I was over at altitudebranding.com’s website responding to one of Amber Naslund’s brilliant blog posts, she gets 5 stars from me almost everytime she posts something. I think many of us have rants pent up deep down inside, but we’re not sure what it is or where we should put it. I can’t articulate as well as Amber, but I too share her concern and wish list if you will.
Please read her article called, Will The Business People Please Stand Up! You can read my response there too and I am including it here below as well, why, because I think my response is a good blog post too : )
OK, You got me on this one, I know what you are trying to say but lets look at who we are talking to in this environment. Forgive me if I come off ranting.
I am only going to draw from my experiences of being here online since the late 80’s when Gohper and WAIS were the tools of the day, FTP was the strongest tranfer tool ever!
It will appear like I’m tooting my own horn but really I’m not, like you, my hearts desire is that I could share my experiences from the trench building sound I.T. Strategies, showing Blog readers how a traditional ROI is calculated, and show you how to determine your businesses breakeven point, but that’s kind of boring me thinks.
Walking through an I.T. Strategic Plan, the steps you should consider working through to at least set the foundation for that plan, that’s not all that exciting either. You can find the above on my Blog, not in great detail but at least at a high-level approach.
There are literally hundreds of, if not thousands of sites on how to do a proper business plan too.
Everything you mentioned plus mine above are badly needed from a professional perspective, but my experience so far, here in Social Media circles anyway, people are not that serious about how to do those things. This is still a place to escape to after the day job, or even during the day job.
The How to build a good blog, how do I monetize it and make millions, the how do I get 10 million followers and so on seem to be the lions share of Internet users and scammers today. Even I want to learn some of those things.
My point is, right now, I would love to see what you have so brilliantly articulated but the reality is, the circle is still too small. Why? Business owners still don’t fully understand what they have in their hands when it comes to the Internet.
You & I know many of the same great people working hard to change the mindset, we want to educate and arm business owners with the right tools, metrics and perspective to succeed here. The problem is, they still don’t take this platform seriously enough, it’s still recreation.
Sorry but I had to get that off my chest. There’s more but it’s a moot point.
So what’s the answer, I think you & I and host of others must stay the course, continue to fight the battles we can win, do our best to educate the business owners if they’ll listen. This is going to take a little longer than I would like to see, but I know eventually this environment will have to be taken seriously because the shift is well under way.
It’s not that different than trying to save people from going to hell, business is changing rapdily, if you don’t change with it, your out of business.
For those of you who visit regularly you probably already noticed, but for those of you who check once and a while and or maybe once a year, I’ve made one big change and added a few more things for you to get in to.
The first big news for 2010, I made the move to Headway Themes (affiliate link) instead of Thesis, I just love it, the Visual Editor is simply amazing and allows you to make changes on the fly.
With that in mind, you will see on the Menu an item called Headway, there you will find a video that gives you a snapshot of how great the theme is. Also, I have put a link to their website (it’s my affiliate link), yes, I am more than happy to endorse and promote Headway Themes. You should too!
Many of you know I’m all about I.T. Strategic Planning, I have added a new page with a high-level view of what your I.T. Strategic Plan might look like, also, I have provided you with all the links to the posts I wrote to help you build your own I.T. Strategic Plan. I hope it works for you, and of course, I’m available to help you should you need me.
I hope you like the new look and feel of my Blog, it’s not labour intensive anymore, thanks to Headway Themes.
Take a look around, if you see something wrong and or something you would like to see on the Blog, Let me know ASAP.
Until next time.
I have been thinking about this question for some time, because there appears to be a gap between IT Departments / Leaders and the rest of the organization. IT departments tend to think in icolation when it comes to the I.T. Plan. I’m generalizing but, this is normal because IT departments believe that the rest of the organization couldn’t possibly understand the complexities of technology let alone know how to implement it. That’s no longer the truth today, everyone has stepped up and learned more and do infact understand far better what technology means and what it can do. That’s not what I want to share with you right now, lets talk about who the I.T. Plan is for.
If the CIO or the person charged with the technology needs of the organization builds an I.T. Plan without consulting all departments and subject matter experts first, should be relieved of duty. The secret to a successful I.T. Strategic Plan is to ensure you have talked with all areas of the organization. It’s a MUST! If you don’t, you have no way of knowing what they struggle with, what they would like to be able to do, and what things they would like you to fix. The subject matter experts in the organization are your greatest allies, they can help you execute incredible customer service. The organization will know you care about each person, that makes buy in much easier when change takes place in systems they use.
