It is probably a little simplistic to try and narrow down business problems into just a handful of categories. Having said that, when broken down into their raw components, the roadblocks for growth or realisation of your company’s vision can probably be related back to one of four distinct influencers.
Number one on many companies’ issue-lists when it comes to people, is their ability to communicate effectively with each other and across the sometimes yawning chasm of an organisational chart. Collaboration is a lovely answer in theory, but how does your business achieve it?
Thanks in part to a boom in software vendors using the term to tout features of their products, an internet search of the word “collaboration” will return between 80,000 and 150,000 results, depending on which browser you use.
Despite the current buzz, collaboration is something business has been practicing since the dawn of commerce. What has evolved are the tools available to perfect the art of working together. Without well planned implementation, training and a shift in process however, investments in such tools can go unfulfilled.
Modern day collaboration calls for organisations to understand and evaluate tools at their disposal and to understand it’s less about technology and more about results. The goal needs to be the creation of clear conversations that are decoupled from the usual departmental silos and empower both the individual and the team.
This takes more than simply installing the latest software. It requires a level of expertise in recognising the change technology should bring and adapting people to new ways of thinking.
It’s easy to get side-tracked by discussions around servers, databases, backups, networks, platforms, cloud and other topics positioned in the infrastructure layer.
These themes only deal with where data is residing. They do not see data as information, or concern themselves with the quality of information or the role it plays as a critical asset within an organisation.
Bad, dirty, duplicated, inaccurate data is not just an IT problem. It’s a business problem that has implications for all stakeholders who need to have confidence that the systems they depend on will deliver consistent, valid and accurate information, when and where they need it.
Many barriers to progression are caused by antiquated or bloated processes. It’s easy to see why when you think about it. A business process is essentially a set of inputs that churn through a mechanism (a business unit) and result in a set of outputs. Whether you deliver goods or services, the processes your deliverables need to go through in order to get out the door directly affect your bottom line.
It takes courage and determination to drive process change, because what you are really asking is for people to change how they do things and this can be met with fear and resistance. However, those companies who face their fears and focus on business process improvement through automation and re-engineering can (and do) experience a significant and positive transformation.
Not being able to see what’s around the corner is scary for business. Nobody has a crystal ball and being blindsided can be catastrophic for business. Technology doesn’t provide the magic bullet, but it can bolster a company’s ability to mine their own information as well as tap into a mass of data that grows daily and at a startling pace.
Insight can help overcome business problems and give a company their edge, by fostering innovation, delivering clarity around performance metrics and predicting customers’ behavioural trends.
In our recent article on business intelligence, we covered off on some of the ways that technology is gearing up to deliver insight for companies of all sizes. There is little doubt that those organisations who learn to harness the wealth of data at their fingertips will perform better than their competitors who do not.
Understanding the intricacies of the relationship between these four influencers – people, data, process and insight – is key when it comes to business optimisation. To speak with a Freshmethod expert on how these four influencers can be optimised in your business, give us a call today.
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