Our lives have been forever changed by two foundational advances in technology: the internet and mobile devices.
For the first time in history we have access to unlimited connections between people and machines. It has given birth to what Seth Godin calls “The Connection Economy”.*
These unlimited connections are more mobile than ever.
We have countless choices on how we curate, manage, document, record, measure, track and celebrate our personal and professional lives.
Powerful; yes, but be warned paralysis might be around the corner.
Our businesses have been slow to adopt technology that takes full advantage of the internet and the mobility found in a new breed of devices. Small and medium businesses are either stuck in old technology or in some cases have become paralysed by adopting too many technologies at high speed.
Businesses that have failed to adopt technology that is delivered via the internet - 'Cloud Technology' which then powers connections between their employees and customers on their mobile devices will not know their customer base, grow or thrive in the new connection economy.
Most businesses I have engaged with over the past twelve months have blended old technology with the new with varying results, while many small and medium business owners I have engaged with in the same period are paralysed by not having a single source of the truth.
I have seen disconnected technology implemented for accounting, customer service, emails, calendering, customer relationships, digital marketing, websites and document creation.
A single source of the truth can provide a business real time information, enable excellence in customer service and establish a platform for the business to innovate.
It gives a business opportunities to:
- Rapidly respond to customer needs
- Massage processes to fine tune customer service
- Get visibility into the business throughout the entire life cycle of a customer
- Dream up new services or partnerships
How do I build a single source of the truth?
Stop investing in new technology that persists disconnection.
You may think this is solving a pressing problem or capitalising on a new opportunity but it is an illusion. As soon as you add a new piece to the puzzle you are creating a silo of information that can’t be shared.
Select a platform that is the bedrock of your ‘single source’ of the truth.
If you can find a platform that connects accounting, customer service, relationship management, websites, social media, digital marketing and document creation together - select it.
I worked for Salesforce for two years. Having sold the Salesforce platform alongside the thousands of apps available on the AppExchange I worked to convince my customers to invest in Salesforce. Now as a customer of Salesforce I have been further convinced there is no other platform that can so strongly build a single source of the truth for a business.
Invest in a high quality implementation.
Get an expert to understand your business well enough to implement a technology foundation for today's needs and the needs of your business in 5, 10, 20 years.
There are two pitfalls I have seen small and medium businesses make:
- They make a decision for the lowest price: They invariably get an inferior platform that becomes yet another silo of information in their business
- They try to spend as little on implementation as possible: I have seen this paralyse businesses time and time again. Their investment in licences results in frustration and negative outcomes for the business
A good rule of thumb here is to invest 3X the amount it costs for licences in implementation services with a trusted partner and you will have sufficient cover for a high quality implementation.
The world has changed considerably. The nature of technology today is challenging us to create a single source of the truth for our businesses.
Go on an adventure: Stop spending wasted money on disconnected technology. Select the right platform to build your business on. Invest in implementation to the point the technology exactly meets your requirements today and is poised for your businesses future.
© Andrew Sloan and "Andrew's Blog", 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Andrew Sloan and "The World's First Technology Engagement Manager?" with appropriate and specific direction to the original content via www.andrewsloan.com.au