The broad principles of business and business taught in MBA courses and consolidated by years of experience are no longer valid today. The West no longer reigns supreme, and new opportunities, like new threats, are no longer found in the East, but in the new markets of Latin America and Africa.
In these conditions, competition is increasingly fragmented, difficult to characterize and locate. The companies themselves are always finding it more difficult to define and distinguish themselves. In the absence of specific references to position, commercial and marketing departments swim in troubled waters: it is increasingly difficult to know where and how to focus efforts, especially that the expansion of emerging markets may be accompanied new constraints related to regulation and compliance.
For many companies, adapting is a matter of survival. Adaptation is increasingly seen as the opportunity to transform the business and completely rethink marketing strategies. Innovation is the key, and leaders are eager to take a fresh look at their IT environment, wondering what needs to be improved or changed. They question the very fabric of their organization, to redefine it in accordance with social, economic and political developments.They are currently transforming their infrastructure to align with their business goals and make it scalable to support their future growth, agile with high performance to ensure reliable and timely distribution of strategic applications, flexible to better manage fluctuations and ultra efficient to maximize the return on investment. Above all, they are looking for new and innovative ways to use technology to automate, realign, inform and re-evaluate all links in their operational chain.
From the point of view of IT services, using technology for the benefit of innovation is in itself an interesting issue. IT infrastructure has changed dramatically in recent years. Cloud is now a reality, as is convergence; the segmentation between fixed and mobile has disappeared and consumer practices are gaining traction in the corporate world where employees are expressing new expectations regarding the possible and desirable use of new technologies at work.
IT departments strive to balance user expectations with business needs or the constraints imposed by business; their services are increasingly integrated with the company, and no longer a separate group. Technology is the key to innovation and the transformation of the business is through the innovative use of technology.
It is interesting to note the remarkably solid foundations on which innovation seems to be based more and more. Regardless of the industry, regardless of location, business leaders have common goals that they believe are truly critical to their business. No need for incredible ingredients to concoct this potion; it is based on the concrete needs of the company and organizations of all sizes rely on it for their future success.
What are the ingredients of this magic formula? Nothing really rocket actually.
Companies are asking for help to improve their efficiency and performance; assistance in establishing a firm and flexible governance; end-to-end security, compliance and control guarantees; savings and risk sharing; capacity mobilization to increase their competitive advantage; innovation and know-how. Technology could be the way to bring all these conditions together. The use that a company makes of technology to achieve these goals is increasingly a condition for future success.
1. Efficiency and performance
The first element to consider is that of efficiency and performance, in the context of the IT infrastructure. For many companies, global software development leads to disparate systems and applications that are expensive to execute and often out of sync with business goals. In an environment where success can depend on the speed of commercialization and the functioning of the markets imposes a precision of the order of a millisecond, no company can afford to see technology become a brake on its performance.
They are therefore seeking to consolidate and streamline their systems so that everyone has quick access to information, in the simplest of times. After decades of bespoke customization, they are now focusing on standard, easy-to-deploy, fast-to-replicate solutions around the world, with proven results. (After all, a standard smartphone is right for you, is not it, what matters is what you do with it …). They are looking for service and supply models that can adapt to their changing strategy. They also want price transparency and the possibility of setting up simple and fast services.
They need an agile computing environment that is tightly aligned with their needs and helps them achieve their goals.
2. Firm but flexible governance
Once this ideal IT infrastructure is in place, the next step is governance.
It is about establishing the “Holy Trinity” of processes, tools and people, in a simple and streamlined structure that promotes the optimal exploitation of technology. Here, technology can be very useful in self-management: monitoring unexpected events, signaling areas of concern and triggering basic corrections, as part of ongoing process management that keeps the company on course. As the human aspect is equally important, the team that will exercise this governance must understand the links that unite technology to the company and strive constantly to strengthen them, not just from an operational point of view.
The most important thing for companies is that the process does not override the vision. It is important not to overly multiply the processes to the point where they get all the attention. It’s the business that counts. Ongoing performance evaluation will eliminate unnecessary processes and introduce others that are useful in helping the company move forward.
3. Security, compliance and end-to-end control
Then comes security and compliance. In our connected and globalized society, security, compliance and control are the absolute keys to success. With the ability to leverage Big Data as a key differentiator, businesses have never created, accessed, shared, and stored such large volumes of data from multiple sources. Hence the absolute necessity to protect sensitive intellectual property information (customer data, price, product information or other). Neglecting this aspect may cost money, but also in terms of image and reputation, with potentially far more lasting consequences.
Compliance is a legitimate obligation. Most standards are based on years of practical experience and serve to limit risks. Companies that do not comply with the latest standards are in fact exposed to risks. The regulatory environment also serves to balance the needs of individuals and businesses.
Although not all companies subscribe to all regulatory requirements, again, there is a legitimate reason for them to exist; also, non-compliance can result in heavy fines and, in some cases, closure of the business.
