigorous program to teach those technical skills. So some simple things, not simple, but some things that we did to get over this hump. First, we changed our entire interview process around, and that went into asking experiential questions, not what would you do, but what have you done? Just getting people to talk about their experiences.

And as you know, everybody comes to an interview with their guard up. Many of us, we’re trained to be professional interviewees, and I think that does a disservice to the candidate because they may end up in a job that isn’t for them, and to the employer, we may end up having employees that aren’t what we’re asking them to do something. It’s not the right fit. So the first part was experiential based questions, and we brought the guard down to say, let’s have a real conversation about who we are and who you are. And ultimately, as the candidate, we want you to come here and make this a long term place for you that you love coming to work. So lessening the defense, getting the guard down.

So we started with our entire set of questioning, changed. Other things we did, or we do three to five interviews for a position, a mix of in person and Zoom.

People sometimes feel like in today’s world, that’s an overkill. It’s transactional. Fill the seat. Fill the seat. And the reality I think it’s a disservice to hire someone into a job that we’re both not sure about because it’s a life-changing decision for someone to leave a career, so really spending the time for it.

And then the last thing is we do a behavior type assessment, not for the purpose of disqualifying interviews, but for the purpose of improving the interview. As an example, if you’re naturally a very patient person, then we might ask some questions about. Tell me about a time when you work with someone who put a lot of pressure on you to do things too quickly.

So we started to really elevate our conversations versus the, what would you do if this was happening on the network? So we switched now, getting to know them.

Jeff Ton [00:10:23]:

Yeah, yeah. And how do you balance four or five interviews in a, uh, are you in Jacksonville? Do I remember that right?

Gray Mabry [00:10:37]:


Jeff Ton [00:10:39]:

I don’t know what the tech market is like in Jacksonville, but the unemployment rate in tech in Indianapolis is about a percent and a half. So how do you balance the competition, the speed to hire, with this four or five InterVision process?

Gray Mabry [00:10:56]:

So there’s kind of two answers to that. The first is on a tactical perspective. We have to have an active bench of technical experts that we’ve hired into our company that we may not, I don’t want to say we don’t need, but they’re in positions that are ready to feed into other parts of our business. So maybe you were hired as a support role, and we know that in short time, you’re going to be on our project team, but we hire with the forethought that we’re hiring you now for this position. But we already know this position over here may be the right fit for you. So we have a healthy bench internally. And so what that does is it takes the pressure down on when we need someone right away. We have a bench of people that are ready to make that transition.

The tech training is there. They’ve been hitting the certifications. They’ve been getting the experience. So we’re ready to go. So that takes organizational pressure down.

The second piece is, and this is really about getting your CFO and your human resource leader, your CHRO or people operations director on board, which is really always remember, it is far more painful and more expensive to say goodbye to that person who wasn’t the right fit both for them and for you as the employer than to spend the extra time to get it right. And I promise you, when you need someone in a seat and clients need help and you’re down a person, it’s so tempting. It’s so tempting to go grab the first thing that you can get and put them in that seat.

But we just go back to the numbers and we can just do a calculation of what it costs on the wrong hire. And again, I’m not even talking about for the candidate or the person. I’m talking about for us. When you do that math, it becomes a very clear picture.

Jeff Ton [00:12:39]:

So talk us about that conversation. I was curious about that when you and I spoke the other day, because a lot of tech service providers eliminated their bench about, I don’t know, 15 or 20 years ago as cost cutting. Right. They run very lean. How have you been able, and there’s a real question in here somewhere. Let me get to it. So you’re the CEO, right? I think there’s a lot of people who have never sat in that seat before who think, well, you’re the CEO, you just tell the CFO and the CHRO this is what we’re going to do. I imagine the conversation was not like that.

So talk to us about that. You said you used numbers, but talk to us through that conversation of trying to justify having a bench.

