My “5 Cents” on Growing Revenue Through a Smart, Targeted IT Overhaul
Not long ago in the European Business Review, Stephanie L. Woerner, Peter Weill and Mark P. McDonald made a case for operational efficiency, arguing that companies can save a lot of money through something called “digital reuse,” that is, the ability to reap operational efficiency by using (and reusing) technological processes already in place and reducing the overall time-to-market.
This analysis is brilliant because it unveils salient ways you can curb costs by streamlining your IT processes as well as injecting consistency, efficiency and stability into your operations.
To get to that level of IT efficiency, you should pay attention to your IT risk management and governance framework along with your overall technology strategy. Here are my five tips on what I think you should specifically do as you embark on your IT streamlining bandwagon:
First, hire a skilled chief technology officer and task him or her with drawing up an IT strategic blueprint. Demand accountability and make sure the blueprint constantly is in sync with your overall operational model, including your company’s IT risk comfort.
Second, think short-term. Figure out how your existing IT processes can deliver value to your business. I always tell clients to focus on the operational part of IT and to attain the right mix of in-house delivery versus outsourcing. If too much value is delivered from outsourcing posts, there exists a medium- to long-term risk that your company will lose competitive prominence.
Third, think long-term. Implement an IT approach to improve your operational and strategic agility, making sure your operational plans mirror the full potential of technology to improve the company’s performance.
Fourth, make sure your existing IT infrastructure is integral to your business delivery processes, most notably your e-commerce approach. I suggest you overhaul your technology strategy and align it with your B2B and B2C tactics. The idea here is to integrate IT in client interactions, be they offline or online—via your company’s website, blog, e-commerce platforms and social-media profiles on outlets as varied as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest.
Lastly, construct an IT investment portfolio in sync with opportunities and threats in your industry. In this day and age, trends in IT are quickly altering the basis of competition. As a corporate executive, your goal is to study those trends; zero in on key variables; disregard outlier variables; and come up with an IT roadmap that makes economic, strategic and operational sense.
To your success,