Do you feel like the Information Technology (IT) bills never stop coming? It seems like there are always upgrades, maintenance costs, new software that must be purchased. The question becomes ‘What Value Do We Receive From That Investment?’ That is actually a very good question. Most IT executives would answer that there is almost 100% uptime, business transactions are processed with stunning accuracy and speed, employees have access to recent releases of Office software to better do their jobs, everyone has email with near 100% uptime, response time is quick and everyone has smartphones with email. All that is true and important, I mean just think of how the average office worker would do their job without email, MS Office and the standard accounting system used in business.
However, the value of Information Technology (IT) should go much further than that, especially today. We have instant connectivity to the internet almost anywhere and from devices that we hold in our hand. We use those devices to access our personal information instantly while many busy executives still wait until the end of the month and later to access critical business information. In our personal lives we interact with each other quickly and learn more about each other than ever before with social media. Yet companies still have limited interaction with suppliers and sometimes customers.
In order to move to the next level of IT value there are 4 key areas that should be addressed.
- Real time information for better informed decision making
- Information provided suppliers to improve supply chain and customers in the form of new or add-on products and services
- Optimized business operations and back-office from increased use of technology
- Innovative interaction and collaboration with suppliers, partners and customers
In many cases companies already have the technology to add value in these four areas but there is a lack of communication between IT and business and often a lack of innovative thought on the part of both business and IT to address these opportunities. The reality is businesses that add technology value in these four areas will be the businesses that stand out, attract customers, attract ‘A’ level talent and become more profitable.
I will address each of these value opportunities in subsequent posts. If you would like an evaluation of how your company can increase value in these areas, call us at 818-709-6583 for a free 90 minute consultation.