Understanding Your Company’s IT Advantage

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By: Daniel Newman|

Cloud and software are not only changing the way we do business, but also the way we think about IT and competitive advantage. In an effort to streamline efficiency, companies are now separating and outsourcing non-competitive processes.

Of course, content and marketing are vital for any business, but further competitive processes depend on the particulars of your specific business needs and goals. That’s why it’s important to take time to determine the elements that set you apart, and then use them to actually distinguish yourself from your peers. Farming out non-competitive processes will give you the time and energy to focus on what makes your business unique.

What’s more, as businesses are better defining what makes them unique in the market, they can develop applications around those processes. This new clarity between competitive and non-competitive processes is driving brand positioning, redefining the role of the chief information officer (CIO), and affecting the future of IT itself.

Adapt to New Software and the Cloud

The clarity in what makes a particular business unique will drive brand positioning, which in turn requires adaptable IT. Cloud computing, social media, the Internet of Things (IoT), and big data are changing the way IT professionals approach business and transforming the role of IT within an organization.

In today’s competitive business environment, IT is no longer simply about solving isolated incidents. CIOs and their teams must address their business’ needs on a variety of platforms and rapidly adapt to new software and cloud capabilities as business evolves. And business is evolving quickly.

Measuring your business’ presence in the market not only increases your brand’s reach, it also profoundly affects your company’s image in your niche. To make that work, though, you must support your online endeavors with a robust back-end IT structure and professionals who can adapt to mobile and digital demands. Every new innovation in technology affords opportunities, though not without creating new concerns for IT professionals. Expand what keeps you competitive, and give your company a break with what doesn’t.

Redefine the Role of the CIO and the Structure of Business IT

Clarity between your company’s competitive and non-competitive processes will also redefine the role of the CIO—and along with it, the very structure of business IT. As your brand grows and new solutions are adopted, your IT structure and CIO must be flexible enough to change accordingly. CIO priorities are shifting drastically, which is why adaptability is vital for continued success.

The fact that hybrid cloud solutions are quickly becoming more relevant affords huge opportunities to any IT department. CIOs have replaced the worries of expanding in-house hardware by building business relationships for software licenses and cloud solutions. Most cloud services provide their own IT support for their systems, which requires strong communication and collaboration between their organization and yours.

Drive Revenue and Brand Relevance for New IT

In addition, the shift from reducing expenses to driving revenue and brand relevance has major implications for the future of IT. We’ve already seen that the role of CIO will shift, as he or she becomes a key participant in the company’s business practices. Hybrid cloud solutions, big data analytics, software licensing, and shifting infrastructure demands all mean that the CIO is now a major contributor to a company’s success. Because of this, the CIO must measure every aspect of the company’s IT framework as well as the growing number of digital concerns the organization depends on to maintain daily operations.

New advances in cloud computing, software license subscriptions, and analytics afforded by the IoT and big data mean your organization’s growing reliance on digital platforms makes the role of the CIO more crucial and demanding. Consequently, CIOs must shift their perspective of IT as back-end support and prioritize it as a crucial component of their brand.

It’s clear that tech will continue to be intertwined with business strategy, but knowing what needs to be done in-house and what non-competitive tech should be outsourced will set your organization apart.

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About The Author

Daniel Newman

Founder and President, Broadsuite, Inc.

After 12 years of running technology companies including a CEO appointment at the age of 28, I traded the corner office for a chance to drive the discussion on how the digital economy is going to forever change the way business is done. I'm an MBA, adjunct business professor and 4x author of best-selling business books including "The Millennial CEO" and "The New Rules of Customer Engagement." Pianist, soccer fan, husband and father, not in that order. Oh and for work...I'm the co-founder of V3B [Broadsuite], a marketing firm specializing in the digital space, helping companies be found, seen and heard in a cluttered digital world.

Articles by Daniel Newman
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