Will Technology Drive Your Company’s Growth, or be the Limiting Factor?
There are so many things to consider when growing a business.
- Where will we get sufficient Sales Leads to fund financial growth?
- Are we taking on projects that are consistent with our strategic plan?
- Do we have the proper resources in place to deliver world-class products and services?
- Will our current Technology configuration and strategy drive growth, or be the limiting factor?
When I held CIO roles, my mission was very clear “Technology will drive growth, not be the limiting factor.” I ensured we had adequately sized and protected Technology offerings, qualified team members and external partners, and security to protect Intellectual Assets from unauthorized access. If done successfully, we could bring in orders, schedule manufacturing, process orders, manage inventory, pick and ship products, send out invoices, account for all transactions, close the books, and pay the people that did all this work. Whether a CIO is present or not, businesses of all sizes have the same issues. It all comes down to managing People, Processes, and Technology. Small businesses experience the same pain as their larger counterparts. They just have less People over which to spread the work. Processes are equally as complex, just maybe not as well documented and formal. But, how are you doing with the management of your Technology? Answer these 10 Technology Health questions:
- Do you have adequate security strategies? How are you protecting your company from Viruses, Malware, and unauthorized intrusion?
- How are you protecting your Intellectual Capital from unauthorized access by internal and external actors? How much of your Business Confidential information resides on a Mobile Device?
- Do you have a solid data backup strategy? How often do you test it?
- Are your Technology assets adequately protected from natural or self-inflicted disasters? Do you test your ability to recover? How do you assess and remediate Risk?
- How often do you evaluate hardware for obsolescence? Are all software offerings legally licensed? Do you have sufficient storage and processing capacity to grow your business?
- Are you using the proper mission critical applications (CRM, HRIS, ERP/Financials, etc.)? Are team members adequately trained on all required hardware and software, and cross-trained to fill in when needed?
- Do team members have access to the information they need to solve problems and drive growth?
- Do you have formal Policies in place that document Standard Operating Procedures and Acceptable Usage? How do you handle violations?
- Are you using Technology to collaborate with prospects and customers (Email, Mobile Apps, Cloud, Social Media)? Are you exploiting Technology to find, contact, close, manage, and deliver opportunities for business growth?
- Do you ever turn away business because you are not Technologically prepared for some opportunities?
If you answered “I don’t know” to any of these questions, you may be at risk of Technology being a limiting factor. What can you do as a Business Owner? Consider the following calls to action:
- Evaluate your Technology environment to ensure it is consistent and complimentary with your strategic initiatives. Are you in growth or acquisition mode? Do you have the Technology capacity?
- How are you using Technology to drive or remediate your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats? Start by performing a SWOT Analysis.
- Make a Technology Review part of your Strategic Planning exercises.
- Protect your Intellectual Capital. Start by listing them, then add ideas for how to secure them.
- Make an honest assessment of your ability to do this yourself. Do you want help? Click on the email link below under “Contact Us”. Help is literally 1 click away.