Your business should be unique in some way, it’s what we call a competitive advantage. If there is no uniqueness then you are competing on price, which means you better be operating much more efficiently than others! In either case, your technology strategy and systems should be 100% aligned with supporting your business needs.
Your technology should be standards-based and as simple as possible.
The complexity of your business does not mean your technology needs to mirror that. You can buy 80%+ of any application or workflow functionality you need in business today. There are very few (read: none) instances were you would need to build software from scratch to use in your business.
Three areas where businesses make things more complex than needed:
- Custom Excel or Access-based solutions that were developed years ago. These solutions are not easy to access remotely or share with others. Big opportunity here to utilize Microsoft Power BI or other dashboard tools to simplify.
- VPN-based access to corporate data. Again, a legacy solution that needs to be revisited. Citrix ShareFile is a great replacement for those using a VPN to access corporate files remotely. An added bonus is that it’s more secure and mobile friendly, which will increase your workforce productivity.
- Servers in general. Whenever possible you should embrace the mantra of, “moving from servers to SERVICES”. Analyze what your servers are actually providing service-wise to your organization, and then look for services that can replace that functionality. More scalable, secure, and cost-effective than running a server in-house.
Complexity in technology is due to lack of consistent review and strategy.
A lot like all the “stuff” that ends up in your attic and basement. You don’t really need it but it’s there. The act of simplifying starts with going back to what your WORKFLOWS and basic business practices require. Then using a blank slate, put down what technology services and solutions you would put in place to support them.
Once that step is complete you take an inventory of all the technology systems and solutions you have in place today. Map those to the “new” services and solutions you came up with. There will be three outcomes to anything you are running today:
- One-to-one. Leave it alone, it’s working as expected
- One-to-nothing. Turn it off, it’s no longer needed or the right technology to support your business
- One-to-New. The workflow needs to be migrated to a new service or solution. This typically involves some type of data migration. Plan and execute.
The simple process of reviewing your business workflows first and then putting the technology in place to support it will deliver better results and a more productive workforce. At Stringfellow, we conduct this type of review annually for all Clients and then put it into practice utilizing our proven Intelligent Technology roadmaps. Our Clients experience a higher ROI on technology investments, more security, and less complexity in all cases.