Gray Mabry [00:13:32]:

Sure. So I want to, just a caveat. I’ve been fortunate in that so many people on my leadership team have spent a lot of time with me growing through the organization. I don’t want to say growing up, I like to say growing through. For instance, our operating president started on our support team and ran a team and then ran a division and now runs the company. When I say, hey, what happens when we hire the wrong? Do you remember how that feels when we had the wrong person I don’t have to say it twice. He’s like, yeah, I know. So I would say the first piece is the emotional win.

So we have to always just go back to like, look, nobody likes to hire the wrong person. It’s hard for the employer, it’s hard for the employee. Right. I always say when you leave a job that wasn’t right for you, you remember that for your entire life. And so we want to be good stewards of the people that we invite through our doors. So part is, I have emotional alignment with my leadership team and my management groups. So that’s number one. Number two, again, is this financial piece.

I mean, you always hear stats like a bad hire is $20,000, right? When we do the hard math, I could say we probably fall in that about the wrong hire and wrong hire for us, it’s within six months, we end up like, hey, they know it’s not right. We know it’s not right. The hard costs are probably 2025, $30,000, which I think is pretty average for a business of our size. When I do the soft costs and I look at the impact to the clients, the impact to the rest of the team, the people that have to work extra to cover that. And I’ll get to your question about the bench in a minute, but when I do that, I could easily get to $100,000. So when I apply that math and we say, do we think it’s a good idea to have a process in which we hire people that are awesome problem solvers, that are technical experts, and we’re going to put them in positions to learn our tools, learn our clients, learn our specific tech that’s very unique to our business, and that’s going to be a carry cost for six to twelve months. Does that seem better? Versus the alternative, which is a bad hire, costs one hundred k, and it’s a pretty easy answer, right?

Jeff Ton [00:15:52]:

I like that you started with the emotional side of that, because a lot of decisions, maybe most decisions, are done with the emotion involved, and then we use the data to back up our emotions sometimes.

Gray Mabry [00:16:05]:


Jeff Ton [00:16:06]:

So when you all have been pretty successful, and without knowing anything about your business, the fact that you’ve been around for 23 years tells me you’ve been successful in doing this. You’ve seen this explosion of cloud from the inside out, right? Back in 2000, no one was talking about cloud. So how did you make sure that your team was ready for cloud in the digital era as you’re growing your team?

Gray Mabry [00:16:43]:

Sure. I’d say we’re always working on being ready because it’s a rapidly changing world that we live in. But a couple of things come to mind. First of all, going back to one of our core principles, and that’s, hey, do the work, do it right the first time, put a plan together, and then execute that plan. Don’t just jump into what’s shiny. So pre cloud, this was a thing, right? We’d advise our clients, I know that seems super shiny and super interesting right now, but is that part of the strategy? Is that part of the plan? And if we need to make it part of the plan, let’s do so. But we’re not grasping for things out there just because they’re shiny. So that’s always been part of our dna, and we’ve carried that through to cloud.

So part of us helping clients get cloud right and being the expert is making sure that the cloud pieces that we’re picking are aligned to a strategy. And not just that seems shiny, it solves an immediate need. Better go sign up for it. And we know with ease of access to the world of cloud, it’s very easy to sign up for things, very easy to get onboarded. We’re not acquiring big hardware anymore. We’re not having to work through a purchasing CFO to purchase. It’s click, click and we’re signed up. But going back to that question of, does this align with the strategy and is it going to be the long term piece for this?

Jeff Ton [00:18:06]:

Yeah, the strategy, not only for iVenture, but for your clients, for a client strategy, yeah, but you kind of went through this evolution yourself internally, I would imagine.

Gray Mabry [00:18:21]:

We lead ourselves on, hey, we want to be cutting edge, not bleeding edge. It’s a very cliche statement, but I would say this, though, we push our own internal company with a little bit, we have a little bit more of an aggressive push with our internal company because it puts us, and again, in a way that doesn’t affect our business operations or security or that of our clients, but we’ll push ourselves into the different cloud technologies ahead of time so that we can experience that and then we can share that back with our clients. I remember years ago, private cloud, the idea of hosting out of a data center, we got very aggressive of let’s build a test, a model of this and do it for some clients and build that expertise. And I would say by pushing that envelope a little bit, our level of knowledge and success increased dramatically. So our expertise increased dramatically compared to the market because we were a year ahead of that experience. And of course, then that expertise then bled over to our clients, which turned into like, man, to our clients saying to us, you guys have been down this road. And it’s like, absolutely. So again, that’s a little bit of a push to try some things that may be uncomfortable, but it’s going to build that expertise that you need.

