Picture this, the year is 2019 and you’re an experienced IT manager with a serious case of The Fear™. The Fear™, in this case, is a devilish cocktail of brand-new digital transformation KPIs that require you to slash budgets in half yet increase operational efficiency by half; notwithstanding managing the crushing self-doubt caused by the currently-in-progress job coup led by the young and talented IT nerd with the cool box frames, trendy low fade haircut and binary tattoo on his wrist.
Don’t panic at the disco though as with a little proactive planning and pragmatic decision making, you can send the IT-fashionista-cum-Che-Guevara-lite packing all the way back to 60s communism, whilst you sit back, relax and become filthy rich and fat (and therefore successful in olden times).
To put the kibosh on The Fear™, you must first understand your CIO’s priorities – which may or may not look something like this:
Business trends SME CIOs must respond to in 2019
- Growth / Market Share: 28%
- Digital Transformation: 14%
- Innovation, New Products and Services: 10%
- Technology Improvements: 8%
- Workforce Focus: 8%
(Source: Gartner – Business Trends SME CIOs Must Respond To, CIO Survey, Nov 18)
Curiouser and curiouser, but then again is it? It reads exactly how you’d expect a list of CIO priorities to read: make profit – check, get future-proofed – check, what else can we sell – check. But apart from the obvious, what else can we take from this? Hold on, wait, I’m having a vision:
Technologies that help SMEs differentiate and win
- Business Intelligence Analytics 21%
- Digital Marketing 10%
- Cloud Services 10%
- Infrastructure Data Centre 7%
- ERP 7%
- CRM 6%
- Mobile Applications 5%
(Source: Gartner – Technology That Help SMEs Differentiate and win, CIO Survey, 2018)
Jinkies! I think we’re onto something readers. So, on the one hand, we have the trends that our dear CIOs need to address and on the other, we know which technologies an SME needs to leverage to be successful.
So like any good mathematician, we simply multiply those two lists together and look at the results – and if that sounds stupid then it’s because it is a bit, however the reality is that we can actually use this basic ideology (data backed decisions) to help build the foundations of a successful strategy.
Focused on growing market share? Get on that digital marketing! Need to digitally transform your business? Sort out your cloud services and infrastructure. See, it works kind of.
In business, we’re used to over-complicating our strategies to look intelligent and appear busy in front of our great leaders – the challenge here is that we end up with a project list the size of the universe that we can’t realistically deliver without getting Brian Cox or Neil deGrasse Tyson on the payroll.
The key is to be purposefully busy and drive projects that have tangible outcomes. Build your strategy around 3-5 high impacting objectives and tailor them to your key stakeholders dreams and wishes. Then simply use data and logic to drive your tactical initiatives, deliver results and quash The Fear™.
Or y’know, you could just get Excell to manage your IT, that will also work.
We guess that the not-so-secret point here is that there are certain paradigms rooted within strategy that can be universally applied across industry and job functions that always work one hundred percent of the time – unless of course that they don’t, in which case we accept no responsibility. See ya.