Business Technology Planning
Our Business Technology Planning Service is about business as much as technology. We focus on your business first to identify and prioritize where you have opportunities to materially improve your results, capabilities, and productivity. We do this by facilitating reviews for the key functions of your business with your team to identify business requirements for each function. We identify and provide high level plans for technology possibilities for meeting these requirements. The resultant planning document outlines the feasible range of alternatives with implementation costs providing you with short and long term alignment options for your business objectives. Equally important, we outline how the results will be measured, so you can make decisions with confidence and improve your technology return on investment. This process delivers an objective, concise, and comprehensive written business technology plan outlining the needs, perspectives, and relative ROI for each business need.
Session I – Strategy and Strategy Execution
Your overall business strategy is walked through to identify and/or clarify your strategic objectives and competitive advantages. Our process starts with thought leadership collaboration tools to get the team on the same page regarding strategy. This is followed by discussion questions to clarify your business’s foundational purpose. We then review your Mission, Values, and Vision statements, updating if necessary. What business you are in? Who are your current customers? Why do they buy your products and services? What potential prospects and markets are emerging? Etc. A “working” SWOT analysis is developed to ensure opportunities and competitive threats are surfaced and discussed. Depending on the planning experience of your team, size of your business, industry you are in, and challenges you are facing, tools are injected to help your team improve strategic synergy. Strategic alternatives are identified, explored, and given a written disposition. Alternatives deemed worth evaluating further are explored in more detail to determine business requirements for what would be needed to enable and support the alternative. Strategy execution plans are developed to balance the needs of day to day execution priorities while also achieving strategic objectives. Scorecards, leading metrics, goal mapping, and gamification are presented as possibilities to engrain a winning cadence.
Session II – Marketing and Sales
The degree of automation and integration with and between marketing and sales is evolving very rapidly today. Marketing automation has become a necessity to stay competitive in the internet age. Many organizations are struggling to generate new customers as traditional methods such as telemarketing, industry networking, and direct mail are becoming less and less effective. A megatrend shift is well underway in how businesses and individuals find, investigate, and select what they buy and who they buy from. We assess your capabilities against the best practice of closed loop marketing and sales automation to identify gaps and surface opportunities for improvement. Our marketing review looks at web sites, inbound, outbound, blog strategies, and content development processes. We update you regarding the latest developments in AdWords, SEO, and mobility. Sales processes and approaches are compared to sales automation best practices; lead tracking, pipeline management, representative activity tracking, and sales processes are evaluated. Social media usage, monitoring, and feasibility are considered in the context of your business model. Solution options to automate and improve your marketing and sales results are recommended for consideration.
Session III – Operations
Business process automation, business intelligence, and cloud based, power user managed applications are delivering new levels of business technology ROI. These new technologies are delivering material increases in capabilities and efficiency; and often are able to deliver all this at a lower cost. Two key trends have converged to augment the continuous falling cost of technology: Cloud computing and power user managed applications. These two shifts are aimed directly at lowering the total cost of ownership of technology by reducing the need to employ information technology support personnel while simultaneously increasing business agility.
We review your current operational software applications and assess their capabilities and cost to operate against leading alternatives. We assess your software provider’s financial health, development roadmap, and their ability to deliver competitive version upgrades. We rank them against industry leading software alternatives for your business. We also include estimates of the time and cost to switch to give you a clear picture of the useful life of your existing applications.
With these details clearly mapped out for you, we deliver a clear picture of operational options to a more productive future.
Session IV – Financial
Business Technology Planning for the financial needs and perspectives of your business leads to a better performing organization. Results focus on monitoring financial risk along with how to evolve an efficient financial system. This session starts with a quick assessment of your current financial systems and explores where the needs and opportunities are to improve efficiencies. A plan is developed that provides a roadmap to grow into a highly integrated financial system that enables adaptive budgeting, planning, and financial reporting. Additionally, financial performance metrics are identified that can be measured in real time or short cycle. We assess your executive team’s current financial knowledge and build development plans to fill any gaps that may exist. Our objective is to plan how to build a better financial management system, one scales well as your business grows.
Session V – Technology
Technology presents itself as a problem and as a solution.
The problem is rooted in the costs to buy the products, implementation risk, and the subsequent actual return on investment. Many technology solution providers habitually over promise and under deliver. Further, many businesses overpay for their business technology as they are inefficient at technology procurement and/or they trust the responsibility to a provider that doesn’t have their best interest first in mind. Contracting for business technology implementation services is also an areas to review. Businesses have a wide range of understanding of their negotiating position, some habitually overpay material amounts of money, and worse, accept a one-sided agreement for the risk of implementation. They lack the industry insider expertise and are too busy to drive a bidding process that would protect them. One solution to this management issue is to utilize a consultant that will act as your trusted advisor, one that has the experience, integrity, and savvy to professionally represent your business. Most firms understand this model for legal services, some for financial services, but few utilize it for technology services. We deliver client procurement services on an as-needed basis and can add a lot of value by representing you during purchases.
The solution technology promises is it can deliver major competitive advantages, especially when your organization maximizes their competency with utilization of well-planned and implemented solutions. When you are operating this way, business seems to take less effort, results improve, and the business grows. When your technology isn’t delivering its contribution to competitive advantage, business is like a grind, it feels like you are swimming upstream. The issue is much easier to see from outside the organization, as you can assess what each individual does with their time every day compared to what they should be. They likely know they are doing work that should be automated, but have given up on affecting change to be more productive. This is common in organizations that under plan.
The key to getting a good return on investment is periodically and comprehensively plan across all of your functional areas and generate business requirements for technology solution consideration. This holistic view of what your business is planning to accomplish and what it needs to help get there enables a planning roadmap to be generated that puts all the pieces together in the right sequence. Executing the plan well time and again will deliver a sustainable competitive advantage, as your business leverages its core competency in utilizing business technology.
Whether you have been planning for twenty years or this is your first planning cycle, our process will efficiently identify possibilities for improving your business’s competitiveness and results.
Because the scope and fees for this service vary based on the breath and degree of review detail you are seeking, the next step is meet and discuss your business and technology opportunities and challenges. From that discussion, we will provide you with an appropriately tailored Business Technology Planning Proposal for your consideration.