The 5 steps to a top-flight and winning data landscape
Will you let yourself be overtaken or will you remain the frontrunner? Proud frontrunners are able to demonstrate exponential growth curves. The driving force that makes them leave other organizations far behind? In this blog five steps for a top fit and winning data landscape; from ambition to a concrete agenda.
Your company is in a huge growth market. In less than five years, turnover of just under 10 million euros has shot through the 250 million euro mark. The FD Gazelle Awards are displayed on the mantelpiece. Local and regional media are requesting interviews with the entrepreneurial mastermind behind this growth. And next week a shoot is planned for a cover photo of the ultimate trade magazine. The momentum is clearly there. This is what people mean by flow. In terms of sales, there's no debate; your company has nestled at the forefront of its industry and, looking at the competition, may even be the proud leader.
Entrepreneurs who strive for the very best innovate... Constantly!
Sales have risen sharply. Harder than the goals that were set. Perhaps faster than you dared to dream when the five-year plan was written. But in the meantime, how does the OPEX compare to that increased revenue? Was the company prepared to handle this growth? And what about the IT side of your business? Are your systems prepared for this growth? Do they provide the flexibility your business needs right now? Is there visibility into cloud concepts and relevant cloud solutions that are most used in the market or in a specific industry so that the organization can continue to develop, innovate or even transform? Simple questions, leading to complex analyses and answers.
Data and the cloud; a golden combination
Data provides new insights, better decisions and new revenue models. More and more organizations are realizing that this is an important asset. In addition, the cloud allows organizations to function better, faster and more economically. A number of possibilities and opportunities that new technologies and cloud concepts offer:
- You pay in a pay-per-use model making costs transparent;
- Downtime (both in sales and productivity) can lead to lost sales, a delay in delivery or damage to image. Choose an IT solution where the guarantees of uptime are as high as possible;
- When data loss is no longer an option, employ a quality backup strategy that is cost-effective, fast and easy to organize;
- Sail along on the far-reaching security and privacy standards of cloud providers. After all, is a safe deposit box at a bank more secure than the one at your home or not?
- Starting small and growing quickly when needed. Perhaps you recognize it from the growth curve you have experienced with the company. Provided you make the right choices, IT grows just as fast.
You don't want to come to the conclusion in retrospect that migrating and modernizing to the Cloud would have been a pretty good idea at the time. Or worse; should have been. Whatever the right mix of factors of your successful business have been, everything can be traced back to a mindset. With your entrepreneurial mindset, you always bring out the best in yourself. That's what brought the company to the top. And that's where you stand.
But how is it then that the Dutch Soccer team almost became world champions in 2010, by a toe-length, but fails hopelessly at a European Championship with the virtually same team two years later. And why is it such a unique achievement when an Olympian is the best at two (or in even more unique cases three or four) consecutive Olympic Games at the same distance or discipline? There are "only" four years between these measurement moments.
The rapidly changing world creates a changing context. The aging building blocks of a success team are being overtaken by a new generation. The competition is developing its own strategies based on constraints and deploying resources that provide greater speed. Either the value of innovation is being exploited, or your ability to innovate is being left untapped.
Technological innovation - one OPEX is not the other
The degree of innovation and actual innovative application varies among growth companies. Has the focus in recent years been on business development and revenue growth? If so, it's probably high time to make technology work for you and have management focus on data that matters. Or to (finally!) start collecting data. Have you already done this? Then your focus might be on generating business value from this data. You can also choose to make life easier for order pickers and their crucial work processes by adding wearables like smart glasses or smartwatches to the workflow. But, focus here on business objectives such as realizing cost reduction, doubling productivity, delivering your products faster or improving the service level to the customer. Here, focus on identifying and developing opportunities around modern applications based on cloud technology.
OPEX, in the context of technological innovation, can be interpreted in two ways in one sentence; from OPerational EXpenditures to OPerational EXcellence. Now I hear you think: "But our growth success was mainly created by focusing on business development, right?" Involve precisely the conceptually thinking business developers, the commercially driven sales department or that creative marketing team in technological innovations and the opportunity for the emergence of new business models is born. And the good news; reinventing the wheel for data analysis scenarios is really not necessary. Neither is identifying and engaging key stakeholders. Go through the 5 steps from this blog and create a data innovation agenda.