Aaargh – stop selling me technology

That constant barrage of sales calls, emails and even that occasional snail mail or Fedex package all wanting to talk about a growing set of technologies.  Whether it be the latest software package, servers, flash, converged, cognitive analytics and on and on and on.

finance-tech

Consider the above a list of just most of the accounting technologies out there.  Multiple this by 1,000 fold for all vendors who want you as a customer.  multiple

Now multiple that by the number of companies who are focused on calling directly into your accounting, operations, marketing and other department selling them services.

How do deal with this onslaught of activity is truly incomparable to any other function in the business.  business-function           Here is a process that helps me.

No, not the one where I never ever answer my work phone.

Categorize all activities, projects and strategies around simplify, business process optimize, customer satisfaction and compliance.

  • Simplify – removing complexity from your technology delivery whether it be infrastructure, applications, access… simplify
  • Business process optimizing – focusing on profit.  Removing costs aka waste from business processes optimize
  • Customer satisfaction – my way of saying generate revenue – new net or more per customercustomer_satisfaction-650x300

 

 

 

 

  • Compliance – the one you never have a choice to do or not to do and while you wish it was otherwise always becomes the top priority whether it be PCI, HIPPA, Sarbanes or othercompliance

Not just the IT projects, but I gather input from the finance, marketing and other functions and put them in the above categories.

Finance is easy – almost all Compliance or Business Optimization.  They they are attracted to Simplify.

Marketing yes Customer Satisfaction is their sweet spot, but again Simplify can work especially if it decreases time to delivery new services to Marketing.

Over all this pushes the complexity of cloud/public/private/hybrid, analytics, mobility, security, converged, hyperconverged, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and so on off the table and focuses your attention, the functional areas and evidentially your key suppliers on talking about business outcomes.

open-for-business

 

 

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Buzzy buzzword – business outcomes

In both technology and business buzzwords are an annually right of activity.  From the heady days of GUI to Cloud, Personas and more and more I read and hear Business Outcomes.  outcomes

With IoT, Cognitive Analytics and Cloud along with the growing list of applications as services delivering business processes business outcomes has gone from just a buzzword to what gets us past the separation of business and technology.   b-and-t

Outcomes (business is redundant) pushes technology professionals to fully understand the direct link technology has the business driving out of the data center, past the help desk and align one on one with how the business actually is successful.

Whether it is

  • Customer acquisition / retention
  • Launching a new product
  • or simply shipping and invoicing

conversationIt is a harder conversation to start as we are locked in our old habits of speeds, feeds, storage capacity, security and the dreaded maintenance costs (ugh).

However, do a google search on business outcomes and you will see links from Harvard, Cisco and Forrester.

They will talk about results, desired outcomes and deliverables.

Me I like the simple definition of outcome.  A consequence.  consequences

You can talk about consequences.

What happens is your business does not add new customers or starts losing others?

What would be the impact on your business if you reduce new product development/launch by half?

How would that improve your customer satisfaction and bottom line if you improved shipping and invoicing to 95% or better?

These are consequences – real, solid consequences that we all can understand and talk about.  We have already seen business analyst move out of IT and into the business and vice versa.  Transform or evolve this to alignment by consequences for new successes.  target

Customer acquisition / retention teams or new product launch teams they should have broad cross capability and authority for applications, technology and especially changing processes and roles.

My recommendations to business is identify those in your organization and new hires that have potential for cross-business/technology capability.  Anyone with Lean, Six Sigma or Agile development experience (I will argue with you the value of certifications are low compared to actual experience) are nice indicators to look for in people.  best-people

Also, anyone who has that annoying habit of pointing out what will go wrong with something.  Loath these people, but always want one on my team.

Regardless outcomes are path in one manner to the end of IT, but it is the next step in evolution that is inevitable.