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Digital Transformation – 5 Identifiers

digital, digital transformation, upgrading systems, upgrading business systems, business systems

What is Digital Transformation?

Numerous changes happen where digital economy of business is connected real-time due to new technologies. Digital transformation is directly related due to this. Just about all small and midsized firms have some sort of resources in place. It can be anything from newer and more powerful software and/or computers, new forms of communication or cloud computing. The company has to ensure good implementation and integration of programs to increase performance. How to do this is:

5 Identifiers

  1. Hyper-connectivity – Anytime/Anywhere communication
  2. Unlimited Computing Power – Caused through diverse platforms
  3. Cloud Computing – Easy access to hosted software/services
  4. Numerous Sensors and Mobile Devices – Supply continuous streams of information and ways to access them
  5. Cybersecurity – Lessen internal/external vulnerabilities

Why Buy At All?

Faster growing companies look at ways to drive revenue growth, increase productivity, and get new customers. This is supported through the use of advanced technology. The question becomes what is the best approach to get and use new technology in order to support objectives? Most are buying advanced software applications to help grow their businesses. Buying collaboration software, CRM and ecommerce all help growing businesses through helping internal productivity and efficiency. When one application is updated, they all are. This improves performance of the agency as a whole.

Causes to Upgrade

Most upgrade due to partner and/or customer needs. Their main focus is to improve internally.  External influence is also taken into consideration though. Who wants to chase away potential clients due to not listening to their needs too? This is key in order to keep up with competition and the environment that they work in. Effective coordination of technology brings in greater performance results.  It is greater then the sum of the parts bought to improve the system as a whole.

Benefits

The departments that benefit the most from these improvements is sales and marketing. Everyone from services to manufacturing to wholesale and retail benefit too. Internal processes is also up there, but externally faced business is considered more important. This is the rank from highest to lowest in importance:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Production / Operations
  • Commerce / Ecommerce
  • Customer Service / Call Center
  • Finance
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Strategic Planning
  • HR

3 Takeaways 

  1. Leverage Technology
  2. Digital transformation is a continuing process
  3. Direct / Continuing participation and support of senior management and executives. If there is none, or it is perceived as none, then changes will be hard to implement.

Key Questions to Ask

Key questions to ask yourself and those involved in the process of beginning the changes are many. Where are you falling short compared to other companies? What is the competition doing that you are not? Do you have a strategic plan in place that supports digital transformation? Some things to consider…

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4 Dimensions of Strategic Information Systems Planning

strategic information systems planning, SISP, IT, Improvements, upgrades, business intelligence

Strategic information systems planning (SISP) is a very important issue that has to be considered when upgrading. Information technology (IT) use along with proper planning can help increase business success. SISP is used as it’s considered a great tool to support the company. It makes sure that IT activities go along with what the company does and needs.

What is Strategic Information Systems Planning?

SISP improves organization performance however upper management wants to focus. The aim is to achieve maximum benefits from resources while reducing risks at the same time. All resources work efficiently, effectively and competitively together to make the company stronger and more adapt. Especially now as IT is an important part of any company. Strategic Information Systems Planning is intended for technology that’s used at the company level. It needs to mesh with what the needs and strategies are of said agency.

Objectives include:

  • Align IT with business
  • Gain competitive advantage,
  • ID new and higher payback applications
  • Increase top management commitment
  • Improve communication with users
  • Forecast IT resource requirements
  • Allocating IT resources
  • Develop information architecture
  • Increase visibility of IT

4 Dimensions of SISP

SISP helps the above mentioned by addressing future needs for IT/IS resources with business plans. There are four dimensions included to make sure everything is included.

  1. Alignment
  2. Analysis
  3. Cooperation
  4. Capability

The first three are considered goals while the fourth is considered improvement over time.
SISP methodologies include gathering information and making plans comprised of one or more techniques. The techniques can be viewed as abstract systems.  They change organization input into a strategic plan for output. Some of the more popular planning techniques are:

  • Looking at Stages of Growth and Critical Success Factors – Here flexibility of needs can be used as a measurement tool. This methodology needs support of others.  CSF alone makes information requirements difficult to reach.
  • Competitive Forces Model and Value Chain Analysis – Michael Porter’s model analyzing threats of new entrants and bargaining power of buyers and suppliers. Also reviewed are threats of substitutes and rivalry of competitors. It’s used to get products and services to buyers and servicing.  It also finds primary and support activities that can add value to the product or service.
  • Scenario Planning and SWOT Analysis – What will the future bring? Actions to take if future is going in a direction not wanted.

Criteria of Choosing

The criteria of choosing methodologies include availability of resources, internal policies and preferred suppliers to name a few. It would be the company’s choice as to what is more important to them.  Which they would want to improve the most?

