In today’s leaner and meaner business environment, we are constantly under pressure to deliver more with less. Whether it’s an increase in sales with fewer sales reps, more business intelligence with fewer analysts, or more units with fewer workers, we all feel the pressure. Finding the solution that moves the business forward without inflating overhead costs is critical.
Business executives deal with the constant internal pressure to expand the employee count against the desired profitability of the business. How do we learn to work smarter, faster and more efficiently? What can be leveraged to give us a competitive advantage in the marketplace? What tasks can we eliminate or change to take less time? How do we gain a viable edge in an emerging market?
The questions that get asked and weighed when looking at growth are difficult to answer, and adding an additional headcount to the business, with all of its associated costs (taxes, insurance, etc.) is often the easy answer, but is it the best one?
Improving your internal technology systems might be a better alternative to hiring another person even if it’s hard to keep your eyes from rolling back in your head with the discussions of gigabytes, IP addresses, WAN/LAN, and disaster recovery. Adding another headcount may be the easy answer, there is far less risk and it is a known and understood process; however, rarely does that decision provide for a competitive advantage.
How much time and money is change to a core system going to cost? How many projects that are enterprise level fail? What is that cost? Wouldn’t it just be easier to add that other CPA and use Excel? Is this system going to change how we work, allow us to be more efficient, or give us the ability to become more agile? Is that worth the investment and the risk? These questions drive the decisions to change how we work.
It is when the business is changing that opportunity presents itself - when there is a shift in the market, a new opportunity that is opening up, or a new product that can significantly change the business. This is when re-evaluating how the business operates makes the most sense. Technology is about making our lives easier, or opening up an opportunity that wouldn’t materialize without it.
Introducing a new system into any business is a significant event. When done correctly, it can essentially change the very core of the business. Seldom does changing headcount numbers have that kind of a ramification.
When looking at enterprise level systems, the risks and rewards must be understood and appropriately mitigated, with the right partner, it can be a “game changer.”