Have you set your course yet?
10  ICT questions that demand your vision

 You will have to make decisions on various current ICT themes in the coming period. Not only because they can directly influence your current business processes, returns and results. It is also about maintaining market and competitive positions. For some, it can also become a choice between keeping up or dropping out. What are you doing?

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10 issues, 10 opportunities for improvement

Below you can read ten questions with a brief explanation. If you already have your ICT policy in order for the coming years, you undoubtedly have an answer to everything.

But if these answers are still missing, it may be high time to put these issues on your agenda. The reason for this urgency is clear: over the past ten years, many sectors have shown that especially the (new) companies that embrace modern ICT solutions are the most successful. 

 

The retail, hospitality, automotive, financial services, hotel industry and many more industries show numerous examples of this. Stagnation is decline, the saying goes, that there is no need to prove again. Do you have an answer yet? 


Are you already making the most of business applications in the cloud?

Companies that had already switched to the cloud in whole or in part before the lockdowns with their business software had enormous advantages during the corona crisis. It doesn't matter where users are: as long as there is the internet, everything can continue. That location independence isn't the only advantage. Other benefits include software management and maintenance, data security, and cost scalability. And if there are still processes that you prefer to shield, then there are hybrid cloud solutions. When you move from your business software to the cloud, it is not the question 'if', but 'when'? Have you already determined how you will do this in phases?

Does your software help you retain customers?

Loyalty of customers is no longer a given. Delivering a good product at a good price is still essential, but at the right time the right attention, good service and other 'capital gains' are at least as necessary. In addition, customers no longer have patience. In a few clicks, they'll be with your competitor. So it's not surprising that customer focus and customer experience have become important. Does your ICT support these types of processes? Could a relatively small investment in new CRM software not greatly improve your level of customer focus?

When will you replace your vulnerable legacy systems?

Postponement of replacement decisions in the FIELD of ICT is often justified with 'it's going well anyway' or 'it works, so ...'. While the systems in question often play a vital role in the business process and are only technically becoming increasingly vulnerable. The latter because they use old technology or have a series of links with systems that also run their last legs.

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Since we often have to deal with an ICT legacy from the past, these are called legacy systems. The step to say goodbye to it is big and if it has been working for years, why wouldn't it be possible for a few more years? A frugal thought, which in practice turns out to be a time bomb. For sooner or later comes the day when things go wrong; production stops, sales stagnate, deliveries are not possible and the accounts no longer invoice and collect. What about that? You can avoid this situation of panic, hasty decisions and business damage. What does your plan look like to replace legacy systems with new solutions that you can't escape?

How wise are you with your data?

Whether you like it or not, you have it: data. All systems you use have data. But also through your website and digital communication, a lot of new data is added every day. And so you have to ask yourself how it is handled and possibly what you want to do with it. Data management has become a serious focus area. Not only because you are required to handle it reliably, but also because you now have to do sensible things with your data in order to get valuable management information out of it. Do you already have your data management in order?

Do you already base your decisions on your own data?

The tricky thing about data is that the data alone doesn't give you any information yet. This requires analysis and interpretation. This is the field of data analytics and business intelligence. The type of data that under basis of both solutions may differ, but both concepts are all about obtaining information from data. Meant to make the right decisions. In recent years, it has become clear how important data is. How entire sectors have been shaken up by disruptive companies that based their business much more on data than conventional market participants. Not only is the sensible handling of data important (data management), but also the interpretation of data (data analytics) is extremely valuable to make better decisions at the right time. What will you do in the coming years to become a data-driven organisation?

Do you comply with all privacy rules with your document management?

More and more documents are being created, drawn and stored digitally. Many of them contain personal data. This brings you to the field of privacy rules and GDPR with your document management. For many organizations, this has been reason in recent years to replace old solutions with new document management systems. Does your document management comply with all the rules?

What role will low code play in your future applications?

The idea behind low code applications is not new. What is new is the huge growth in the number of business applications that are built with the help of low code platforms. Main reasons for this: development is faster, cheaper and requires less time from specialists who are almost unavailable. With low code, you build your applications with building blocks, even without in-depth programming knowledge. This gives you the flexibility you need to grow applications with your organization and adapt them as needed. The time of rigid systems is partly over. In a few years, more than half of all business applications will be running with low code, according to the expectation (Gartner).

It is up to you to purchase or run your next application in the conventional form in low code. Do you already know these developments well enough to know what that will mean for your organisation?

Is your warehouse smart enough?

Stored goods affect your company's performance for multiple reasons. Firstly, because it's cost if you have too much of it. Secondly, it costs you turnover if you don't have enough of it. The logistical challenges of producing companies have therefore become ever greater in recent years. Delivery speed and delivery reliability have even become decisive for competitive positions. Logistics service providers, distributors and wholesalers now know all about it. And for web shops and their distributing ecommerce partners, it is vital. Led by these logistical developments, warehouse management has developed rapidly in recent years. Smart warehousing is going to play an increasingly important role. How will you optimally organize your warehouse, both in terms of goods and personnel, in the coming years?

How do you arm yourself against online burglars?

In the 'normal' world, the extra locks only go on the door and the alarm systems are only installed once there has actually been a break-in. Unfortunately, this does not only work in the private world, it is no different with companies. And that while there is a danger every day that you will become a victim of any kind of cybercrime. The damage can be significant, the consequences even fatal. There are enough 'extra locks' available to protect your data and prevent others from shutting down your systems and thus keeping your business in a stranglehold. The well can therefore be dampened before the calf comes close. Do you already have a plan for cybersecurity and to avoid unnecessary security risks?

What role will AI play in your company?


AI stands for artificial intelligence, or artificial intelligence. That still sounds very futuristic to many, but it is absolutely not. AI already plays a role in the present. And so no serious company can afford to think it will take their time. 

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The opportunities are already there and no doubt some colleagues in your market are already working on it. AI can help you set up business processes smarter, make your production more effective, become more customer-oriented, etc. Wherever thinking power based on reliable data is needed, artificial intelligence can take you further. Too abstract for you? Then ask the question in your organisation: what does our plan look like to get to know the possibilities of AI?

Organising for the future
Part 3/3 How we grow: build for scale