Best Practices for a successful mid-size Information technology consulting company
Information technology is perhaps one of the most successfully booming industries. From Warren Buffet in US to the Ambani brothers in India, all have launched one or other form of Information Technology firms and companies that has generated and garnered enough profit and shares for the investors and the owners.
It is not always about money. It is always best to follow the motto of, “two steps forward and one step backward” to understand the strength and weakness of an Information technology business.
Why choose information technology as the choice of Business?
The modern economic environment is dominated wholly by globalization, hyper-competition and the knowledge and information. This new technological epoch is apparent through intensified investment in computer-processing and data preparation appliances in the manufacturing and service industries and telecommunications infrastructure, and also to its widespread usage in government agencies, educational organizations, and, more recently, in the household. As a result of this technological progress, the implementation and application of IT is a significant driving force behind many socioeconomic changes.
As the utilization and commercialization of IT becomes more widespread throughout the world, the adoption of IT can generate new business opportunities and various benefits. Nowadays, both large organizations and small and medium-sized enterprises are seeking ways to reinforce their competitive position and improve their Productivity. Accordingly, there is an increasing consciousness of the necessity to derive profit through investment in IT. IT tools can significantly assist other business ventures by supplying the required infrastructure, which is necessary for providing appropriate types of information at the right time.
Some iconic examples of business practices that has affected the marketing strategy and revolutionized IT industries include names like Capgemini, Accenture, IBM, Delloitte and PWC.
Since 2002 Accenture’s Procurement section began to work in collaboration with the internal IT section to help in changing the functionality of the company profile beginning right at the bottom level and than moving upwards. Procurement professionals were instructed to work alongside the IT specialist team thus helping in combining the professional and financial skills with the technical and application management skills.
After successfully clubbing both the sections of the company various ailments within the company was being identified and rectified as soon as possible. Manual processing was totally obliterated and SAP enterprise source planning was introduced into the module. This was followed by compiling negotiated and providing multiple contracts to a single vendor
Capgemini in collaboration with the Enforcement Removal Operations came up with the basic planning of systemic modifications and ramifications for smooth operations. The job of Capgemini includes transportation planning andemergency management and detention. The result of this joint venture helped in cost cutting the expenses required in deportation and clearing illegal activities from the United States. Presently Capgemini is assisting in planning the capacity and development of over 30 thousand captives.
Service parts management was one of the unique and brilliant business practices that not only rendered benefit to the clients but also the company. To refurbish the service parts operations, Delloittes customer-focused panel introduced a new business design along with a new process and planning method. This helped them reduce the structural cost while improving the productivity and customer satisfaction level.
Various practices implemented by IBM in improvising their business standards includes-
Deploying the particular hardwares with high speed browsers
Using a quick mode of connectivity between the process designer and process centre
Exact and clear tuning and configurations of the systems
Optimization of the business data search engine
Checking and updating the master configuration settings.
To make the mid size Information technology consulting firm a complete success mandatory planning is needed.
The important Practicing steps to ensure the success of the mid size Information technology firms are
Planning the needs for your IT firm ----à building of observable models and networks ---à Building and growing the infrastructure of your company ---à Populace authority: Developing a strategy exclusively for the mass ---à Crafting definitive and exclusive Technology and e-businesses---à Client relationship supervision ---à Hazard management
1. Planning the needs of your firm
Planning the exact needs and demands of an Information Technology firm needs proper strategies. The three possible “market strategies” can be:
a. Overall outlay management
The “Overall outlay management” strategy is based on delivering your services with a low expense baseline, which in turn enables one to sell their service at a lower value yet still be profitable. A strong focus on cost reduction is needed. This can be achieved by some intelligent decision making, whenever you buy the goods and services which are consumed as you deliver your decision; it can be achieved by eliminating loss-making services/products or clients;
A “Delineation” strategy demands that you take a different path in delivering your service from that which many of your competitors will focus on. Success with this strategy requires that you know your competitors thoroughly. This may be difficult in a typical “market” for Information technology services which is typified by many competitors whose strategies might not be easily visible from the outside. “Differentiation” is easier to adopt if you have few competitors, and if their own position is clearly marketed to the intended demographic.
c. Focal point
The third possible market strategy revolves around “Focal point.” For example, your firm might focus on one industry or a very small number of industries together. By doing this, your people can legitimately claim expertise in dealing with professional practices, or doctors, or the mining industry. Your people will learn the specific needs and activities of a few sectors and thus will be able to ensure that all clients benefit from that knowledge—either by not needing a “erudition curve” or extensive research, or by understanding industry-specific software and hardware demand.
If “focus” is your key promotion strategy, the market fragment must be able to afford your services; otherwise you risking the firm’s efforts into low-yielding employment.
2. Building of observable models and networks
Specialism and Generality
If anyone chooses to specialize in a specific branch of Information technology or client base, then they are consciously focusing on a narrow range of services and turning their back on the other services provided by competitors. The revenue will come from services that few competitors can provide.
