Technology in the Board Room
The application of technology in business is a bit like a roller-coaster. It seems to take ages to take the long slow ride up to the top, before you're launched over the edge into a mind-blowingly quick and scary ride. Right now, how technology use in business has just about done that big climb. And the fast & scary ride where you hardly have time to catch your breath before the next twist and turn is upon you is about to start.
The increased application of technology to business is going to be one of the major trends over the next 5-10 years. It could be the "make-or-break" of many businesses. Do you remember when Kodak existed to process photographs, or when all mail was delivered by the postie? Many businesses have been wiped out by the changes thus far, and the ride hasn't really begun!
Self-proclaimed "girly-swot" Elizabeth Valentine is currently doing a doctorate at Queensland University of Technology focusing on 'Board competencies for effective enterprise business technology governance’. In other words, what skills do businesses need in their directors to make sure that they make good decisions about how technology is used in the business. But, knowing Lizzie, it will be much, much more detailed than that and will have some valuable insights that will add value to your business.
This is the sort of thing that is relevant to all-sized businesses, not just large enterprises with a Novopay-sized technology budget. Just yesterday I was at a directors meeting where the benefits in terms of accessibility and ongoing cost of cloud vs desktop job management systems were being discussed. The Australian-based director got so excited about what was being proposed that he could barely wait to give his accountant a call to see what could be done to improve the systems he used on a daily basis!
We've also just completed a recent project that involved fixing up mistakes made when another business migrated from a desktop job management & financial accounting system to a cloud-based system. In that case, not taking the time to think through the bigger picture meant that both time and money was wasted, as well as causing a great deal of stress until it was sorted.
If you think technology is a critical component of your business (and it is, for everyone), and you are planning on growing your business further, then keeping up to date with research on what is required at a strategy level is equally critical.
Check out Elizabeth's website, sign up to be involved in her surveys, or check out the research findings that she is publishing online. This sort of information is going to be critical in the board room to make sure that your business continues to remain relevant and effective.