The middle market is poised for growth, but is your company? A recent study found that:
- The nation’s nearly 200,000 middle-market companies plan to hire 1.4 million new workers over the next 12 months, which is half a million more jobs than projected at the beginning of 2014.
- Mid-sized firms are projecting 4.5 percent revenue growth for the next 12-month period, a modest increase over last quarter’s projection at 4.3 percent.
Is your company tracking toward these trends? Most importantly, does your technology planning address current and future business needs?
In today’s digital landscape, accounting for emerging technologies that streamline current processes, enhance productivity and boost profitability, will position you and your company for growth and a bright future.
In the past few blogs, we provided an overview of a methodology that facilitates the kind of strategic technology planning we’re talking about. The Think, Build, Run model has three interlocking stages to help you assess, address and implement:
Think: Assess business processes and technology against your business goals. As the business evolves, what technology would help it to achieve these goals?
Build: Identify what needs to be improved and how to improve it through new technologies as well as a support structure that syncs up with your IT strategy and business plan.
Run: Implement a proactive IT support structure and technology plan that increase technology uptime and help avoid unforeseen and unmanageable setbacks.
This method is designed to promote a comprehensive IT strategy, one that considers where your business is today and what you need to do tomorrow to extend your limits and edge out the competition.
The technology advancements below, when introduced into your organization through the Think, Build, Run model, have the potential to significantly impact your company’s current and future direction:
What is it? A scalable and cost-effective solution that enables an anytime-anywhere working environment, reduces onsite hardware and increases computing capabilities.
How can I leverage it? With software and business applications hosted in the cloud, your employees have the freedom to work anywhere. A seamless relationship between onsite, at-home and mobile work environments allows your employees to be more productive. With less hardware on premises and more freedom to work, your business saves money and empowers employees to work when and where they’re most comfortable, which enhances happiness and performance.
Software-Defined Apps And Infrastructure
What is it? A development solution through rules, models and code that may be dynamically configured through the application itself. APIs, for example, are one way of satisfying changing demands in an agile manner.
How can I leverage it? Businesses like Uber use mobile applications to drive business in new markets where they lack a physical location. Uber created a mobile application that allows riders to request rides from local drivers, hosting a marketplace much like eBay to connect people who want with people who have. This software- and application-based approach allowed Uber to scale the technology to meet business opportunities in 54 countries in only five years. A break away from static to dynamic models affords other businesses the same possibilities.
What is it? A split approach between maintaining day-to-day business objectives and introducing innovative technologies through iterative development and rapid delivery.
How can I leverage it? The IT department of old is out. Businesses that want to stay competitive need to embrace two modes of operation and spending. The traditional mode advances regular activities, while the agile mode enables you to build on opportunities instead of letting them pass you by because your team is busy with other projects. A continuous flow of new ideas, implemented through an agile approach, fosters new business.
There’s always risk when embracing new technologies and new markets. Tina Nunno, Vice President of Gartner, says, “In digital business, you must change your relationship with risk. Digital risk is not something to mitigate. Instead, embrace risk. Taking risk is a conscious leadership decision. Treat your ability to manage specific risks as a competency and capability. Focus, so you can see what risks are worth taking. Accepting risk is okay; ignoring risk is tragic.”
The great thing about the Think, Build, Run model is that it allows your company to assess, address and implement so that the risks are measured against the opportunities. The key is having the foresight to plan accordingly.