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. How to Make Software Implementation Faster and Hassle-Free

    "rapid software implementation"Speed is essential when it comes to IT projects.  Your clients don’t want to wait that long for you to come up with an innovative software that will help their business.  These are tough times, where the fast beats the new and budgets are down-sized.  As the software industry is expected to come up with something useful in a snap, there is a shift towards new methodologies that steps away from the conventional way projects are managed – to set developers free from rigid project timelines which are unacceptably longer than they used to be.  Should you speed up the software implementation process?  Does that mean sacrificing quality over speed?

    Focusing on Real Metrics

    What is success?  You have to define this when it comes to achieving specific goals and outcomes.  Having this early consensus can help in coming up with best approaches in building a software that really works.  There must be a meaningful collaboration among businesses and developers to make sure that there is little room for error due to poor planning.  Trouble is, people are focusing on the wrong thing where software implementation is involved.  We don’t simply have the luxury of time to wait for two years to come up with something cutting edge these days.  We may have reached an inflection point in tech and things are happening faster.  You need to kick those old tires and come up with a better system that works – or you’ll be left behind.  You have to focus on priorities and make sure to map your project based on these.

    Collaboration is Key to Successful Software Deployment

    Sometimes, software developers are lost as to whether they should please the C-Suite or the end users.  There are a million things that can satisfy.. or not.  Most often, when software projects fail, the managers blame the technology or the vendor.  If only IT departments and business stakeholders collaborated, they wouldn’t have come short of expectations instead.  Total success demands that the two work closely together, given that there is low tolerance for delays and extra costs.  What is the point of developing something when real metrics of the outcome haven’t been talked about?  If you want to solve the client’s unique requirements, you have to adopt sophisticated ways of creating custom software solutions that are not time-consuming.

    Best Practices for Rapid Software Implementation

    While there’s no one-size-fits-all way of addressing this issue, these have worked well for Seventhman and we’re sharing these tips to help you deal with complex software projects:

    1.  Never force a client to change.  Rather, come up with a product that can rapidly adapt to how the client’s system operates.

    2.  Always involve the client in each stage of software development.  The earlier you get the feedback, the more time you save when pursuing multiple milestones – simultaneously.

    3.  Get the software up and running quick to make users get the feel of a fully-functioning system.  This helps you get feedback in less time so you can continuously improve the end product.

    4.  Don’t make the whole experience a hassle to your clients.  There’s no need for them to test something that you have tested already.  Instead, make them review and validate that the software  has met their needs – from system configuration, migration, work-flow to integration with what they currently have.

    5.  Allow room for adjustment.  After your software went live, allow 90 days for you to make a list of what needs changing.  Then, you can make those final changes.  At this time, you must have a 100% running software that comes with support, documentation/licenses, and minimal bugs/risks.

    This is just a roundup of what clients should expect and what vendors must deliver when it comes to software development.

    If you’re an entrepreneur who wants to turn your dream IT project into a reality.. or someone who’s lost on how to deal with complicated software projects – Simply Ask!  How can I help you achieve that vision?