Seventhman Blog

  1. Can IT and Business Bury the Hatchet?

    "IT Friction"Can we all just get along?  Sometimes, you can’t help asking this question where it concerns the IT department and the rest of the business.  Whether it’s an issue of mistrust, communication or mindboggling bugs – business owners are simply lost as to how to deal with the issue.  This gap is a major money drain that adds to loss in productivity in the workplace.  When things get awry, end users of technology used in the company hate calling their help desk.  In fact, that’s the last thing they want to do.  Does it have something to do with the IT stereotype, of introverted technophiles working in secret?  Is it a culture clash that makes charismatic business leaders steer clear of IT?  Whatever the answer is, there’s only one truth here: There is a huge gap.

    Going Back to Where It All Started

    Last May, I shared with you my insights on the three inconvenient truths about IT and business. Let’s dig in deeper this time.  No matter how modern a company’s business is, how well-supported it is with new technologies and trends like the  BYOD (bring-your-own-device) movement, the expectations between IT and business is a major mismatch contributing to the friction that’s getting bigger each day. According to a study made by Forrester (commissioned by BMC) in December 2012 – there are significant gaps in customer experience.  Business users of all types are  solving things on their own or getting it elsewhere, even when they reached out to IT for help.  We all know that user satisfaction is important in business.  The thing is that even when IT asks for ways to improve with their surveys, little to no action is done to make things work.

    Inspiring a Culture of Change

    Do you think that the old system is to blame?  In the beginning, businesses were totally dependent on IT no matter how limited the technology is.  Then came the internet and tools on how to make things faster at a lower cost.  Business leaders are simply taking things on their own because their needs weren’t met when they started working with IT.  Not all users have the same demands and expectations so understanding the culture of each user is a must.  Gone were the days when the service desk is just a point of contact.  They have to be trained to excel in customer service.  If the IT management will be more accountable on each solution they provide, they may even automate certain processes within the business to help regain loss in productivity.  Everybody wins then…

    IT Problems Don’t Have to Cost Your Business Big Bucks

    The real trouble kicks in when you’re dealing with numbers.  Let’s say company X employs thousands.  Majority of their requests go to the help desk – whether they are working at the office, semi-mobile or 100% mobile.  When users can’t work because of IT issues, they lose valuable time.  Frustrations can pile up.  While automation has helped counter this,  together with implementing user-friendly support (tutorials, remote help, live chats, blogs, forums) – only through proactive and timely communication will the gap heal in time.  Having a Plan B when things go wrong can help too, so long as there is a real commitment to continuously improve existing technologies and system with one end in mind: Positive Impact to Business.

    How can you innovate IT? Start with common sense, like keeping things simple.  It can go a long way, would you agree?

     

     

     

  2. 2013 Business Insights: Adding the Extra to Ordinary

    "2013 business trends"What if 2013 marks the year where no rules apply to doing business?  I wonder how it will look like, especially when people can’t stop talking about going over the fiscal cliff.  No matter what bracket you belong to, one thing’s for sure: Taxes are on the rise.  Perhaps, it isn’t time to quit things yet.  How about going with the flow of this change and starting a new business all over?  Bottom line is, that it’s the only realistic option there is where many are already pinching pennies.  No matter how you look at it, your business is an investment and a risk; something has to give.

    Hitting the Brakes on Trends

    I have been following lots of articles and news talking about business and technology trends this 2013.  The thing is, there’s no way of knowing if that new shiny object is the real thing you need.  I guess, at one point, you’re all too tired of the endless gimmicks brands place, here and there, that you wonder whatever happened to good ol’ customer service experience.  Let’s take for example those QR codes you see on packaging, on stores and so on.  Does everyone even know how to use them?  Maybe not.  Making things complicated won’t work, no matter how trending it may be.  This may also hold true for the many buzzwords we hear like big data when you just don’t know what to do with all that noise.. and gamification that dies as soon as the spark ignited.  You may want to invest for the long run this time.

