In this simple question, you have three of the original pieces of string for management – New technologies, business strategies, and IT strategies. This is a case of multiple integrated decision making and can be on an epic scale. The crucial need is for clarity and depth of analysis to manage the strategic and implementation continuum.
Let’s be clear about this – New technologies can and do deliver exceptional values for businesses. However – A lot can go wrong, even at the early stages. The innocent-sounding phrase “implementing new technologies” alone can include a virtual dictionary of issues. These range from major financial commitments, significant operational changes, real-time business needs, and not too surprisingly, many possible related train wrecks of various kinds.
This is very serious stuff. Add to the basic string issues the processes of creating the driving business strategies, and core functional issues from start to finish. You’re looking at a whole bandwidth of possible DIY dysfunctions, implementation bottlenecks, and the risk of big costs.
The implementation of tech and strategies, in fact, has become a default management science of itself. There’s a surprising reason for that situation – Even now, after so many generations of new tech, there are runtime minefields for implementation.
Research is still indicating some rather gruesome issues for the implementation process:
- Efficiency problems
- Work quality
- Overshooting deadlines
If that all looks dangerously messy to you, it is. Recent (2019) studies show that each separate issue might include 33%-71% implementation problems of various kinds. Cost is obviously an instant hit for management, but there are also risks of high levels of possible operational dysfunctions. The net effect is costs added to costs, plus additional costs of time.
The golden rule for implementation is Get It Right From The Start. Planning and proper oversight can avoid the issues and dodge the cost bullets. The good news is that it can all be done well and on budget.
Clarity is critical in IT implementation
You can see where “clarity” has a rightful top priority in the implementation process. This level of implementation is very rarely if ever a simple plug-and-play progression of change.
The issues include:
Business strategies may relate to new markets, a new and/or expanding customer base, new services, new products, and new business systems to match business evolution. This strategic process is where the demand for new tech and new IT are created.
It’s well worth looking at these issue in context with each other:
- What new tech, new business systems, and new operational needs are being created?
- How do they affect existing systems?
- Specifically, what new systems, technologies, and communications are required?
- What staff training is required?
- What back-end IT resources and assets are needed?
- What IT support do your new systems require?
- What about reporting, management dashboards, project management, etc?
- Do you need to factor in Cloud operations and online business needs?
There’s no mysticism in this highly objective, strongly focused, strategic setup. A good business idea can be well supported at the inception stage. Nothing is overlooked. The emphasis is on good working options, clear metrics, and good costing.
IT strategy needs an equally high level of clarity. IT needs far more than a shopping list. IT also has to factor in new technologies, matching business systems to expanded operational needs, and more:
- What IT framework is best for the new strategies?
- What technologies need to be implemented?
- How do the new technologies impact existing business systems?
- What can and can’t be done with existing systems?
- What’s the right support strategy to cover business needs?
- How do you evergreen IT and technologies to ensure efficiencies and minimise redundancy of systems?
There’s a potentially nasty hit here for businesses in the systems issues. It may sound predictable at first:
- New tech often escalates the demand for new business systems. Simple as it sounds, new tech, software, and hardware create new requirements for the overall operational IT framework. Some painstaking work assessing future needs is absolutely essential to avoid major clangers with systems operations and future costs.
- Some older systems, including basics like customer online interfaces, simply may not survive the new tech and IT needs for long. Older business systems and IT systems may be too close to the end of their shelf lives and unable to progress over time. That means replacement costs and downtime in many cases.
- The other risk is related to proper management of performance. Performance is always an issue with new systems. New tech, IT and business systems need to be clearly assessed in terms of delivery values. The best way to ensure that is with rigorous professional assessment at all levels. This is a holistic process – Every system needs to prove it can deliver performance metrics to meet strategic goals, improve productivity, eliminate waste, and manage costs.
Implementation as risk management – Alignment
Alignment is a major control factor in managing the many issues and risks of implementation. It means quite literally fitting together the entire process of IT, systems, acquisition, and meeting business goals.
Alignment is a true precision methodology, fortunately for the peace of mind of all involved. Alignment is all about eliminating uncertainties, managing risk, and focusing on best quality outcomes.
The alignment process can be considered as an advanced checklist process, focused entirely on meeting business goals:
- Matching technologies and systems with business strategy needs.
- Evaluating best practice IT, support, and technology needs and system mixes. (This is a proper functional evaluation – Can system XYZ do the job the way we want it done, etc. Does it work well with the new tech and systems, and so on.)
- Assessing support, maintenance, and future upgrade needs through the evaluations.
- Proper consideration of business system needs, literally to the point of exploring user experience, training, accounts, and similar related core business needs.
- Cost analysis can be highly efficient, accurately targeting implementation values. (That’s one potentially very expensive piece of string that management can eliminate early in the process with good assessments.)
As you can see, this methodology comes with multiple controls built in. Nothing is omitted in the alignment process. These checklist points are all about practical running system needs but are also conducted specifically in context with strategy and implementation. It’s a particularly good oversight method and crosscheck.
Please note – The alignment process is crucial, and has a high-value function in the overall implementation process. It’s a very effective quality control. Each technological and IT element of the new business strategy is fitted into the alignment. Each must deliver a perfect fit with the strategies, as well as the required IT, systems, and technologies.
Managing the strategies? Get the experts!
If you’re developing strategies and/or looking at your implementation needs, please be aware – Best practice is to call in the IT professionals. Even the most competent, most alert, and toughest business minds need proper technical backup.
These experts are the instant one-stop solution. Highly experienced, they know the IT and tech markets. These professionals will anticipate possible problems at all levels, from overall IT to top quality software, business systems, and more. They already know which are the good business systems. They know exactly what IT support will be needed.
Another major point – IT professionals also set very high quality standards when assessing new technologies and systems. These standards effectively eliminate the risk of underperforming tech.
(If you’ve seen the sad menageries of new tech in outdated or inadequate systems, none of which work properly, you’ll know why these experts are so highly valued. These guys do NOT tolerate substandard assets.)
Those are just the basic considerations. In practice, your IT experts can also deliver:
- Proper cost evaluations through better market knowledge and a current knowledge base regarding all aspects of technologies.
- Business continuity – Staying functional while you’re implementing your new strategies.
- Effective, reliable assessments of proposed IT and tech solutions. This is a potentially huge time and money saving asset when you need it.
- Technological performance precision metrics, which are true currency in costing new technologies and major system initiatives.
- System analyses for current and future needs.
- Effective support and guidance regarding technologies of all kinds.
- “Custom” solutions to manage specific in-house needs.
- Real-time problem-solving before and during implementation.
- Hands-on help as required.
The implementation process is truly complex by nature. There are many demanding multi-level processes involved. Management may need instant access to dependable support for any number of these processes. A single phone call can get you all the help you need whenever you want it.
Need a hand with your implementation?
MaxIT is a full-spectrum IT consultancy service. We work with a highly diverse range of businesses around Australia. If you’re looking for expertise across the entire bandwidth of implementation, just call us. Our experienced team can help with everything you need, from the setup stage to completion.
We do everything from custom IT for brave new startups to high-end corporate achievers in major league businesses. We provide Cloud services, security, consultancy and IT services as required, when you need it. Whether you need a hand with the basics or a comprehensive IT analysis of an exciting but complex new business initiative, all you need to do is talk to us.
Give us a call anytime or contact us online. We’ll be happy to assist.