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Creating the Aerodynamic Business (part 2)

| 22nd August 2012 | 2 Comments

Chris Gabriel continues to explore the concept of the ‘Aerodynamic Business’.  In this second of a two-part post, he looks at the four technology innovations that hold the key to adopting an Aerodynamic Business model.

Imagine your organisation in a wind tunnel.  How would it fare?  Is it already so streamlined that it needs only the most minor of tweaks, or would it disrupt the airflow of today’s complex global economy so much that it would struggle to gain or maintain forward momentum?

Whether a business is taking the first or the last steps toward aero dynamism, the smart exploitation of technology, more than ever, holds the key to competitiveness. When applied with real strategic intent, it can have a major impact on the way an organisation works and behaves.

The four pillars

I believe that every organisation can exploit technology to become more aerodynamic.  The key is to use it to make business interactions, business decisions, business processes better and more effective, and operating business technology infrastructure as efficiently and effectively as possible – minimising the cost and complexity of making technology a real business differentiator.

Experience tells me that organisations seeking to develop Aerodynamic Business environments must focus on four key areas:

  • Technology led business process innovation and improved productivity
  • Better insights into business information and enhanced decision making
  • ICT systems operational excellence and efficiency
  • Exploitation of ‘partner’ delivered ICT services

Technology led business process innovation and improved productivity

Change the way the organisation does business, by transforming the way individuals interact, communications and collaborate.  Enable people, process and technology work together to get the job done, building a new experience between the user and technology.

Better insights into business information and enhanced decision making

Take the mountain of data locked away in business systems and turn it into competitive differentiation.  Unearth better insights into customers, supply chains, citizen needs, market trends, business financials, product supply – empower people with insight drawn from data the organisation already has.

ICT systems operational excellence and efficiency

Reduce complexity and the share of ICT budgets spent on running what you already have (on average 80% of the ICT budget).  That will enable the business to spend more resources on putting in place more quickly the solutions it needs for future, innovation-driven success.

Exploit ‘partner’ delivered ICT services

Give ICT departments and lines of business the choice to adopt external services, exploiting new innovations such as the Cloud.  In so doing, speed up access to new services and innovation, and reduce the burden of cost and complexity that is part and parcel of delivering everything in-house.

The solutions are out there

None of this need be ‘invented’.  We live in challenging and exciting times and, as technology moves on apace, all of the required solutions and enabling devices are already available.

Tablet computing, smart devices and wireless broadband changing the users experience with ICT systems.  Meanwhile innovations such as the cloud offer new consumption models for major ICT services and powerful analytics draw greater insights from the data businesses already have.  On top of that video is becoming a ubiquitous form of communications, and enterprise social tools bring the power of collaboration to colleagues, customers and suppliers.

That all adds up to an opportunity to transform your organisation through technology – provided those innovations are integrated within a coherent strategic view.

In other words, the key to aero dynamism lies in drawing all this technology driven streamlining into an Aerodynamic Infrastructure.

What do you think?  Is your business aeodynamic or dragging? let us know in the comments below.

Also look out for the next post in this series, coming soon, in which Chris demonstrates how these four technology innovations can come together to deliver an integrated, coherent ‘Aerodynamic Infrastructure’. 

Chris Gabriel

About Chris Gabriel

Chris Gabriel is Chief Digital Officer for Logicalis Europe. Chris joined Logicalis UK in January 2006 to lead the business' focus on defining and marketing its core ‘go to market’ solutions propositions.

With 20 years of experience in the ICT industry, Chris has spent his career working within both systems integration organisations and IT vendors (Logicalis, 2e2, SCC, Cabletron Systems), and has worked for the last 15 years in senior product marketing and market roles in the UK, Europe and United States.

In 2008 Chris became UK Marketing and Solutions Director on the Logicalis UK executive team, and in March 2012 was promoted to VP of Solutions Management at Logicalis Group, where he was responsible for building a common international solutions and services strategy.

2 Responses to Creating the Aerodynamic Business (part 2)

  1. Mark 3W

    Simply deploying technology does not make for an Aerodynamic Business.

    I worked with a v large healthcare organisation; 3,500 staff over 40 locations. For BI the accountants were using Cognos, the data analysts use Business Objects and Purchasing used ClickStream. Clinical Governance used a home made tool and everybody used Excel… all pulling from legacy patient information systems and when you wanted to create a simple business dashboard, forget it – lots of technology, very inefficient.

    The problem was lack of congruence between departments and arguably too much autonomy – this resulted in burdensome analytics and severe drag where analytics would only ever tell you where you had been, which you knew, and could tell you little about the future.

    The glue to an Aerodynamic Business must be Aerodynamic Intentions, ie a board, profit centres and departments that agree on business objectives and outcomes.

    But of course you know this because in your “Time for a rethink?” post you advocated thinking holistically rather than in silos!

  2. Mark, of course your example is absolutely spot on. Technology doesn’t create an aerodynamic business, and used in the wrong way can create more drag than was there before. The economic downturn did make CEOs think about business structure – some decided just to cut every silo to make a smaller silo, some decided to look at how departments and people worked together to make them work better together. In the former technology could fill some gaps but the later would indicate a change that technology could play an important transformational role. If you’ve build a business that doesn’t work together putting collaboration in won’t make it any better – if you have a business that is designed to work together but don’t have the tools to do so (apart from good old human interaction that is) then technology can help the aerodynamic process. Chris

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