Companies like ours use a lot of web-based technology. When the tools work well, there is a huge payoff in productivity. When they don’t, it’s a nightmare and that puts in the same boat as our clients: how much are you willing to pay for efficiency?

IT providers are obsessed with getting clients to buy into their “stack.” This stack being a group of apps that clients have to buy into to work with the managed service provider. It’s not because the products are the best in the industry or essential to your business. It’s because they know them and they enjoy a sizeable resale margin.

Little of this is driven by customer need. You want G Suite? Sorry, they’re a “Microsoft house.” You have Macs? Sorry they don’t support them. On top of this, you see inflexible contracts and bizarre ROI figures.

In these days of app overload, it’s becoming harder for companies to justify their burgeoning cloud expenditures.

Last year, we were using 11 different cloud apps to run our business (we don’t have a client “stack”). By 2020, we’ll be down to 5. Are we saving money? Not really. But we are focusing on one of our core principals: keep it simple.