Working faster, better, in a new competitive landscape

A new competitive business landscape, driven by globalisation and technological advancement, is pushing businesses to re-evaluate their operational, price, quality, and client satisfaction metrics. An increasing focus on innovation and cost efficiency makes it imperative for businesses to not only work better, but also faster, getting its products/services into the global market quicker than ever before.

The ability to adapt to the changing environment is crucial for any business looking to stay ahead of its competition. Conventional methods are being challenged and firms that seize the opportunity to adopt better business technologies and outsource to IT firms like Acora, will find the going easy.

The conventional tools of strategic analysis – SWOT, Porter’s Five Industry Forces, Generic Strategies, barriers to entry and others – were the work of economists who saw strategy development as crucial to business growth. In a new landscape, strategy is still important, but it has to be aligned to changing technologies and mindsets. More economies are looking at privatisation as a means of driving growth, development and technological convergence among industries (healthcare and computing, for example) is unsettling normal industry structures.

The boundary between local and global businesses is small, thanks to rapidly developing technology and the Internet. Any business has to be responsive to the needs of the local market while playing to global standards. Businesses looking to make an impact must start with a new approach:

acora

The need for IT outsourcing

Businesses focused on providing quality services at better costs are looking to IT outsourcing firms to provide a competitive advantage. A business might lack the skills and resources in-house to keep up with new technology, but for an IT service company such as Acora, few problems are new to them. A patient would rather see an experienced doctor, the same is true when it comes to placing a business in the hands of a professional.

In addition to the visible cost cutting benefits, IT outsourcing has the added advantage of reducing risk for a business. Any business investment comes with a level of risk. Outsourcing providers take on the risks inherent with technology (regulation, security, financial costs, rapid changes and compliance issues) and are much better at ensuring the client enjoys high quality services without any worrying.

With the pressure of adapting and keeping IT infrastructure running taken out of their hands, businesses can focus on their core competencies and ensure resources are used wisely.

Innovation

Innovation is a big element of staying competitive. For a long time, however, innovation was focused on the product and the processes entailed in production. With a changing landscape, the focus has shifted to innovating the business model. Traditional structures that emphasised an adherence to strict processes – hierarchy of authority – are being replaced by ‘flatter’ structures where employees at every level can contribute to innovation. Continuous improvement is a workplace mantra meant to ensure all products are continually developed to meet changing consumer demands.

Collaborative knowledge sourcing

Social media-style platforms are breaking the mold of traditional knowledge bases and making it easier for businesses to source for ideas from the wider public. Social media is almost a necessity for any consumer-facing business. Platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram have made it easier to not just communicate with consumers, but also respond to queries/issues and advertise to a wider market. Many online services now incorporate a social element that offers an opportunity to put a human side to business.

As a source of knowledge, social platforms are giving businesses a chance to share knowledge through blogs and websites. Information is shared as ‘how to’ articles, promotional content, interesting videos, online competitions, and special offers. Business marketers can source consumer information on social platforms they wouldn’t ordinarily get, while using the platforms to generate sales leads and encourage more engagement with the business.

Information security

There is zero margin for error when it comes to securing business information. The consequences of information leaks and security breaches can mean the end of business operations. The challenge for security specialists within the business is to create and implement security policies that leave no room for compromise. Also high on the list of priorities for such specialists is the need to communicate with top management the importance of tying information security to the broader business objectives.

Consumers and users of information are alert to the importance of security, which is forcing businesses to adopt security standards and frameworks, such as those supported by ITIL, as proof of compliance. Any business willing to adopt independent security standards is committed to ensuring business and customer data is kept safe.

At the core of many shifts in the new business landscape is technology. Whether it’s developing a new customer interface or ensuring workplace mobility, technology will continue to provide a competitive advantage to those that make use of established IT service providers.

In the Know: 8 Top Tips for Implementing Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Many businesses are now considering utilizing Microsoft Dynamics NAV within their day-to-day operations, which is a big decision that affects the way that the entire company functions. But, when handled with the utmost care and precision, this can be one of the best decisions any business can make, and Acora provides an excellent partner to help companies make this transition. Learn more about their offerings on the company’s Facebook Page.

The IT service provider not only offers a solid foundation in helping businesses transition to Microsoft Dynamics NAV, but the company also wants to ensure that businesses are prepared to utilize the platform fully in order to reduce costs and experience growth. That’s why Acora has created 8 tips for businesses to successfully initiate Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

Acora

Tip 1: Clearly identify a criteria for success

When it comes to implementation, it is important to clearly identify and list those key criteria for success. Businesses should ask themselves which items are most important. This could be anything from having full visibility and access to all information that is both sent and received by a supplier to significantly lessening stock take variances. Each company will have a different set of criteria.

Tip 2: Dedicate time for essential users to commit to the project

Each company’s key players need to spend a significant amount of time on the implementation. If they are not given the adequate time, they will not be able to complete the project work needed to be successful. Each key player needs approximately 15 to 20 additional days devoted to the project across the 4 to 6 month implementation period.

Tip 3: Ensure that your IT partner understands your business

When the IT partner creates a team to help the business through the implementation process, that team needs to be aware of what the company does. The company can help this process by answering any questions that the team has and validating their pre-existing knowledge. When the partner doesn’t understand the business, this could lead to an inadequate initiation of the system.

Tip 4: Understand the solution before making a change

Microsoft Dynamics NAV contains a great deal of functionality so long as companies and employees known how to use the platform. It is imperative that businesses insist that their users are properly trained on the system before undertaking gap analysis. This approach allows companies to gain full access of the software without having to spend additional money to build extraneous products and features.

Tip 5: Make sure that the company’s most influential players are involved in the project

Involving the most experienced top-level staff ensures that everyone in the company is on board with the implementation and is aware of the reasons why these changes are taking place. This should also involve communicating these strategic decisions to the remainder of the company so they are aware of the business-wide expectations.

Tip 6: Prepare for the unknown

No matter what, unexpected things will happen, and each business should be prepared for unforeseen obstacles and roadblocks. This is why it is important to build in contingency plans and allow for extra time to deal with anything that comes up.

Tip 7: Stick to the plan

It is essential for businesses to define the scope of the project as well as remain committed to that plan. This involves working with the IT partner and trusting their project management expertise. It is also important to only make changes to the plan that are necessary rather than straying from the original scope.

Tip 8: Initiate the project one step at a time.

If the company requires a complex set of needs, the business should make a list of those needs and cross them off one at a time so that the project is easy to manage. This also allows the team to see the small victories in the midst of the larger project and motivates them to continue.

While these are Acora’s top tips, there are many more keys to success, and the IT service provider will work closely with each business to help them meet their specific needs. Acora is known throughout the UK for providing an excellent implementation strategy while remaining flexible and open to each of their clients. Acora is committed, first and foremost, to their customers’ success and have a proven track record when it comes to helping implement Microsoft Dynamics NAV in order to meet their goals.