Jeff Ton [00:19:32]:

Yeah. I mentioned in my intro that we did a series last year called Mythbusters, and we looked at five myths having to do with cloud, innovation, security, mostly cloud, and where that plays in the innovation space and the security space. And one of the myths that we busted during that series was that the cloud is too complex. There’s another myth out there that you mentioned that the cloud is easy. Right. So how do you guide your clients to bust that myth, so to speak, that the cloud is easy?

Gray Mabry [00:20:14]:

That’s a really good question. And now I feel like I’m speaking against another episode. No, I’m totally joking. I would agree. The idea that cloud is not complex. And I say getting into different cloud technologies, whether it’s signing up for something or implementing. And again, if I’m developing a cloud app, I want to reduce complexity as much as I can to get adoption. I think the part for us that can make it difficult, and it goes back to what I was saying earlier, is not having it tied into a long term strategy and not understanding what you really want.

So again, complexity is low, easy to sign up, but it’s sort of that hype cycle where, yeah, it’s low complexity to sign up. We’re very excited, and we see that excitement about some new tech get way high. And then it comes then implementation. We get six months, a year into using it in our clients. And then we see that trough, we see that drop where it’s like not meeting expectations. We thought this, this is much harder than we thought. This is slower. This isn’t solving the problem.

And then we go back, well, what was the problem you were trying to solve? And it’s like, well, we never really defined that. The problem we defined is not the problem that we’re trying to solve now. And so I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I think the question is, in our own business, there’s probably 50 different cloud technologies that are used, from HR to finance ton service operations to security. 50 is probably a low number. We’ll say 50 core cloud technologies. But if I lay them out and we look at it against an annual strategy, we ask the question, is this meeting the original need? Yes or no? Is it solving some new problem that we didn’t know about. And then what’s the value to the organization for this piece of software or this application or this service? And then we rate it, and then we go down, and then we look at what should we keep, what should we consolidate and what should we just flat out remove?

Jeff Ton [00:22:14]:

Yeah, that’s a very disciplined process to go through. I’ll use the word preach. Do you preach that same discipline to your clients that, hey, every year or every so often, periodically, you should do that same kind of exercise?

Gray Mabry [00:22:32]:

Sure. We have people that are really tight on this and experts that will sit with our clients and they build basically a roadmap. And in that roadmap are these things. Now, again, I’m not here to say like, you need to get rid of that $20 XYZ thing that you use for transcribing meetings, but it’s more of think a major player like Google, a set of Google apps or an office 365 going through that. Are we using the features that are here? And if not, I’m not saying cancel. How do we get people to use them?

Jeff Ton [00:23:05]:

Use them? Yeah.

Gray Mabry [00:23:06]:

Or if we’re not going to use them, then is there a more optimized plan? But, yeah, that’s an annual conversation. And again, nobody wants to do this on a monthly basis, but this is more of an annual. Does this still align with our strategy? Again, I’m a broken record on that, but it’s easy to lose sight when things are shiny and fancy.

Jeff Ton [00:23:26]:

Yeah. When you implement a new application, is there one you can. Yeah, well, the other thing, when we talked the last time, gray, that you really emphasize is one of my favorite words, design. I think so many times companies go into the cloud, maybe they don’t know why they’re going there. They’re going there because everybody else is doing it, but they don’t design. Talk to us about the design process that you use and how that benefits the long-term adoption of the cloud and the long term optimization of the cloud.

