Category Archives: Information Technology

July 2016 Newsletter – Using Your IT Area as a Strategic Asset

Using Your IT Area as a Strategic Asset

I recently saw a very futuristic TV commercial by Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) that touted the announcement of their “The Machine”. You may have seen it too or another related one. As I reflected on this ad I wondered what cutting edge technology would be unveiled in this new product?

New technologies are being developed all the time and the speed that this is occurring is increasing all the time. Some of these new knowledge bases can disrupt entire industries and markets. Additionally, they can make certain products and methods obsolete almost overnight.

In this month’s newsletter I will discuss a tool you can you use to try to prevent being caught off guard by leap-frog advances in know-how.

Avoiding Technology “Shiny Thing” Syndrome

The introduction of innovative technologies is extremely attractive to most people. However, the difficulty is how to avoid being beguiled by some new “shinny thing” that may just drain your Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgiaresources instead of strategically moving you towards your company’s goals.

While technology is not an end in itself, the proper use of technology can make your life easier and better, thereby enabling various areas of your business to operate better. The proper use of technology is a tool that can aid in the collection, validation, and automated utilization of information and knowledge throughout your organization.

Using Technology Strategically

But the key question is – How can technology in general and specifically information technology be utilized to strategically automate and optimize processes in various areas of your business? Areas such as:

  • Marketing and Sales
  • Production
  • Finance and Administration
  • Human Assets

When you look at the big picture of Information Technology you realize it impacts your operations, customers, markets, competition, production, finances, employees, etc. Therefore, by adopting current technologies, you can manage your operations most effectively, beat your competition, and plan and prepare for the future.

The advantageous use of technology functions as multiplier or an enhancer of the other components of your operations. However, the challenge is to determine which of many and competing information technologies can be effectively used to operate your company in a better and more efficient manner. While most organizations have a person or team that tries to stay abreast of new technological advances, I would like to suggest using the below additional tool.

Utilizing Outside Technology Experts

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GeorgiaBecause information technology and technology from an overall standpoint are complex, constantly moving targets, a great way to not be unaware of new developments is engage an outside consultant who specializes in information technology or technology in general as it applies to your industry. In every sector there are top, independent experts that can be used to make sure the organization is informed on the technologies that can make a great impact on it, or ones that are just over the horizon, but show great promise.

Let me give you an example. Terry Brock is a noted technology expert in the Professional Speaking industry and he regularly consults with Professional Speakers organizations on what technologies are currently being used by leading Professional Speakers. This includes providing tips on the use of best practices. Additionally, he guides people in understanding what new technologies are just coming out, which ones are replacing older approaches and which technologies are becoming obsolete.

What to Look for in an Outside Technology Expert

Industry specific technology experts have a two huge edges over a company’s internal technology research capabilities. First, since they almost assuredly have been working in a business’ market for many years they have personal relationships with universities, research organizations, think tanks and the media – so they have first-hand access to information that others don’t. Second, because they work with other companies in a particular market, they can tell you the truth about what is working and what is not in that business segment. Furthermore, they can keep you in the know about what other organizations are trying.

Engaging someone like this involves meeting with them several times a year to learn what new and relevant technological developments are out there. Additionally, there should be some kind of “hot Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgialine” to immediately inform you of breaking technology news.

The consultant must be someone who stays fully aware of new technologies that are being developed and how they may impact your entire market. The consultant also acts as a counselor to share what technologies are proven and reliable and which ones have become obsolete.

If you need assistance with how to use technological advances strategically by using a future oriented perspective on new advances, please contact us because we can show you how to do this and avoid being found behind the times with new technology developments.

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

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

George.Horrigan@FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

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

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

George.Horrigan@FountainheadConsultingGroup.com