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“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the next best time is now”. – Chinese Proverb

Achieve greater success in execution, increased efficiency and a new level of differentiation both internal and external to your business.

As some businesses have already established their strategic objectives for this year, others are still planning their strategy. Regardless of where you are in planning, the best time to involve your Information Technology department is NOW. I am not suggesting that technology takes the place of business strategy (read “Strategy Eats Technology for Breakfast”). I am however suggesting that technology can significantly aid in the execution of strategic initiatives ranging from business development to workforce management.

You will see me write about disruptors repeatedly. As we observe entire business models and industries become reinvented, or “disrupted,” we cannot discard the driving factors of disruption. In my recent article, I wrote about legacy sales models and highlighted the needs of current prospects and customers. Similarly, we must remember that our employees, customers and business partners want easy. If you are operating on a legacy platform today, what happens when your competitor reinvents themselves, or maybe even the industry? What internal inefficiencies are employees dealing with due to inadequate workflow technologies?

Your IT staff or IT business partners can help you be first to market with leading technologies.

Let’s assume you are a manufacturing business for a moment. Are you incorporating IoT “Internet of Things” sensors into your products? If you could, is it possible that these sensors could report information back to a system analyzing the efficiency of the products you sell? For many of those who have purchased a new vehicle in the past several years, you may get a monthly vehicle report. The report might include information such as tire pressure, mileage, oil life, recall information, etc.

Regardless of your business, step back and put yourself in your employees, customers, and business partners shoes. Better yet, talk to them. You may be surprised at how willing people are to help you help them.

  • What are their pain points with your product or service?
  • If they could change anything, what would it be?
  • How much time do they spend operating, maintaining, or otherwise manually integrating with your product?

Can any of the above be automated? Gain feedback, talk to your CIO and develop a winning strategy, together!

From manufacturing to retail, there is significant room to reinvent your interactions. From mobile applications to proactive reporting and analytics, you can leverage technology to improve the lives of people and increase efficiencies. With an estimated 2.4 billion smart devices by 2018 and 80 billion connected IoT devices by 2025, technology has become a leading factor in interacting with employees, customer and business partners alike.

Make your CIO an essential part of your business strategy today. When coupling today’s technology with your industry knowledge, maybe your business will be the next disruptor.

My goal is to intrigue thoughts and actions among business professionals. Please don’t hesitate to connect with me for ideas and strategic conversations!

2.4B smart devices will be in operation by 2018. (source: IDC, Smartphones to Drive Double-Digit Growth of Smart Connected Devices in 2014 and Beyond, 17 June 2014, http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS24935114)
80B IoT devices connected by 2025. (source: IHS, HIS Identifies Technologies to Transform the World over Next Five)