Is your business technology stunting growth?
Fail to align your business technology with your overall strategy, and striving to reach those goals will be like rowing a lifeboat against the tide in stormy weather. Your crew will be at risk of being miserable, de-motivated and uncommitted, working ineffectively and leaving you and the management team to shoulder most of the burden.
I see this again and again, where businesses have been totally focused on winning sales, delivering operations and generating profit – with little time devoted to considering a technical strategy. Before they know it, they are running a multi-million business on Excel, a wing and a prayer. Any technology has been purchased in isolation to meet the current need as opposed to being part of an integrated strategy aligned to business goals with scope for growth.
But the right business technology, together with streamlined processes, can see your business transformed into a powerful yacht, cutting through the waves with the wind at your back and the sun shining down from above. Now your workforce are skilled members of one team, all working in unison toward a set of common goals under the directive of the team leader.
Aligning technology and strategy
The purpose of business technology is to help perform everyday and complex tasks quicker and more accurately than by manpower alone. It’s there to reduce the monotony of tedious chores and bring greater efficiency and accuracy to more complex operations. If your business technology is not achieving this for your business, if it is a source of frustration or, worse, is adding to your workload, then aligning your technology and business strategy has to move to the very top of your priority list.
The longer you leave it, the harder it will be when the time comes to implement a fully integrated technical solution. Bad practices will most likely have developed, different business functions will have veered off into their own silos and we all know that for many, change is feared and if possible avoided.
But with the right technical solution, clear communication, sound business processes and training, you can transform your business so your technology is working for, and not against, you.
Please don’t recoil in horror at the phrase business processes; I’m not talking about wall-to-wall use case diagrams, flow charts and data models. Too many processes can be as paralysing as none. However, the success of your chosen technical solution will depend on everyone knowing what they should be doing and how they integrate with other departments.
Once your business technology is aligned to your overall strategy and your teams are working as one fully integrated organisation, you can forge ahead, with the wind at your back, to business growth and success.