January is like the first blank page in a new notebook. Your approach and actions can set the stage for success for your business for the entire year. And getting your business off to a great start in a new year requires planning, critical thinking, and dedication to executing your strategy.
Business leaders working on business planning faced with important decision: Would they be willing to accept same results as 2019 or they need different outcome in 2020 i.e more revenue, business growth and control expenses?
In 2020, your approach to technology will have much higher positive/negative impact on your profit margin compare to previous years. Recent studies have shown that IT Process and IT Strategy to align technology with business process and goals, will control and remove soft cost and improve business performance.
Why review 2019 business performance: Only way to measure progress
If you are not satisfied with business results in 2019, take a look at your approach to technology or IT department, this might have much more impact on profit margin then you anticipate. All technology related cost (Hard Cost) is small cost compare to all other business expenses such as payroll, office expenses etc, however technology related soft cost (impact on business) is much higher compare to hard cost and directly impacts profit margins. Understanding soft cost and strategy to control and then reduce soft cost will improve profit margin significantly.
Here’s top 3 items to consider to review for 2019 while planning for 2020:
Review Operational Efficiencies – Business Requirements:
It is important to ask your internal customers — your staff and yourself — what they need and what is a priority for them for the next year, in addition to considering business requirements from IT. Business and staff priorities shift over time, so it is important to check in with your team to find out what are their priorities and how it aligns with the organizational goals. Also consider following:
- Do you have list to tasks, projects or activities that were not completed in 2019?
- Do have a process to measure and keep track of operational efficiencies for your IT department?
While you review list of these items, analyze workload and reasons why outstanding work was not completed. The issues or reasons may reveal true shortfall of your current IT Department. As most often expected, cost or your investment in IT Department is usually not an issue but issue may lie in skill set, IT Process & Strategy, IT resource or IT Automation and your approach to IT Department.
Review Staff Expectations and Productivity
As a business leader, one of your biggest responsibilities is to inspire other people to be the best versions of themselves. If done well, everyone on your team will not only be more productive and efficient, but also happier with their jobs. There are only a limited number of hours in a workday, and an infinite number of tasks your team has to complete. Your team’s skills are essential to business performance, but the tools they use in their work also play a huge role. As technology and business requirement changed frequently in 2019, were you able to upgrade means for staff collaboration, communication tools and more importantly have you provided employee training as expected or planned last year. If you upgrade technology or tools for your staff, did provide adequate training for technology and business process improvement?
Review process to measure Soft Cost:
Companies that actively try to reduce their soft costs are able to improve efficiencies and productivity, it also provides them competitive advantage. It helps to free up valuable time, conserve company resources and streamline operations so that employees can do what they do best. When looking to reduce your company’s costs, start first with the mindset of tackling those soft costs. Were you able to measure soft cost related items? Without measure soft cost, it’s impossible to build roadmaps and plans to improve.
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