To help make your business agile, over the next few weeks, we are going to look at the top 10 challenges for small to medium size businesses (SMB’s) around IT priorities and challenges. This is the first in the series on making your business agile.
Starting at #10:
#10 Business Issue: Creating Innovative Products
First, the key to any successful business is the ability to come up with new ideas. These ideas keep operations, products and services fresh. Innovation means bringing these ideas to the market. The biggest task is to actually turn that idea into an actual product or service that will benefit your customer.
A recent study by Accenture revealed that more than 90 percent of executives believe the long-term success of their organization's strategy depends on their ability to develop new ideas.
#10 IT Priority: Virtual Reality/ Augmented Reality
Next, reality technologies are gaining momentum. The field is still very new, but it’s clear that virtual reality will change the way we do business. Some examples of these applications include:
- VR Remote Training for Employees
Employees working on the same team might not report to the same office. Technologies could reduce the costs of training. The ability to have a single instructor teaching employees in different locations could reduce the costs of training. Additionally, using VR for training simulations, complex tasks using machinery can be taught. Also learning how to deal with unexpected situations in a virtual environment.
- Mixed Reality Data Organization
So VR could transport a user into their work. A space filled with data, charts and images that can be manipulated. AR could even be more practical. Handwritten notes, physical objects and printed documents all integrated into the interface.
- Virtual Reality Communication and Collaboration
Since everything that applies to employee training applies to communication and collaboration. Team members in different locations can “virtually” be in a conference room together complete with gestures, pointing and body language.
There are a few examples of VR/AR already being used in the workplace. Google Translate, Virtual Desktop and LiveViewRift. Several companies are using it too – Ford, Carnival Cruises, Sotheby’s International Real Estate, Mariott and the NorthFace clothing – to name a few!
#1 IT Challenge: Maintaining Current IT Infrastructure
Last, a primary focus of IT management is the value creation due to technology. This requires the alignment of technology and business strategies. IT managers often feel that it is difficult to make a case for spending money on infrastructure systems. It is probably easier to make a case for spending money on application systems. Additionally, determining the value in infrastructure spending is complicated. It involves factors that are both financial and nonfinancial. An IT manager must provide background to illustrate the various types of infrastructure projects. By showing present capabilities, there can be an analysis of benefits and risks. Then developing a cost model with some alternatives, will appeal to decision makers. Finally, with this kind of presentation, decision makers can better appreciate the value of IT infrastructure and approve necessary projects.
We will be moving on to #9 next week. We will tell you about managing inventory effectively. At EN Computers, we have so many ways to make your business agile.