If you are a business professional “of a certain age,” you might remember how we did business in the olden days…..B.C., as in “Before Computers.”
Well, technology caught up to us, and soon every organization of any size created an IT Department: Information Technology.
But the day-to-day function of today’s IT professionals is way different than it was back in the days of yore, when they’d show up at odd hours to defrag your hard drive, connect you to the mainframe, or unlock your floppy disks.
No, in 2016, you need to be your own IT department….and make sure you and your staff are maximizing the technology you have at hand.
New software is developed constantly that changes the way we do business, and in many cases, enhances the workflow dramatically. But frequently, we don’t take the time to figure out everything it can do—we get to the one improvement we needed, and leave the rest of its functions unexplored.
Our IT guy used to help us out, and walk us through all of the work-saving features. But that’s on you now. It’s time to rise to the challenge.
And why is taking this virtual bull by the horns and knowing your systems inside and out important? The upside is huge! We have unprecedented access to tools and systems that allow us to manage our daily workload, review our progress, and use real-time dashboards to evaluate and optimize performance, 24/7.
Plus, our customers expect it. You can’t afford to let your competition dazzle them with performance that your new workflow could be providing… if you only knew how.
It’s incumbent upon all of us to track not only who our customers are and what they’re doing, but which ones are our BEST customers….the ones truly delivering our best ROI. There are tools out there that can do this for you, and save you not only time and energy, but churn out metrics you haven’t even dreamed of.
And technical know-how isn’t just critical for maximizing effectiveness of your internal systems. Opportunities for communicating with the outside world aren’t just knocking, they’re beating down your door.
Consider social media. If you’re an old-school thinker who doesn’t think much of platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Yelp in today’s marketplace, you need to think harder.
What’s been the single most effective medium of advertising over the last hundred years? Word of mouth. And social media is nothing but digital word of mouth.
Here’s one great example. Many firms have a process in place that serves to define and document “The Life of a File.” Every step throughout the process of a business transaction is defined and documented, and assigned to a specific individual or department within the organization, from beginning to end.
But do you know what the final step in “The Life of a File” should be? Soliciting a positive review or recommendation based on your completed transaction….on social media. Comments or referrals via Google or Yelp are invaluable in boosting the online presence of your firm, and more importantly, are often the first step a potential customer will take in determining whether you will be selected to fill his or her business need.
It’s just another demonstration of how IT is no longer just an office down the hall—it’s the way we do business, plain and simple. You need to be up to the task.
Because, tag—you’re IT!
Grow Big or Go Home!