To make this particular strategy of individual specialized branch to work financially, one must have highly skilled team members. They might have intellectual knowledge but since options are limited it is essential to have enough content and matter to influence the decision of the client. Promotion of the particular Information Technology service within a sufficiently large market to generate enough clients is very essential. This does not mean that the firm or office must be located in a big city, but instead one must promote their service to a large number of potential clients by involving the clients into visiting the firm and assessing the core values and strengths of the firm. In this way, the firm can generate enough revenue to support its expenses and deliver profit to the firm.
In this situation, your firm offers a broad range of IT services to clients. Once again, skill and knowledge are important, but a key challenge is to keep up to date with IT evolutions all around the globe.
One tactic is to appoint many internal specialists at a time, each of whom is up to date with various aspects of IT industry. Each person can back up the other personnel in the firm and create more points of contact with each of the individual clients. This approach works very well in medium-sized and larger firms, but in smaller firms there are not enough people to support the load. Very small firms often can find it very difficult to keep fully up to date with the many changes in the legislature, making the general firm approach harder to implement.
It is impossible, in a marketing sense, to be both “specialist consultant” and “generalist consultant.” I is always a safe mechanism to concentrate on one aspect instead of diverging into two streams.
3. Building and growing the infrastructure of your company
This section recaps the main points where the importance of planning the Information technology business was spoken about initially. The philosophy behind a business plan is simple. At its heart, there are three key fundamentals:
a. Where is the firm now?
b. Where is it being directed?
c. How will it get there?
Your business plan must answer these three questions. If it doesn’t, it’s not really a plan and will most likely not be effective.
A simple business plan outline
The business plan identifies the objectives, major strategies and indicators of achievement aimed at consolidating and growing your firm and its services.
Managerial summary: Write this last. It’s just a page or two of major point of highlights.
Company portrayal: This includes legal establishment, history, start-up plans, and a summary of “where the firm is being directed to.”
Key objectives: Describe the key objectives of the business and how you will reach that point.
Service description: Describe what services you’re offering. Let the center of attention be on client benefits, and how you can satisfy their individual needs.
Market scrutiny: You need to know your market, client needs, where they are and how to reach them in a definitive pattern.
Strategy and execution: Be specific. Include management responsibilities with dates and budgets. Make sure you can track the results particular to each of them.
Management team: Describe the organization and the key managerial team members. Include an organization chart with key areas of important operation.
Financial psychotherapy: Make sure to include, at the very least, your projected profit and loss and cash flow tables and charts clearly.
4. Populace authority: Developing a strategy exclusively for the mass
Your management team’s ability to attract, retain, motivate and lead your employees will be the crucial point of your success. There are many management strategies one can use to ensure that this epoch of growth goes smoothly. Factors to consider include the people management strategy of the firm and how headship is manifested. Appropriate management of individual staff issues is vital to a harmonious workplace. Such issues include training and developing staff skills, and recognizing your staff’s contribution to the firm. It also includes dealing with the exits and transitioning of employees, as well as attracting and retaining the skilled graduates and qualified IT experts from other firms who will become the future key players of your tem. The degree to which you can provide a elevated level of professional service is determined by the quality and caliber of your team players.
5. Crafting definitive and exclusive Technology and e-businesses
This section highlights some of the business benefits that can be realized by the employer as a result of the growing consumerization of IT chattels. The business community can realize the benefits of this trend if they can utilize these IT assets and influence the public infrastructure. Business can reap extra remuneration from the increasing influence of standardization, vast economy, high availability and reliability of communal infrastructure. It must be recognized that, some consumer devices are dependent on cloud services and therefore require ubiquitous access to the Internet.
In addition, there would appear to be some benefits to using employee personal paraphernalia to defray company IT costs. In general, the real benefit is realized by the business if the employee invests in dual-use IT assets and services, and the employer does not have to incur the expenses or manage the IT assets.
6. Client relationship supervision
“Client” indicates an ongoing, professional association. This means that once an initial relationship is established, both the firm and the client intend to continue to deal with each other throughout the project until completing the project.
“Relationship” implies that the association between client and firm. It is more than a simple deal, or a one-time procurement of service. It is often the case that the client shares private or confidential information with the firm, and hence a level of trust is established between both the involved parties.
“Supervision” implies that the relationship doesn’t just happen, it needs to grow and evolve. This means that there is an active involvement, more than just the firm’s response to client requirements.
Establishing a deeper client relationship makes good commercial sagacity. It has been established over a number of surveys that it is much more cost productive to retain a client than it does to acquire a new one. This should be of particular interest to the IT officer, who is often very concerned with matters relating to cost and cost running.
7. Hazard management
Hazard management has a specific impact on life in a small to mid size Information technology business. It is important in terms of protecting the assets, finances and operations of the firm and contributing to satisfactory legal conformity, corporate ascendancy and due meticulousness. Consequently, hazard management will protect the reputation, credibility and rank of the firm.
Establish a hazard management “culture” in the firm. A hazard management culture emphasizes at all levels of your firm the importance of managing various hazards as part of each team member’s daily actions at all levels of the firm. The goal of creating this culture is to create a situation where partners and staff instinctively look for faults and errors and consider their impacts when making efficient operational decisions. The essence of a culture is that it is not geographically reliant, or specific to any country or location. The doctrine in establishing this culture is widespread and relevant to each locality.
These basic practices can make any Information technology succeed as well as permanently fix their footing among the market for the bests.