    Real Change Starts With You

    What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, but what if you are the very knife that makes your business bleed?  As the year is coming to an end and we’re about to face the new year, it’s time for honest conversations, careful analysis and introspections.  Your leadership may be put on hot waters.  Scary?  Yes.  The thought of undergoing change? Scarier.  Only the brave dare go beyond the walls of their false egos and conquer the unknown.  This is why we only have a very few percentage of successful people in their niche.  You must learn to separate fact from intuition and ask yourself if you’re really looking at real problems.  Your faith will determine your fate… and real solutions will come to surface.

    The Culture of Thriving

    I have always said it, time and again, that your people are the greatest asset your business can ever have.  Your competitors can always hire the best talents out there, but without a strong culture, it’s simply a waste.  You are in the business of listening to your team and your customers.  For this reason, it is crucial to hire those who feel connected with your values and goals.  You can train anyone new skills, but only attitude makes for a winning team.  Sadly, many are left in the old way of doing business that they find it hard to adapt in a changing market.  There is a fine line between managing and leading .  In the end, your company culture will be your greatest competitive advantage – if you manage things right and lead the right things.

    This 2013.. Are you willing to take the risk and reinvent the wheel?

  3. Want to Succeed? Try Being Simple

    "art of simplicity business"Just because you need to come up with a strategy doesn’t have to mean that it has to be complex.  Success in business, sales, customer relationships… comes down to the new golden rule: SIMPLICITY.  Sometimes, the need to impress overcomes good judgment when it comes to creating an innovative product or service.  In the race to present the best features, we tend to overdo certain aspects, be it the use of jargon that makes our message hard to understand or vanity metrics that don’t add value to the business at hand.  Whether we talk or write about our business plans, products, services – we often forget to keep things simple.

    Creativity Can Mean Thinking.. Without the Box

    Whenever I’m in a room meeting with top consulting ‘gurus’, I often wonder just how big the box that they’re in.  Sometimes, the best way to come up with a business road map is to do away with the box and start on a clean slate.  Does it make you wonder why you spend too many hours in brainstorming sessions?  And most often, you get out of it more confused than ever.  It’s only human nature to love everything that spells complexity, not because we’re complex beings, but because we love drama – of coming out as the winning protagonist in some heroic tale of epic proportions.  All the praises and cheers after battling an eight-headed monster sounds greater than having to deal with a 100-legged worm.  All that glory is an illusion that at the end of the day, time is wasted on trying to unlock a door with a thousand keys when you could have simply turn the knob around and find out that it’s open all that time.

    Simplicity is More than Just Aesthetics

    We’ve seen the return of zen-inspired websites, of no-fuss design that makes it easier for readers to navigate a site.  But simplicity in business is more than just aesthetics.  Simplicity is innovation in its very basic, by solving complex problems in everyday life.  A great example of this is by looking at Steve Jobs and his Apple products, where simplicity of form follows ease of function – which became his most renowned legacy.  As he said to The New York Times, “…It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Then, we can look back at the “less is more” concept when it comes to design and no matter how streamlined a plan can be, it is a product of careful analysis and commitment to excel at every turn.  This may be the top reason why people will want to buy a simple product with a high value at a high price; it’s the benefit that counts.

    The Art of Driving Sales and Customer Loyalty

    Again, the answer is simple.. Simplicity is the best driver of them all.  Most often, I talk to customers about what makes them buy from an e-commerce site and it all has its roots in simplicity.  Customers are frustrated these days with technological gimmicks like having to scan codes to get discounts, waiting in line to get an exclusive invite and so on.  Why make things complicated when you can easily display the info in one place, no matter what the screen size is?  Why make it hard for people to find what you have to offer?  In the need to look cutting edge, we may forget to map where our customers make decisions when they visit our website.  There’s just too much clutter and before you know it, your bounce rate hits higher than 70%.

    Someone said that ‘if you build it, they will come.’  I’d rather say that ‘if you make it simple, customers will not only come.. but, they will share this fresh experience with everyone.