Gray Mabry [00:24:12]:

Sure. So I think when I hear the word design, my brain goes down two roads. One is a strategy and then one is obviously in the world we’re in. Security and data governance is huge. So let me start with strategy. I always think, like designing a building, like simple, clean lines, easy access, and I think about business strategy is the same way. And I’ll give an example. I remember working with a client and we had some of our experts in the room that were having these conversations, and we boiled the client’s strategy down, their it strategy, down to a few points and one was speed over everything.

So they didn’t care if it was cloud or on prem, it was, it needs to be fast. So that’s an important thing, right? Because there are a lot of things that may not be as fast. So speed and it was minimize it footprint in their business. So they don’t want a big it department, they want a compact it department. So we make decisions about are we picking things that are going to require more IT people or reduce an example. This was a multi month process to get down to those two bullet points, and it sounds so simple, but those guide decisions left and right. So when we approach a new piece of software that might be or an app, and maybe it’s cloud based, but it’s not fast, then we go back to the strategy like, hey, this isn’t going to work. Is there a faster way to do it, or is there a premise version or is there a different cloud app? But again, it sounds simple, but now we have a guidepost to what we’re trying to do.

The second piece that we think about. And again, we’re fortunate to have some really deep expertise in our company that could talk much more about this than me. But it is, where does the data live and how is it secured? And I think it used to be, is it onshore, offshore? That’s much more transparent. Now in the cloud world, I’d say less of an issue. But you have this idea of data sprawl, where you have multiple cloud providers, you have data all over the place, and then are you really sure about how the data is accessed and by whom? So what APIs, like what two things are calling into your data that you may not know about, and that could expose you to risk the low hanging fruit. What accounts are inactive that shouldn’t be out there, or what active accounts are out there, and it’s an inactive employee. But I’d say a big part of our design is making sure where’s the data, what’s accessing the data, what are the vulnerabilities? And from the start, defining what that looks like so we don’t end up with a mess to clean up.

Jeff Ton [00:26:48]:

Well, risk and security are, they’re on everybody’s mind. Right. And it’s how you define your appetite for risk. But one of the complexities that cloud brings to it, and you touched on this in your description, right then, was this shared responsibility model.

Gray Mabry [00:27:09]:


Jeff Ton [00:27:10]:

Right. There are some things that if you’re in the cloud, you have no control over, you have no control over who walks into the cloud data center, that’s on them. Right. So when you’re working with clients who are maybe new to that concept, how do your consultants help guide them into understanding that shared responsibility model?

Gray Mabry [00:27:33]:

Well, I think it’s a good point because the client could be as buttoned up as possible, but they could have third parties that are in their data that aren’t as buttoned up. And obviously the selection process of what apps are you using and where are things hosted? I guess, are you picking the right horse? I think would be. That’s a pretty basic one. But I mean, again, we see key applications that are hosted with third parties that have been that way for ten years and they’ve never thought to ask, oh, we’re mingled in with a bunch of other clients. So part of it is, are we picking the right horse? The second thing is the cloud world around security and compliance has matured greatly. So the features now exist. However, they’re not on and configured by default. So this is where we come in to say, hey, you.

Actually, I’m going to pick, not to be brand specific, but I’ll pick the Microsoft ecosystem. There are hundreds of compliance and security features that are built into, we’ll say a Microsoft business plan for a user, but the expertise to turn those on, like, okay, again, going back to strategy, one of the strategies, I’m just going to go all the way back. Healthcare, you have protected information. Okay, well, let us show you, let our experts show you. Here are the things that need to be on to protect your data. So kudos to the cloud world because these features have come and are now available to the mass massive. But now the part of what do you turn on, what do you turn off, how do you configure it? And do you even know that it exists? That’s probably the hardest thing with cloud because it goes so fast. New things come out and most of our clients aren’t like, they’re not reading blogs on the weekend about the new features.

Jeff Ton [00:29:22]:

Yeah, they’re not ingesting it like a tech professional does. And it gets back to the other side of that design, coin design strategy. But then also, how do you design the right level of security weight against the right level of risk for a particular company? The other thing that I think made a lot of sense to me when you were talking earlier was that what you’re trying to help your clients do is build capabilities.

