Digital practices and processes are struggling to keep up with the demand of consumer expectations for more advance and hyperconnected experiences. As a result, the life cycle of technology is growing shorter. Each new development or improvement only spurs another, and there is unrelenting pressure for IT departments across the nation to make full use of the latest program or software, in hopes of gaining a competitive edge. However, many of the services digital developments bring are still singular in nature, with cybersecurity, data analytics, and automation being just a few of the aspects that have an operating platform and process of their own. Many are seeking platforms that can connect cross-industry digital operations onto one cloud-based infrastructure.
1. The Need to Modernize
When it comes to your computer’s IT system, you don’t really have a choice when it comes to upgrading or modernizing. While you may have just installed the system a few years ago, by today’s standards, it has become obsolete. The IT realm is changing, with more than just tools and functions being redesigned. Entire pieces of equipment are changing, with sensors and Internet connections more commonly embedded to improve productivity. Software isn’t something you buy at the office supply store, but downloaded from the cloud and accessed via a monthly subscription plan. You really can’t survive (at a competitive level) in any industry without having the latest and greatest in tech services or devices. Even beyond the competition is the demand by stakeholders, investors, and consumers who want more from your company. As Hari Ravichandran has experienced, your business can’t thrive unless you implement lasting change.
2. Start With Customer Value
While there are many reasons why you should keep your technology up-to-date, ensuring consistent value to the consumer should be a strong motivator. The more efficiently your company operates, the better the customer experience, the higher the product value, and generally speaking, the lower the cost of production. Develop a business strategy that clearly demonstrates how the IT system will influence areas of sales, productivity, user experience, and even employee recruiting.
3. Diversify Training and Implementation
While you will need your IT department to do a lot of the leg work for implementing a new software program or integrating new equipment, you should expand the training to other strategic personnel if your whole company is to benefit from the changes. Modern technologies can impact areas of research and development, accounting, customer interaction, production, and hiring. It is important that each department is fully immersed in training practices and strategies the maximize the use of tech. Bringing other departments into the conversation allows a frame of reference to be established when evaluating expectations against results. Some areas of implementation will take more work than others, but when everyone is involved in the process, it becomes easier to allocate and share resources more effectively in areas that need extra help.
4. Develop a Simple Architecture
The IT systems of years past used to incorporate complex networks of technologies, with each department or task getting its own unique application or system. Making changes in one area would require systematic changes implemented in other areas just to keep things operating in harmony. The duplicity of some of the changes and the effort to work around others would be a waste of company resources and take considerable financial investment. If you want to keep your new infrastructure working long into the future, regardless of how many upgrades come out, you need to have a simplified architecture that spans the entirety of business operations. Modern platforms tend to have standardized codes and integration capabilities, leaving a company free to mix and match certain interfaces for seamless operations. While a more advanced software design or infrastructure could potentially cost more than the separate components you are used to purchasing, the long-term benefit of cost-savings comes from the upgrade and improvements that only need to be done with one system. There is also less training and equipment required when a simple architectural IT design is used.
5. Design a Flexible Approach
A modern organization will approach the changes in consumer demand, regulatory adjustments, and innovation in product development with flexibility. The same approach must be true of the IT systems. Although functionality shouldn’t be compromised, a modern, sustainable tech strategy and the system should be able to rapidly adjust and accommodate to the connectivity and configuration needs of the environment. To do this, seek out platforms that can handle multiple plug-and-play functions that currently exist or may be coming in the near feature. Respond to areas of concern with innovation, reorienting your operation to improve the customer experience or employee tasks.
Though your focus may have been limited to developing customer loyalty or shoring up your bottom line, the IT strategy that you have in place can influence how successful your business will be. With the increasing need for advanced technologies to improve the accuracy and speed of transactions, your business can’t afford to lag behind the times with archaic operating systems.