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The Modern Business: 4 Crucial Components Needed to Succeed

– Strategy, Business Metrics, Access to new technology and lack of IT expertise –

To coin the phrase “Modern Business” is almost an oxymoron. The industrial revolution defined the traditional roots of a business by the ownership of raw goods, manufacturing processes/capabilities, and the production of tangible assets. Size, scale and corporate value were determined by the organizations real estate. The modern information revolution and the corporatization of the internet profoundly impacted the strategies and values of companies by shifting from owning production to owning information.  

Information is limitless, boundless. It creates an infinite amount of advantages along with the challenges of identifying and harnessing valuable data and turning it into actionable and executable results.  The high availability and access to that information requires the Modern Business to understand their strengths, weaknesses, and how to strategize on new opportunities that present real corporate gain.  

Traditional businesses, due to their infrastructure designed in a CAPEX model, have difficulty defining strategy and GTM plans with agility and flexibility. Conversely, the Modern Business is proactively strategizing on new markets and technologies and swiftly connecting solutions and third parties to solve immediate client needs. Additionally, the Modern Business can rapidly reap the benefits of cost strategies by putting plans in place to own the cost structure associated with revenue and outsource/partner the functional support services to capitalize on economies of scale with a Managed Service Provider (MSP).   

Some of the challenges presented to the Modern Business include the areas of data storage and retrieval, modern mobile workers, and LOB solutions. While these areas are valuable as they deliver flexible departmental benefits, they can create shadow IT if not managed through user and departmental access rights. When identifying or using an MSP, ensure they are not only able to support the infrastucture and devices, but also understand user identity and how to secure data and access to corporate assets in a mobile world.  

So how can the Modern Business succeed in a new economy while being confronted with numerous challenges including access to new technologies, data governance and security/compliance risk? The following lays out 4 critical areas to help the Modern Business succeed: 

Build a strategy aligning business and IT objectives 

Small businesses that fail to capitalize on the strategic value of IT, are those that have failed to appreciate the businesses ability to create competitive advantage. This problem is further compounded by the absence of a well communicated and clearly defined IT strategy, and the consequent failure to correctly align a company’s IT resources with the strategic objectives of the organization. The costs of missing IT strategy can be huge and will often result in missed opportunities to use IT to accelerate and achieve critical business performance improvements. Ask yourself these 7 questions: 

  • How would outsourcing IT support free up your budget for revenue focused costs? 
  • Is your technology plan addressing your business priorities and delivering value to your clients? 
  • Does your technology spend considered an investment in growth? 
  • Is your technology plan agile and flexible enough to grow with market dynamics? 
  • Is your IT infrastructure managed, maintained and secure enough to support the organization within budgeted costs? 
  • How does your IT strategy support current and future business needs?

Dashboards lead to flexible IT Strategy 

Business dashboards are some of the most underutilized tools to help understand what the business has accomplished, and what the needs will be in the future. The dashboard should reflect the agile nature of the market and help identify whether your infrastructure is meeting the business demands. This insight to your company’s performance helps to make informed decisions regarding what costs will support your corporate strategy and promote ongoing improvementsSome considerations to inspire action through metrics: 

  • What are you trying to achieve? 
  • How will you know if you have achieved it? 
  • Does your business model and IT infrastructure support your stated growth objectives? 
  • How do you develop metrics that are important and matter to the business, and create improvement (you decide how to define improvement)? 

Relevant and important technologies 

There are only so many hours in the day and your ability to identify new technologies, implement and support those technologies is limited to your budget and revenues. Most organization will use a third-party partner like an MSP or solution provider to help with identifying those solutions. Take advantage of those resources because their business model is built to support these services. Just like yours is built to create advantage against your competitors. MSPs will take the time to learn about your business’s strengths, weaknesses and goals, to determine which services and solutions are necessary to maximize work efficiency and boost client satisfaction. This allows you to set long-term goals with more confidence while focusing your time on current business goals. The following steps will help in the adoption and success of new technologies: 

  • Don’t fall into technology for technologies sake – avoid the impulse or vendor pressures 
  • Identify what is expected to change with new technology and determine how success will be measured 
  • After new technology has been implemented ensure proper end user training or you will not get the full benefits 
  • Ensure the employees are involved in the process and understand how the business benefit aligns to the new technology 
  • Demystify the complexity and train the end user on digital transformation  

Access IT Resources 

Access to specialized technology resources are very important to a Modern Business. Gone are the days of working in silos with on-prem applications and infrastructure that limit your speed and flexibility to adopt new revenue streams. The Modern Business, as it reacts to market changes, needs newer, lighter weight apps and devices that enable the employee for quick decision making. That level and breadth of sophistication comes at a potentially massive cost. Utilizing a Managed Services organization as your partner brings a wealth of resources capable of understanding business objectives and translating those into actionable technical support utilizing the right level of engineer. Those benefits include: 