Your responsibility is to deliver the right solutions, the right technology and above the best customer service to your organization. It has nothing to do with technology, it’s about people and always will be. The I.T. Strategic Plan is a road map for the IT Staff, it lays out the years work, and how you will serve the organization on a daily basis.
So, who is the I.T. Strategic Plan for? Who do you think and why?
I spent many years just winging it, just responding to what felt right and mostly what felt good, sound familiar? I have found that there are more business owners, check that, most people were doing the same thing. As I mentioned in my previous post, we spend more time planning a two week vacation than we do our careers and our lives. Why is that? I suspect due to a lack of knowledge, a poor understanding of what’s at stake here….it’s your life and you only get one chance to do it. Enough about that, I want to share with you what drives me and what my vision for Owen Greaves Consulting is for 2010.
I have met and worked for many, many business owners, CIO’s, COO’s, and they all struggle with the same things for the most part. They know what they want to do, but don’t really know how to build and implement a strong I.T. Plan. I.T. visionaries are way ahead of the rest of the organization, think of a funnel, you have a narrowing in the middle, a wide open area at one end and small opening at the other end. The visionary is out in the wide open section and instructs back to the small opening at the other end to do this or that. A short period of time goes by and he / she is frustrated because what they saw and instructed is not done. Why?
The workers back at the small opening can’t see the big picture through the narrow opening in the middle, they don’t see what the visionary see’s way out there, they can’t even see where he is. The problem is at the narrow opening in the middle right? There has to be someone there that can clearly articulate what the visionary wants done back to the people (workers) in the small opening at the back. You might say things get lost in translation, it can happen if the person in the middle does not clearly understand what the visionary wants!
So what does this have to do with my vision for 2010. It’s obvious to me that there is a bigger problem than the funnel, it’s the man in the middle. Having someone who can build the plan so the workers can get done what the visionary wants completed. My vision, to help that person or organizations with a simple way to build that Strategic Technology Plan and to ensure that all businesses indeed do have a plan. Most don’t, they rely on internal staff, staff that don’t know how to build a plan because they are frankly too close to the problem(s). Most business owners think they know how, but they all too often are using the wrong filters to truly understand what the I.T. Plan should look like and be. Some of the smartest business people in the world don’t fully understand what needs to be in the I.T. Strategic Plan, hence they should hire the right people and or consultants to help build that strategy. No matter how big or small your business is, you should have a good plan on how technology will drive your business.
Most organizations have not documented what thier business processes are! How could they possibly know which software application, payroll, HR, CRM software and what have you to implement if they don’t know each and every process it takes to get the job done in a day. My goal is to ensure as many businesses / owners as possible have a good I.T. Plan. This has very little to do with Social Media but it has much to do with Technology overall. Social Media happens to be a large part of my work at the moment and it’s the hot topic of discussion everywhere I go.
My Plans for 2010:
- Increase Public Speaking Engagements – on The New Technology, I.T. Strategies / Planning
- To educate and teach 100 businesses develop an I.T. Strategic Plan. (roughly 8 new businesses per month)
- Develop a video series on developing I.T. Strategic Plans. ( The I.T. Strategic Planning Series)
- Continue working on my next eBook, The New Technology Pt 2. (hope to complete by end of 2010)
- Write more often on my Blog. (daily if possible)
- Get more subscribers on my Blog.
- And of course, increase revenues ( I have to put that on here)
If you don’t have a list of items or targets, stop right now and make one…make two! What are you aiming for in 2010 and how do you plan to hit your targets? Better yet, what’s your I.T. Strategy for 2010?
I can see a problem with my list already, if I want to be successful, I have to find a few things to not consider doing. I may have to hire or partner up if I want to achieve all my goals.
What’s On Your List?
This is the third part of the Analysis section in our mock I.T. Strategic Plan. This section is all about observing and assessing what you have and what assets you may have. You might call it an inventory of which gives you a high-level snapshot of your organization, assets, liabilities and so on. Again, I am not going into great detail in these posts, they are intended to be quick references to give you an idea of what might go into each area and section of your plan.
This part is called Core Competencies, here are a couple of possible entries for your consideration:
1. Good people; qualified, experienced and possibly well trained.
2. Infrastructure; This would be software and hardware that is well integrated.
3. Ability to relate or communicate the services that IT can provide
4. You may have adequate funding available to meet objectives
Again, each of these are just examples of what might be in this part of your plan. The list can be as long as you want it but most likely you will only have a few items to enter here. I.T. Plans take very different shapes depending on the organization and who is building it, it’s a perspective and point of view…or a summary of how you see the needs of the organization and how you view the use of technology.
Next I will go over S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). Another area of observation and reflection, until next time.