It could be today, tomorrow or even next year. The best time to make major improvements in your organization is not when sales are down or the creditors are knocking on the door. Successful entrepreneurs watch for positive trends and thoroughly research the latest innovations so they are fully prepared to take advantage of the next big opportunity. They adapt their business model to tackle new challenges and continually watch for better ways to run their operations, expand their customer bases and build the overall value of their organizations.
Whether shifting to managed or cloud services-based business model or expanding into new geographic regions or vertical markets, a swift, proactive change can be as stimulating as it is challenging. The extent of the transition often dictates the amount of planning that will go into making it a success. It may require a significant amount of time to properly vet each strategy, to select potential new services and suppliers, and to appropriately train your staff. Then, of course, they must carefully craft and implement the policies and procedures that make it all work smoothly, from sales and support methods to accounts receivable and other service-related processes.
While tacking all those tasks could be quite taxing on anyone, for busy IT and/or telecom managers with a long list of other critical responsibilities, it can be close to impossible. How can any one person, or even a small group, transform their business without diminishing the quality of their current service operations? For many tech firms, the simple answer is to start with a well-developed plan based on proven industry best practices.
Decide Why You Should Make the Change
There has to be a good reason for disrupting your organization and putting additional pressure on your employees and clients. No sane business manager messes with success without a worthwhile end-goal. The reasons tech companies undertake large transformational projects today are growing as quickly as the number of new technologies coming to market. From cloud and managed services to the emerging opportunities with the Internet of Things, some tech firms simply can’t take full advantage of these advances without altering key processes or their entire business model.
Of course, many of the motives behind a transformation have little or nothing to do with the latest innovations in computers. They’re often driven more by business opportunities or, in some cases, to ensure the company’s very survival. They may seek improved efficiencies, greater profitability, new portfolios or simply to solve more of their clients’ long-term business concerns. While the list of reasons for undertaking an organizational makeover is limitless, some of the more common motives include:
Market Changes: Can the firm provide the comprehensive support its key customers need? A vertical specialization or conversion to managed and/or cloud services may be in order.
Competition: Not as cost-effective as your rivals or coming in second to their comprehensive portfolios? Aggressive IT/telecom providers win by being proactive, and changing to meet the anticipated and real needs of their customers.
Product/Service Commoditization: This is where value-add matters, as firms implement the services and solutions that set them apart from big-box stores and direct providers.
New Technology/Tools: Moving from a product-centric model to the latest proactive services is more than a mind-shift. It often requires the transformation of the sales, support and management processes and personnel.
Loss of a Key Resource: Can the business thrive or even survive if a key employee is no longer there? A firm may adapt its services portfolio or its business model under these circumstances.
Regulatory Changes: Can your company help its customers comply with new laws and industry guidelines? These value-added services are typically great investments since they can help IT/telecom firms land new customers and create additional sales opportunities with existing clients.
Get to the Core of Business Transformation
This is just a small sampling of the valuable information contained in the latest white paper from the CompTIA Tech Convergence Community, “Business Transformation Core Issues, New Solutions and Emerging Threats.” As the title suggests, it covers much more than just the motives for organizational change; the detailed report methodically defines the steps an IT or telecom provider can take to make a successful transition. Created and developed by experienced Tech Convergence Community members, the white paper outlines the key concerns for firms undergoing change and offers a comprehensive roadmap to help them make it happen.
Does your company have the resources and the willpower needed to make the leap? If you have a positive response to that question — whether you’re adding a new service or moving from a break/fix model to managed services or the cloud — you’re already ahead of the curve. That doesn’t make business transformation simple, but with help from peers and the use of valuable resources like those offered by CompTIA, you’ll be equipped with what you need to succeed.
Brian Sherman is founder of Tech Success Communications, specializing in editorial content and consulting for the IT channel. His previous roles include chief editor at Business Solutions magazine and senior director of industry alliances with Autotask. Contact Brian at [email protected].