Gray Mabry [00:29:53]:


Jeff Ton [00:29:55]:

Do you have a story you can share without naming the client? But as you took that capability approach, the business benefit that they ended up.

Gray Mabry [00:30:04]:

Seeing from that, sure. I mean, I can always do the generic. I say generic, but the mobile workforce, work from home, work from anywhere is a pretty important one. But I remember working. They’re a wonderful client. They’re a nonprofit, a community service organization. I remember meeting them, and they essentially were using a set of apps, and their data was set up in such a way that they were basically tied to their two offices. And even working in their two offices, it was a miserably slow experience.

But they’re wonderful people. But they’re the first to admit, we are not technologists, and we don’t know what to ask of our current situation to make it better. And the expectation is they’re not the kind of people that would know what to ask. I distinctly remember working with them going through, and it’s funny, we met them the first time and they said, no. And then they came back a few years later, and we’re like, we’re ready. They’re again wonderful people. But what we learned was there wasn’t an understanding of the workflow to begin with. So whoever set them up assumed that the best way for them to work was all to be in the office using this one key application.

And no one said, wait a minute, most of your people aren’t tied to an office, and most of your people don’t use this core app anyways. They use these other apps. And so going back to strategy, do we really understand what the outcome is? And essentially, we remapped that organization and within a short order started to make changes to their workflow and where their data lived. Again, picking the right apps, the right features, the right configuration. And I would by and large say we have a group of very happy people. And more importantly, for the work that they do in our community, they get to spend more time doing that and not on the phone with it issues.

Jeff Ton [00:31:57]:

Yeah, you unchain them from the office, right. You let them be anytime, any place to be able to access the data. Well, Gray, as you know, we are all about action here on Status Go. I always love to see, to ask this question of our guests, because we like to leave our listeners with what are one or two things that they can go do tomorrow because they listen to our conversation today. So, Gray, what are a couple of actions our listeners should go do?

Gray Mabry [00:32:33]:

I thought long and hard because I knew this question was coming, and I obviously could give some tacticals, like, now is a good time to do a security assessment of your existing tool. Look, annually, everybody annually should do an assessment of the new security capabilities that are available in any of your cloud platforms once a year, look at each one and see what new security features have been added that cost you nothing that should be turned on. So that’s a very actionable do this at least once a year. But I think the way we’re thinking about our company and the way our tech experts are thinking about looking at problems and process is I want to be a little broader. And I think we’ve been fortunate that we’ve had a great company that’s worked really well and continues to work really well. And a lot of our clients are in the same boat. They’re good companies. And the phrase I’ve been using and saying to our clients is basically, be impatient with old ideas and be patient with new ideas.

And if you think about that, I’ll say it again, be impatient with old ideas and be patient with new ideas. And the reason I say that is I think we have a tendency when we try something new and it’s like riding a bike. The first time we rode a bike, it was hard and we fell off and we try something new and we tend to dismiss it quickly. Like, see, we shouldn’t go down that road, and we’ll lean back to the old. The old is comfortable. The bike with training wheels was definitely easier, and we lean back on that. So we’re challenging ourselves to apply that lens to the problems that we see in our own business and with our clients and see if it creates some space to try something new and to break away from some of the old things.

Jeff Ton [00:34:18]:

I love that. Be impatient with old ideas and be patient with new ideas. I think you just gave us the title for the episode, Gray.

Gray Mabry [00:34:29]:

Awesome. I’m glad I could help.

Jeff Ton [00:34:33]:

That’s awesome. Well, Gray, thank you so much for carving time out to be with us here on status go. I’ve enjoyed meeting you and chatting with you the couple of times that we’ve talked. I hope we can have you back on to a future episode and maybe go into these topics deeper or maybe new topics altogether. Enjoyed the conversation.

Gray Mabry [00:34:53]:

Sure. Appreciate it. Thank you to our listeners.

Jeff Ton [00:34:57]:

If you have a question or want to learn more, visit The show notes will provide links and contact information. This is Jeff Ton for Gray Mayberry. Thank you very much for listening.