Essence Of Information Technology Landscape In Business Organizations

Any manufacturing organization would ideally have its Vision and Mission to guide them through its future course.

But does the organization have an Information Technology vision in place. Some organization may question this need, they may feel that the organizational focus should be on its core competency and Information Technology just plays a role of an enabler. But on the contrary such organizations are in greater need of an Information Technology vision. The role of Information Technology is that of a business driver in today’s competitive environment and not just an enabler.

Now lets analyse the need and essence of Information Technology Landscape for a business organization.

Consider an XYZ organization, which after half a decade of existence had entered a phase of business growth. Till date the role of Information Technology would have been that of a support system. My experience says that most of the organizations in such a scenario tend to focus on their core competency and grabbing more business opportunities, and almost no attention is given to the key role Information Technology can play.

Keeping in mind the type of competition and constraints the business organization faces, like for example high demand and need for rapid increase in manufacturing capabilities, need of sizeable investments to enter new markets or more focus for business tie ups, its apparently difficult to focus and believe that Information Technology can be a business driver. But the fact of the matter is, it really is. So the question is how can it be done?

The organization requirements can be divided majorly into functional requirements (very specific to the industry domain), routine transactional requirements, content management requirements, workflow requirements and Infrastructural requirements.

Now the organization has to have an Information Technology Landscape plan, based on its current and future business landscape.

There can be phase wise implementation of the Information Technology landscape plan. Start with covering the domain functionalities (R&D, F&D etc), the benefits would be evident in this case. Followed by transactional systems (like ERP) and then content management systems. The benefits of such systems will be realized over a period of time, ideally after the stabilization period.

For workflow systems, they have to be built at an enterprise level. These workflow systems are of critical importance to an organization. The effectiveness of above systems can be greatly hampered by an inefficient workflow system in place.

Information Technology infrastructure is an on going process in an Information Technology landscape implementation. Any effective technology solution would have to be right collaboration of business software applications and hardware infrastructure.

The most critical of all is to always have an Integration Route, which the Information Technology landscape implementation strategy would follow. This well planned Integration Route is required for a holistic Information Technology perspective.

Gradually as the Information Technology landscape builds up in the organization, there will corresponding benefits in terms of business process automation, business process management, and finally leading to effective knowledge management with in the organization. In such a scenario, the Information Technology acts as a business driver; there onwards Information Technology perspective will be part of any future organizational strategy in scaling business growth.

Small Business Marketing Strategy – A Blink Lesson Part 5

This is Article five of six in a series of lessons for small business marketers from Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink.

Wow, what a great chapter for marketers Chapter Five in Blink is. This quote on p. 160 outlines the thoughts a great marketer (Louis Cheskin) had on packaging: “Cheskin was convinced that when people give an assessment of something they might buy in a supermarket or a department store, without realizing it, they transfer sensations or impressions that they have about the packaging of the product to the product itself. To put it another way, Cheskin believed that most of us don’t make a distinction–on an unconscious level–between the package and the product. The product is the package and the product combined.”

A key concept in this chapter is that experts are often more reliable at identifying what will work–or won’t–in the marketplace than market research based on consumer surveys. For small business marketers, then, this chapter is a must-read. You know full-well you rarely have the money for consumer surveys.

Gladwell explores the New Coke debacle and the incompleteness of the market research that led up to it. Although this is a well-known marketing mistake, Gladwell supplies his typical journalistic behind-the-scenes story, and clues us in on why the marketing information that Coke marketers used to base their decision on was flawed to begin with.

Even more fascinating is his exploration of the musician named Kenna, a person music experts agree should be a smash, but can’t get Top 40 airtime on radio because market research can’t capture the same information the experts see in a Blink.

Why? Because as Gladwell points out, the “…first impressions of experts are different…more esoteric and complex.” (p. 179). Kenna’s music is different and hard to put a specific label on, so the music market research can’t adequately measure him.

Gladwell also relates the story of the Aeron chair–a new product with a completely innovative look that even experts said would fail. But with this chair, which looked so different, people didn’t know how they themselves felt about it; Gladwell says consumers “misinterpreted their own feelings” (p. 173). Market research indicated the chair would fail, but it didn’t, because it was a great product.

What’s this chapter mean for the small business owner? Two lessons.

For one, we need to understand the limits of market research. This method is not fool-proof nor will it guarantee market success or prevent market failure.

Second, the small business owner should learn to recognize in just what areas she is expert and in what subjects she is not. In areas where you know you are an expert–where your years of experience have taught you well and you can now realize something in a blink about your industry or your industry as it relates to your customers-well on those topics it’s a safe bet that you really are an expert.

However, a key pitfall is to then think you are expert in all areas of your business. You aren’t, and even your customers aren’t. They are super-savvy purchasers, but they, too, are not always aware of why they do what they do…so, where possible, study what they do, and then find out ways to alter that behavior in your favor.

Remember: Brand (who you are) + Package (your Face to the Customer) + People (customers and employees) = Marketing Success.

© 2006 Marketing Hawks

Small Business Olive Branch

With so much information on the Internet now it is hard to know whom to trust with assisting you with taking your business online. In most instances you will read a little information and just take a stab in the dark. But, what if you could get all the information in one place and not be ripped off? Is it possible?

You may have answered no to both questions above but yes is the right answer. The reasons you may answer no are likely to be because you have been ripped off or you have just found the whole Internet marketing scenario too hard and people just want to take your money for little or no results.

Like most business owners you have limited knowledge of how marketing on the internet works and after a number of tries and a bucket load of money when an olive branch is held out to you just don’t take it.

Who can blame you?

Every week there is are business owners just like you who has become so disenchanted with the money grabbers and the Internet for their marketing that they just give up. Those that don’t give up end up doing more of the same and still get nowhere.

Unlike the big companies you don’t have a bottomless pit of money to market your business online. So you are always chasing your tail.

With simple strategies you can market your business online with a smart website and good quality information that ensures you don’t have to spend a small fortune.

For example you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a website. A website should be clean, easy to navigate and contain quality information about your business, services and/or products. Your customers don’t care about bells and whistles. Some of the most hideous websites make their owners a more than acceptable income.

Did you know you can promote your business for free on the internet? Or promote your business for just a few dollars a month?

This information and more is kept from small business owners by the marketeers because they want you to spend spend spend. In a nutshell they want you to fail so they can keep snaring you in to spend your dollars.

These companies have brilliant sales people that prey on small business owners that have little or no knowledge. It is unfair and unscrupulous.

So next time you are offered an olive branch consider taking it. Next time you are advised that you can be shown how to take control of your online marketing and be shown in plain English how easy it is take note.