Can 60 minutes set your business on a continued path for growth and success?
At HST, we believe it can.
In 2012, a story ran on ABC News. Three Japanese tourists were visiting Australia. They set out to drive to North Stradbroke Island and mapped out their route on their GPS system. Unfortunately, the GPS failed to take into account the 9 miles of water between the mainland and the island. Instead, their rental car GPS led them down the coast, then to a gravel road, and finally into thick mud at the edge of the water.
The driver tried to get back to solid ground, but it was too late. The tide rose. Eventually, the small car quickly became submerged up to the axles. As a result, the tourists abandoned the car. Passengers on passing ferries (the preferred method to get to the island) watched in amazement and amusement.
“It told us we could drive down there,” Yuzu Noda, one of the tourists, told the local Bayside Bulletin. “It kept saying it would navigate us to a road.”
Ultimately, the tourists didn’t properly prepare for their trip. They lacked a thorough understanding of where they were headed and what their journey should look like. They followed a route they thought would get them to where they wanted to go, but they neglected to plan ahead. Instead of successfully reaching their destination, they were led astray. Eventually, the tourists abandoned their trip altogether.
Strategic planning and setting high-level goals are typically top priorities for companies. Business owners want to be successful. They want their businesses to grow and prosper for themselves, for their employees, and for their communities. But the question business owners are often faced with is . . .
What’s the best way to plan for future growth?
To plan for the future, it is critical that you understand where you are headed and know what the journey should look like.
It’s far easier to figure out how to get where you are going when you know exactly where you want to be.
Do any of these sound like your own business?
- Your IT infrastructure is essentially a kludge of Best Buy, Fry’s and employee purchased personal devices
- You have untracked HW/SW assets and unenforced policies resulting in poor purchasing, licensing and asset management ($$ liabilities/risk/loss)
- Your Business Continuity Plan (Security, Backup, Disaster, Recovery) is outdated as well as your Cybersecurity prevention and planning
- Your planning and forecasting for future IT investments is weak. You need planning and visibility for budgeting to ensure business performance, employee productivity and competitive prowess
- Your IT assets are aging out and/or have little patch/update protection. You need a manageable plan to migrate to newer technologies (including the cloud, SaaS applications and specialized enterprise applications)
- You have delegated IT management to an existing staff member who was not hired to manage IT (or you have concerns or are being held hostage by IT)
At HST, we have developed our own planning process called Strategic IT RoadMap Visioneering (SIRV). We created the process to directly support our clients. Through SIRV, we will work with your team to ensure that your business has a road map of investment that meets your business performance, talent, and budgetary needs.
What does IT Strategy and Planning have to do with Business Success?
Recently, we facilitated our Strategic IT RoadMap Visioneering session (SIRV) for a client and learned they planned to add more than 15 new employees in 2017. This change would bring their total population to nearly 90 folks by the year’s end!
But, what if we hadn’t asked questions to discover this information?
This business inflection point (crossing 75 employees/nodes), let alone onboarding of these new folks, has significant IT ramifications for ensuring business performance, security and employee productivity. This important detail will have a drastic effect on the future state of the business throughout the coming year. A thorough plan will help mitigate possible stumbling blocks and growing pains.
Is your IT service provider (internal or external) “in the know” on business plans? Will you work together to strategically design an IT road map of investment that meets your business performance, talent, and budgetary needs?
How does SIRV work?
Simply put, we start with the end in mind.
First, we have a team envision the “Desired Future State” (DFS) for the company a year out. We ask question in order to gather valuable pieces of information, such as new software coming online, old hardware aging out and challenges with communications.
In the session, we ask important questions such as:
- “How will you be perceived in a year from now?
- “What will success look like? “
- “What metrics, attained goals, and new relationships will be in play?”
- “How will you have become more relationally and strategically relevant to your employees, clients, vendors and other partners?”
From this rich collection of thoughts, we reverse-engineer through the key functions of the business to discern the gaps and opportunities between the DFS and the current reality.
And then we ask,
- “How can/will the use of technology improve productivity of your team and communications with all your relationships?”
- “How could gaps in IT investments hinder performance, create risk, stall performance?”
This sounds like it could take a long time to figure out . . .
Though we believe that this time is incredibly valuable and necessary, we also understand how busy you are. That’s why we have created an efficient process that is personalized to your particular business. In just 60 minutes we can identify the key initiatives to prioritize and plan out over the coming year and align technology investments to meet the needs of your company.
In fact, in the last 90 days alone we have facilitated 13 successful SIRV sessions with clients.
What are the benefits?
Our SIRV session uses a proven methodology to focus on your business goals and the desired future state of the business. We work with you to identify the gaps and opportunities for IT to impact business performance.
Specifically, we consider ‘whole business ecosystem’ inclusive of:
- Business Strategy/ Revenue streams/ Budget
- Customers/ Talent/ Influence / Resources
- Brand/ Martech/ Infrastructure/ Systems
Session participants walk away with a clear picture of where the business leverages technology. Together we identify IT gaps and opportunities (in the form of initiatives) that must be addressed over the next year. We then help break down the initiatives into 90 day ‘chunks’ to accomplish the vision. Next strategy steps can include prioritization, creating your road map and engaging the right projects, tools and resources to move forward with your plan.
We are your partner to execute a plan and work with your current talent, time, and budget.
SIRV has been described as “strategic planning with shorthand that produces results.”
You’ve spent a lifetime working hard to get where you are. You earned every penny and every client. Let the HST Business Services Group provide leadership, expertise and execution resources to strategically design IT to meet you where you are and support where your business is going.
Set up your Strategic IT RoadMap Visioneering session today.
Call us at 512-900-9478 or you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Higher State Technology (HST) Since 2004, specialists at Austin-based Higher State Technology (HST) have provided implementation, troubleshooting, hardware, software and managed services solutions for multi-location companies and for solopreneurs. HST helps companies safeguard their IT assets through network protection, backups and disaster recovery, antimalware and anti-spam protection, and other risk management services. HST offers remote and onsite IT support and management tailored to the needs of each client. For more information, visit www.Higher-State.com.
Author: Meredith Clark