To promote future growth, organizations need to look beyond simply increasing profits, they also need to set their sights on developing operations that support their journey. However, despite even the best planning efforts, there will be growing pains.
This is especially true in the IT function, which is often immature in early-stage growth companies and also challenging to ramp-up quickly. If thoughtfully and strategically handled, IT can unlock rapid growth and help build competitive advantage. We explore three ways IT can enable rapid growth: cloud, automation and streamlined new hire onboarding.
The Future is in the Cloud
Over the past decade, cloud-based services have revolutionized the IT space. Previously, an organization needed to buy servers and software licenses for its current and projected workforce. This was often a poor use of capital, sometimes even leading to the pre-purchase of systems that were not used or needed. Not only was this process costly, but it was slow and challenging to scale.
Today, companies can rent server space from cloud-based services and utilize applications from software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers, offering greater flexibility. This means they can quickly add or remove resources to suit their needs—and get billed only for what is used.
Automation to the Rescue
When an organization is growing quickly, there is a constant need to do more with fewer resources. In this phase, automation software can be especially beneficial. The right software solution will automate critical workflow processes, reducing the need for manual tasks. This can both improve work output while allowing employees to focus on value-added tasks.
Automation can range from accounting software that pulls data from various sources to a chatbot that handles inquiries on the company website. This saves time and money while improving productivity and reducing errors.
The Importance of Efficient Onboarding
The length of time it takes to onboard a new employee is a good indication of an organization’s readiness to scale efficiently. If it’s an efficient process that only takes a few days, they can likely hire more people and scale their operations quickly. If it takes several days or weeks, then changes are needed to support growth.
To help improve the onboarding experience, organizations should:
- Step back and see if they can organize themselves better, systematically setting consistent procedures and policies that can be used repeatedly with defined workflows
- Invest in a human resources information system (HRIS) that is populated with information that can feed IT
- Create an information technology infrastructure library (ITIL®) to help align IT services with the needs of the business
- Develop a service catalog. Service catalog management, a key IT practice within ITIL®, provides clarity on what services are offered, and how and when they will be delivered. With input from the HRIS, a service catalog can clearly define the software or equipment available and authorized by job position.
When these items are managed well, a new hire can be seamlessly up and running on their first day with a laptop preloaded with all the software they need, alongside credentials for email and network access. Without this type of standardization, a new employee could wait several days to get up and running.
IT as a Driver of Growth
IT is an important enabler of growth, helping you build value and gain a competitive advantage in your marketplace. Therefore, it is vital to make IT a core part of any long-term business strategy. Choosing the right IT solutions can help companies successfully expand at the pace they need.
How BPM Can Help
If you want to learn more about how BPM can help you implement and execute an effective IT strategy that will enable your organization to scale quickly while avoiding the common pitfalls, please contact Mike Sellai.
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