September 2015 Newsletter – Is Your IT Area Truly an Asset or Just an Expense?

Is Your IT Area Truly an Asset or Just an Expense?

The next Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in coming up right around the corner in January 2016 with previews and new product announcements of many electronics products. So the question is, will any new products be introduced that are a “must have” for your organization? The root of this question is, what new technology will make your business operate better?

Many times we get caught up in the quest for the latest technology, newest equipment, or glitziest gadget and Information Technology becomes an end in itself instead of a means to an end. The truth of the matter is that the desired outcome from any equipment or software purchase boils down to the systematic use of technology and information.

Information Technology’s Role in a Company or Organization

Keep in mind that Information Technology is a support function to your company. Your Information Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GeorgiaTechnology area should be providing the information, tools, data infrastructure, and automated technology to enable the rest of your business to operate properly. Information Technology is necessary because unless your business is very small, in the modern business environment no organization can operate without the appropriate information technology functions and processes.

The Information Technology of an organization serves two purposes – deliver the information necessary to operate and provide technology to automate its processes. There are four foundational assessments that you need to make with regards to Information Technology investments as they relate to these two purposes. The first three of the assessments pertain to obtaining better information for operating your enterprise and last one applies to technology itself.

Do You Have the Correct Data and Information To Operate?

To find out if you have the correct information, first ask yourself if the information that you need to operate your business available? This means that your business must be capturing the correct data itself or the data is available from some outside source for your operations or management? There may be a huge amount of data available but if it is not the correct data then it is next to worthless to you.

For instance, you may have volumes of inventory consumption data but if it does not tell you which of your customers are buying products that have the highest profit margins, then you are missing some vital information.

The first question to ask related to a technology purchase is, will it give me the correct data to run my company? A good place to start is to create a “wish list” of the information you would like to have in each area of your business and research how best to obtain that information.

Is the Captured Information Accurate?

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GeorgiaThe next question to ask is how accurate, timely, and consistently reliable is the data that you have at your disposal? That is, what is the quality of the data and information available to you?

Not only does a business need correct and accurate data – it must be available to you on a timely basis for it to be of use. Any time the data you get is inaccurate or untimely, you need to ignore it. Inaccurate data is worthless and may cause you to ignore other related data that is accurate and useful.

The second question to ask is, will this expenditure improve the accuracy and timeliness of my information? A good step is this area is go through the information generated in each area of your organization and rate it from a 1 to 10 as to its accuracy and timeliness.

Are You Effectively Utilizing Your Information?

Once you have the correct information and it is accurate, you need to evaluate your processes for utilizing the information. Even if you have a great amount of high-quality information, if you do not have the processes for transforming this into practical and actionable knowledge, your efforts will not provide you with many tangible advantages.

The objective is to have the processes in place to convert your data and information into actionable knowledge you can use to manage and direct your company. Without the proper systems in place to utilize the information, your data collection effort won’t get beyond just the potential of having a benefit to your business.

There are two evaluations that need to be made pertaining to this third assessment. First, will the purchase actually provide or include the “process” necessary to utilize the information you are seeking? Or second, will the expenditure require new processes within your company to use the information?

The next question to ask is, will this item enable us to properly utilize information within our company? To access this aspect, do a review of processes in your company and ascertain how effective they are with regards to utilizing information?

Will This Technology Improve the Processing or Capturing of Information?

While the first three assessments have to do with the actual information and its use, the last one considers Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgiathe actual technology itself. The benefit of technology is that it is a tool to augment and automate the systems throughout your organization. The proper use of technology assists with the collection, validation, and automated utilization of information and knowledge. While technology is not an end in itself, the proper use of technology can enable your business to operate better.

The last question to address is, will this technology truly enable your business to operate better? Furthermore, will it provide information to you, improve a process or both? Or is it just the newest equipment, glitziest gadget or latest service that is all the rage and there is no assurance that it will truly allow you to improve the performance of your company?

For instance, let us say you are looking at a new GPS for your fleet of delivery vans and you find a system that allows you to optimally route an entire day’s worth of deliveries and dynamically re-route the vans based upon real time input from traffic monitoring sources. Thus providing technology to automate your processes. Additionally, it tells you whenever a driver goes off their designated route – thereby giving you the information necessary to operate your company better.

In summary, use these four assessment questions to make sure that choose Information Technology that will enable you to truly operate your company better and not be beguiled by the next “shinny thing” in the world of information technology.

If you need assistance with utilizing Information Technology within your company more effectively please contact us so we can show you how to use this concept to tremendously increase your revenue and take your business where you want it to go.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve the goals for their business by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic business planning and growth methodology, the Structure of Success™ so they can Work Less, Make More and most importantly Have Fun in Their Business. Using our Structure of Success™ methodology each month we examine one of 12 areas of a business or organization.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220


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