  • MSPs will rid you of technology headaches and make sure your IT is optimized for peak performance 
  • Provide IT Advisory Services including insights and advice helping to align business and IT strategies 
  • Help leverage current technologies to best support your business goals 
  • Their knowledge and experience save you time and money and keep you from making technology investments that don’t satisfy your business goals 

Does building to a Modern Business have to be complex, or is it even importantIt depends. The Modern business is born out of the information age and needs to support the modern mobile consumerThe ability to react quickly to market fluctuations and competitors will define success in the future. Taking advantage of new technologies and apps delivered as a service, will help infuse agility and flexibility into your infrastructureBy identifying your business requirements, and hiring employees that match your growth objectives, will help produce differentiated advantage. Outsource non-revenue producing functions (like support services) to a well vetted MSP with the capabilities to proactively engage in protecting your organization from threats, compromised security, and assist in establishing data governance strategies.  

Is it necessary? Absolutely. The agility of the market and the organizations’ ability to take advantage of those changes is measured in minutes not quarters. A study at MIT Sloan Management Review reports that 63% of managers believe the pace of technological change in their workplaces is too slow with the most cited obstacles for digital transformation being a lack of urgency. A modern Business has adopted urgency and executes by utilizing partners like MSP’s to meet their business goals. 

Dashboards lead to flexible IT Strategy 

Business dashboards are some of the most underutilized tools to help understand what the business has accomplished, and what the needs will be in the future. The dashboard should reflect the agile nature of the market and help identify whether your infrastructure is meeting the business demands. This insight to your company’s performance helps to make informed decisions regarding what costs will support your corporate strategy and promote ongoing improvementsSome considerations to inspire action through metrics: 

  • What are you trying to achieve? 
  • How will you know if you have achieved it? 
  • Does your business model and IT infrastructure support your stated growth objectives? 
  • How do you develop metrics that are important and matter to the business, and create improvement (you decide how to define improvement)? 

Relevant and important technologies 

There are only so many hours in the day and your ability to identify new technologies, implement and support those technologies is limited to your budget and revenues. Most organization will use a third-party partner like an MSP or solution provider to help with identifying those solutions. Take advantage of those resources because their business model is built to support these services. Just like yours is built to create advantage against your competitors. MSPs will take the time to learn about your business’s strengths, weaknesses and goals, to determine which services and solutions are necessary to maximize work efficiency and boost client satisfaction. This allows you to set long-term goals with more confidence while focusing your time on current business goals. The following steps will help in the adoption and success of new technologies: 

  • Don’t fall into technology for technologies sake – avoid the impulse or vendor pressures 
  • Identify what is expected to change with new technology and determine how success will be measured 
  • After new technology has been implemented ensure proper end user training or you will not get the full benefits 
  • Ensure the employees are involved in the process and understand how the business benefit aligns to the new technology 
  • Demystify the complexity and train the end user on digital transformation  

Access IT Resources 

Access to specialized technology resources are very important to a Modern Business. Gone are the days of working in silos with on-prem applications and infrastructure that limit your speed and flexibility to adopt new revenue streams. The Modern Business, as it reacts to market changes, needs newer, lighter weight apps and devices that enable the employee for quick decision making. That level and breadth of sophistication comes at a potentially massive cost. Utilizing a Managed Services organization as your partner brings a wealth of resources capable of understanding business objectives and translating those into actionable technical support utilizing the right level of engineer. Those benefits include: 

  • MSPs will rid you of technology headaches and make sure your IT is optimized for peak performance 
  • Provide IT Advisory Services including insights and advice helping to align business and IT strategies 
  • Help leverage current technologies to best support your business goals 
  • Their knowledge and experience save you time and money and keep you from making technology investments that don’t satisfy your business goals 

Does building to a Modern Business have to be complex, or is it even importantIt depends. The Modern business is born out of the information age and needs to support the modern mobile consumerThe ability to react quickly to market fluctuations and competitors will define success in the future. Taking advantage of new technologies and apps delivered as a service, will help infuse agility and flexibility into your infrastructureBy identifying your business requirements, and hiring employees that match your growth objectives, will help produce differentiated advantage. Outsource non-revenue producing functions (like support services) to a well vetted MSP with the capabilities to proactively engage in protecting your organization from threats, compromised security, and assist in establishing data governance strategies.  

Is it necessary? Absolutely. The agility of the market and the organizations’ ability to take advantage of those changes is measured in minutes not quarters. A study at MIT Sloan Management Review reports that 63% of managers believe the pace of technological change in their workplaces is too slow with the most cited obstacles for digital transformation being a lack of urgency. A modern Business has adopted urgency and executes by utilizing partners like MSP’s to meet their business goals.  

Regards,

 

George Phipps,

President | COO