There are five basic principles that we need to understand if we’re to make effective use of the frantic and highly volatile world of modern information technology, and each of these has three tenets. Following the time-honoured tradition, I’ve named the five principles using words that result in an acronym – FASES.
Foundation – Systems, solutions and strategy
Assistance – Equip, educate and encourage
Simplify – Processes, procedures and practices
Engage – Customers, connect and collaborate
Strength – Invest, innovate and iterate
Happily, the marketing writes itself: ‘There’s no silver bullet – implement your IT in FASES’.
Foundation refers to the fundamental nature of IT systems within an organisation and is based on the systems, solutions and strategy. It covers the core requirements of IT such as backups and disaster recovery, managed service providers, and the scary sounding shadow IT. It encourages you to align your IT strategy with those of the business and marketing, and helps you to see the mountain of value that your IT systems represent.
Assistance is all about the needs of the people who run your business, their three primary requirements being equipment, education and encouragement. It teaches you how to energise your team by providing them with the tools they need to do their job. It highlights the vital importance of ongoing education and staff development. And it creates evangelists, putting your leadership front and centre, urging you to embrace your IT, and encouraging your team to do the same.
Simplicity builds on the ideas laid out by foundation and assistance, but from the perspective of the needs of the business and the efficiency of its people with regards to procedures, processes and practices. It teaches you to look at your business and how it operates objectively to find ways in which you can incrementally improve your day-to-day activities. It helps you understand how you can guard against the unforeseen and minimise your exposure to the volatility of staff turnover, and it introduces the ideas of innovation and building a future that’s perfect for your needs.
Engage changes the focus from the internal to the external and looks at how a business and its IT can work with customers and prospects to deliver a better customer lifetime value, and third parties to simplify the supply chain. It brings your website, its purpose and its value into sharp focus. It discusses the many varied ways in which you can use technology to communicate, both with people and other machines, and it tells of the enormous importance of your relationship with your customers and prospects, and how your IT can facilitate it.
Strength is a reference to how organisations can continue to thrive in the future as they invest, innovate and iterate. Strength encourages you to remember that your IT is an asset that needs to be continually developed if it is to carry on delivering real value. It urges you to look for ways in which you can create innovative solutions to your problems to give you an edge over your rivals. Only by making your IT a core feature of your business, and engaging with it at every opportunity, will you really be able to grow your organisation.
100 Tips and Hints
MarshallFloyd – People and Technology – Download our free guide with over 100 tip, hints and ideas you can use to improve your IT.