SISP leads to good planning. This in turn helps companies stay ahead in competitive environments. You have to make sure that top management stays aware of best processes for SISP. They need to stay committed and involved in order for it to be considered a success.

There is no best way to implement SISP. It’s up to the companies which way they want to focus what they want to improve. The success would be applied to how well they used methodologies in their planning process. Were success and failure factors applied while planning and implementing the changes? These are the questions that need to be answered in order for Strategic Information Systems Planning to be considered a success.

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The Internet Revolution for Business

business, internet, customer, work, product

The Internet has grown so much since its inception decades ago.  To the point that it influences our daily life, school and the work environment.  1/3rd of humanity uses the Internet presently.  Due to this the business environment has changed immensely due to how many people log on every day in order to communicate with each other.  The Internet has been implemented by business for marketing and promotion of products and services as people are leaning towards doing all their shopping online, or as much of it as possible.

Porter’s Five Force Model

This offers frameworks to measure industry competition and analysis, and helps to build business strategies.  What are threats from present and future competition and existing substitutes?  How much bargaining power do customers have and measures negotiating power of suppliers?

Threat New Entrants:  There is a lower entry barrier in being able to set up new businesses due to the Internet.  Increasing competition lowered margins too.

Threat New Substitutes:  There has been a reduction of the product life cycle due to the Internet.  Encouraging innovation and new shelf lives of products are now the norm for customer serving.

Bargaining Power Customers:  The customer is now well informed in what products do and what may be good substitutes.  In this businesses have to watch what they put out there dealing with differentiation and pricing.

Bargaining Power Suppliers:  Suppliers are in the same boat as the customer is now too except focusing on the industry they are in.

Threat of Competition It is now extremely important to be transparent and honest in order to become successful.  The customer knows more about the business, and the Internet lowered cost of searching for new products.

Internet and Business

How the Internet changed business can be measured in many ways.  The main thing is that it opened new avenues to be able to conduct business more smoothly, timely, and cost efficiently depending on the situation.

Communication:  There are now a lot of new ways to connect to others and disperse information.  Email, Instant Messaging, Intranet, Skype…

Collaboration:  There is no such thing as geographical boundaries as the Internet allows for ease of collaboration now.  The only thing that has to be considered is time zones as not everyone might be working in the same time zone.  Meetings would have to be scheduled around that…

Business Transactions:  There is now a culture of online businesses.  Many stores have been opened up online.  Now Internet banking and payment gateways are a normal part of supply chain transactions.

Work Flexibility Now it is possible to work from home or in remote locations.  Employees can now remain in touch with the company while away in order to know what’s going on at work.  They can also complete work from these locations through logging into the secure business Intranet.

Web Based Applications Here is where cloud computing comes to play.  It saves so much space and money depending on what the company buys into.

Conclusion

The Internet is both a good and a bad thing for business.  It’s good as the company can spread their products or services all over, or locally depending.  They can learn more about their competition, learn more about what their customers want, what their suppliers might suggest.  It makes communication a lot easier than ever.  On the bad side though it allows for hackers to find ways to attack them and steal information.  Security has to be high priority in order to make sure that this doesn’t happen.  Employees and customers don’t need to worry about identity theft to name one vulnerability.  The pluses outweigh the negatives though…

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4 Elements of Information Systems

customer, system, business, information, process

The use of information technology (IT) has dramatically increased in the business world in the past decade.  It has been acknowledged that information systems (IS) is a very important step to compete and grow.  There are four elements of IS that new systems need to work correctly.

4 Elements

  1. Customers – The main function of IS is to be able to better support the end user or customer. This is both internal and external.  Externally it could be an online shopper who wants to buy from a website.  Internal customers would be something like employees or one department in a company who needs supplies from another department.  IS was developed in order to better support external customers.  Also something to focus on is flexibility supporting internal customers.
  2. Products and Services – This deals in data transformation. The IS has to work well in any industry.  It helps prepare many types of services and/or products based on design.  Customer expectations have to be satisfied in order to be considered successful.
  3. Business Processes – Improvements to processes directly influence performance. It provides relevant information to the company.  This improves said company’s processes by adding or removing steps as needed.
  4. Communication Technology and Computers – This is the central piece of the information system. They have to be able to deliver efficient business processes and make the customers happy.  This is done through either delivery of product or services rendered.  Technology helps to improve communication through email and chat internally.  Externally it provides a good website that people will enjoy visiting.  Information can be accessed much more quickly which increases the competitive edge.

Why Use IS?

Information systems helps improve relations between customers and the business, or business to business relationships.  The question is, which type of system does your company need?  A lot of questions to consider before making the leap to upgrading