With so many easily accessible apps and services on offer with free, freemium and paid for versions of what looks startlingly like pretty much the same thing, how does a business owner, or IT manager for that matter, ever know what's actually going on under the bonnet of their tech? asks Gary David Smith, CEO and Co-founder, Prism Solutions (www.prism.uk.com).
“Ultimately 'out of sight out of mind' plays a large part here with many owners and techies only knowing the detail about something once something has gone wrong,” said Smith. So how can we be productive and empower business start-ups or scale-ups through their tech? “First, we must set out to forensically understand the business and the people within it. If we become properly attuned to the product, the business plan and the culture you can slowly start to understand precisely where IT empowerment could potentially take place or may well be needed,” says Smith. “In many instances, the differences between start-up business owners and scale-up business owners can be truly enormous. Trying to micromanage something on a budget of absolutely nothing is as much an art as trying to put a major plan into place to scale up with continuity and a sustainable approach.
So, understand exactly where you are in this part of the journey and then and only then decide on what's most important. Is it compliance, continuity, sales growth, finances, audit trail, customer experience, security or all of the above?” continued Smith. “Once you know what you want to address and why, then you can look at the who, and also what this means to them and apply the necessary IT resource in that particular area.”
Understanding the impact of change brought about through IT transformation – positive or less – is also imperative and can have a massive effect on how projects are perceived and managed ongoing within your organization.
As Smith explains, one challenge of the change and empowerment is how to integrate internal and third-party data sources across silos. Doing so creates the ability to prepare, visualize, and analyse more data to make faster, smarter business decisions. The visualization and presentation of this data can show business challenges and conundrums in different ways to different stakeholder. The skill set to prepare and analyse this data is particularly scarce or totally unavailable in many businesses, right across organizations big and small.
“With massive data growth, businesses everywhere are struggling to intelligently capture, organize, and analyse data. “In a recent Forrester report, 59% of respondents stated that leveraging big data and analytics is going to be a high priority for their organisations this coming year,” says Smith. "All businesses need to be data-driven and therefore need their technology to intelligently be doing real-time analytics. From sales data to satisfaction out puts, the quicker you know the quicker you can pivot.”
Extreme competitive pressures and fast moving business environments require a streamlined approach to turning big data into transformative insights and action. One thing is clear,” says Smith. “everyone working in organizations these days, across all sectors, must be empowered to have access to data and the understanding of what that means in order to drive action and progress within their roles. That starts with empowering the people with the resources that meet needs of businesses in an increasingly competitive, data saturated business environment.”