Assuming for a moment that you have an IT Strategy (73% of all companies reported that they didn’t have a written and viable IT strategy in a recent survey), is your IT Strategy ‘technology’ centric or ‘business’ centric? In other words, what is driving your IT strategy? Do you have an IT plan that contributes to, automates, or furthers your business plan? Are your IT systems well aligned with your business strategy and goals? Or do you simply have a series of IT systems, each in their own silo, without an understanding of how they are integrated to align with your core business processes? Does your current IT provider sit down with you to provide a virtual CIO component to their service offering?
The irony is, ‘business-centric’ IT plans are easier to comprehend, usually less expensive, and more successfully implemented. It’s not easy to evolve to a business-centric IT model, but here are three reasons it’s worth the effort:
- IT systems should move at the speed of your business:
IT has often been seen as the bottleneck to rapid change and adaptation. Have you ever found yourself saying something like “We would adopt this new business model, but the new software system we just bought won’t handle that, and we can’t afford to change now”? Or “We just bought something 12 months ago that no longer supports us?” Both of these can cause your business to spend more and more money when you do not have a true IT partner.
In order to survive and thrive in today’s highly competitive, dynamic business landscape, where everything is subject to commoditization, and flexibility is often the key to success; businesses need to be nimble and must be able to adapt quickly to the changing needs of their clients and the industry.
- Getting the latest and greatest isn’t affordable or sustainable:
Rather than a ‘business-centric’ approach to technology decisions, wherein business requirements are clearly articulated, current, and ‘desired state’ business processes are understood and documented, and internal and external customer/constituent needs are considered, a ‘tool-centric’ approach tends to look more like:
- I read about this cool new technology online yesterday – we need to buy it.
- My friend’s company uses XYZ software and they love it, we should install it.
- We need a better sales process, let’s buy CRM software.
- We’ve always done it this way, and it’s worked, why do we need process improvement?
- It’s an IT system, why does the business need to be so involved in the decision?
It may seem absurd, but that’s exactly how some companies make technology decisions and that is usually due to the fact that their IT company doesn’t have the ability to help them with these decisions or just sees this type of customer as a way to increase their own revenues.
- A business-centric IT approach enhances your customers’ experience:
The irony is that IT is one of the few business departments that supports every other part of your business – from outside sales and the customer, to back-office processes. Yet, many IT managers and technicians don’t want to take the time to really learn what makes their business tick. Technology shouldn’t be about tools or systems; it should be about business processes and business workflows that drive more efficient delivery of products, services and outcomes. Ask probing “Why” and “What” questions before getting into “How.”
Don’t just wait for computers to break down before you think about the future of your technology. Turn to your One Source for innovative IT Consulting and Strategy to ensure that your business is prepared to take advantage of powerful technologies today, tomorrow, and every year to come. To learn more about what we can do for you, schedule a free no-obligation review of your business’s IT by calling us at (800) 875-8843 or emailing us at sales@osisIT.com.