I have been asking people at networking meetings “What makes you proud of your IT?”
Unfortunately most people say that a great day is when they don’t have to think about their IT. This is disappointing, because when I talk to people who have something truly to be proud of from their IT it is such an uplifting experience that all I can do is congratulate them for the great accomplishment.
I think there should be 3 areas where you should be able to be proud of your IT. One is with your employees, another is with customers and a third is with vendors. Let me give some examples to illustrate these points.
Better for Employees
One potential client told me a story of how IT is something that they use for retention and for recruiting. How can that be? They have a laptop and mobile policy that gives their employees more freedom to work from more places than their competition. The policy also keeps their equipment refreshed on a regular schedule. Uncle Ben Parker said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” This client allows employees to work from anywhere. Policies and procedures reduce the amount of abuse of those capabilities. Team members working too many hours are encouraged to cut back on the time they are working. They are encouraged to work smarter. The work life balance policy enforces compliance from all levels of the organization. This company’s technology drives better employee practice and policy.
Better for Customers
I was talking to an online retailer recently who only allowed payment through Paypal. That kind of restriction reminded me of my experiences with a gas chain that I don’t go to anymore. They always require payment upfront and in the store. I much prefer gas stations where I pay at the pump. I can fill my tank without worrying how much it will actually cost. Doesn’t this make filling the tank easier? Well the same goes for your online customer experience. This goes from the first time they look at your website until they go online to post that awesome review about you and your products. If that experience is not extremely easy for them, they will not give you feedback that can make you proud of your customer facing systems.
Better for Vendors
As a business what are the words your accounting department dreads to hear when you start to do business with someone else? Is it, can we setup a phone call to get you set up as a vendor in our system? Worse still is it, can we get you set up in our SYSTEMS? The method in which we work with vendors to pay them can cost us real money in missed terms and even being put on no sell lists. Bad procurement and payment systems bleed into employee satisfaction and brand erosion as well. It only takes one bad review on Glass Door or Google business to tarnish an excellent reputation. Having payment and procurement systems to be proud of is a important part of a healthy supply chain.
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