The point of data is to collect it in a way that helps you make the best possible decisions when you need to. Software solutions should let you can capture data, blend it all together and then let staff consume it in a way that they want. The speed at which a business can successfully do this determines the speed at which they do business. Are you stuck with technology solutions that have become so old they are now becoming technology problems?
Your organisation has several systems that you use to run and manage your business. These systems include sales, and accounting software as well as reporting services. Your reporting services give you and your team access to a vast amount of data which allows you to report on many aspects of the business ranging from revenue, deliveries, and many other metrics. However, the reporting tools you have are limited and don’t allow you to examine the many areas of the business that you would like to. There are some additional reports and functions that you need but aren’t able to create and some of the reporting functions are slow and cumbersome. You have a number of reports which are prepared manually, using excel, and these take time to prepare and requiring effort to update them. This uses up valuable time your team can’t afford. You need a more comprehensive reporting capability that gives you the flexibility you require and allows you and your team to examine your business from any angle. With so many options and too many unknowns, you don’t know where to start.
Remember the Filomax?
At the time, it was revolutionary. All your contacts, appointments and other life-critical information in one leather-bound ring binder that could almost fit in your pocket. Then the internet came along and made life so much easier. The smartphone does everything the Filofax did and so much more. It’s your life in the palm of your hand and you’d be lost without it.
But if you think about it, the smartphone still fulfills the same purpose as the Filofax. All your events and contacts in one place. The main difference is that everything is integrated and automated. Smartphones can automatically put invites into your calendar and then provide dynamic alerts to tell you when to leave so you get there on time. They tell you what to do when you arrive or show you your meeting attendees’ contacts card with the history of your previous meetings.
Nothing has changed except the digital bit?
“Skeuomorphism is where an object in software mimics its real-world counterpart. The “trash can” is, perhaps, the most recognizable skeuomorphic object.” Source: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/skeuomorphism-is-dead-long-live-skeuomorphism The main difference between a Filofax and the smartphone is data automation. You achieve the same outcome today as you did 30 years ago, except so, so, so much faster.
Why haven’t businesses evolved at the same pace?
Why is it that so many organisations use the business system equivalent of a Filofax? We talk with a lot of organisations who are at different stages in their data evolution. Far too many are stuck with technology solutions that have become so old they are now becoming technology problems. Far too many organisations waste hundreds, if not thousands of expensive man-hours manually making sure the corporate solutions are all up to date. Why? A common response: “Because there is no way to automate this process so we have to do it manually.” This boils my blood!
Automation costs almost nothing
In this day and age, we can automate almost any data transfer and synchronization process with very little effort and very little cost. Yet so many businesses spend time and money doing it manually. I can guarantee that no matter what systems you are using, virtually every integration process you currently do manually can be automated. I can also guarantee that the majority can be automated within a month.
Accelerate your speed of business
The point of data is to collect it in a way that helps you make the best possible decisions when you need to. Capture data in a consistent manner, blend it all together contextually and then let staff consume it in a way that they want. Doing it as quickly as possible is what will keep you ahead of the pack. Throw away your Filofax and embrace the digital transformation around you.