The challenge is that the regulatory environment and compliance requirements may vary from one market to another and that very few companies have the necessary in-house expertise to ensure full and consistent compliance. You may think that your data is secure, but there is no guarantee that you will pass the audit of an independent expert. These are two very different things. Instead, trust the security and compliance of your data with an experienced service provider. Thus, you can concentrate calmly on the growth of your business.
Another difficulty is the need to control intellectual property information while allowing the free exchange of information within a social communication environment.
It is also about who will control the exchange of information in the future. There is a lot of thought currently being given to identity management and confidentiality issues, which weigh on the future landscape of the company. More than a philosophical debate, the search for the right balance between the “rights” of the government, the company and the individual touches on the foundation of the social, political and economic structures of tomorrow. In addition, as employees increasingly attach importance to the values of social responsibility and brand ethics, these aspects deserve to be examined not only within the confines of the professional environment, but in the context of society as a whole.
4. Shared risk and cost reduction
The rationalization of the technological infrastructure aims to make it more efficient and profitable. The elimination of waste and redundancy is obviously common sense; doing it for future growth is the logical next step. This explains the increasingly fundamental positioning of the Cloud in IT planning. Cloud Computing combines the benefits of flexible access to computing power with the ability to freely adjust capacity up or down based on natural and seasonal cycles of activity.
In practice, this means that IT can become more responsive to the dynamics and pace of the market, with technology as a driver of development. In addition, the cloud makes it possible to move from an investment expenditure model to an operating expense model , with the positive impact that we imagine on profitability. And, of course, when companies opt for third-party cloud solutions, it’s up to them to invest in technology to keep the infrastructure up-to-date. IT departments no longer have to own and maintain the entire system, or even to know how it works: this role is outsourced.
For the enterprise, this means agility and scalability on demand, leveraging the right cloud resources when it’s needed. This model makes it possible to consider a new approach to business, where opportunities and commercial risks are essentially extended to third parties. The result is an absolute refocus on the needs of the company, plus the guarantees of the cloud provider that will meet all these needs. Regarding the Cloud, a ready-made solution is definitely excluded.
Of course, the cloud is not the only option. The business model of selective outsourcing is growing in popularity, and many companies are adopting a “business ecosystem” approach, using proven independent expertise in specialized areas such as security, hosting or management. network infrastructure, but with performance indicators firmly integrated and interconnected with the overall business strategy.
“Shared risk” is a basic requirement of these models, as technology partners are integrated into the enterprise and rewarded (or not) according to the efficiency of the technology to lead them to success.
5. Mobilize capacity: build on all assets
What matters is not what you do, but the way you do it. This is where the use of technology can be a real competitive advantage. The challenge is to offer real mobility to employees, by focusing on the phenomenon of mass consumption of technology to enable them to access information in multiple formats, on multiple terminals, anywhere and at any time. demand, and immersive video communication tools, mobile devices and social networks to improve information sharing.
Mobile device management and content delivery systems will play a crucial role in the business in the future.They are already transforming the Intranet into a secure social work space, extended to all stakeholders in the ecosystem to give them greater freedom of innovation and collaboration, and to encourage the emergence of new ideas. All this leads us to reconsider what we thought we knew about commercial practice
It’s now about tracking and analyzing customer behavior and injecting consistency into interacting with them to express customer value. The idea is to put the customer at the center of the business and make it easier for them, have instant access to information and online resources, and internal resources better aligned with opportunities. It is also about analyzing the “Big Data” that each company already has, so that we can learn lessons quickly and implement new solutions to drive improvements.
With the “thin client” approach, which wants applications to be stored and delivered from the cloud, the goal is to “mobilize” applications, make them mobile, transparently and securely, accessible on more portable devices. intelligent than traditional workstations. It’s about fostering agility, boosting productivity and transforming business opportunities.
By looking at their technology investments from a fresh perspective, businesses will be able to revolutionize their way of doing business. Technology can already have a dramatic positive impact on business operations. The key is not to be afraid to question the existing.
6. Knowledge and innovation
The last piece of the puzzle concerns innovation and know-how. Innovation can be particularly rewarding, especially if it fits fully into the business strategy and supports it.
The challenge here is clearly to leverage existing knowledge within the company and create an environment where innovation is encouraged to move forward. It is often said that men and women are the main assets of a company; unfortunately, too few companies are taking full advantage of the intellectual property they have at their disposal.
The Grail for business would be to build a culture in which employees feel that their ideas are valued, their opinion recognized and that they have a role to play in the success of the company.
Ideally, it is a collaborative enterprise culture that needs to be encouraged and again, technology can be a critical factor in the process.Social collaboration tools, unified communications solutions, information sharing tools, and interactive dashboards all have a role to play in creating an effective dialogue. Dialogue is born ideas, ideas come solutions and solutions arise new approaches that will allow the company to advance from point A to point B with a team fully involved, without even having to rely on external resources.