It’s About the Business, You – The “Wow” Factor (Part 2)

This post continues my previous discussion regarding the “wow” factor and business cases.

Ask yourselves: what have you done to make a business owner say “wow” today? Meeting a milestone, overcoming a bottleneck or reporting a success are great places to start as delivering on current commitments is vital. But meeting commitments will get you an “attaboy” (and a continuing income stream) at best.

Demonstrating how data acquired from a legacy Line of Business (LOB) silo can be consumed by a desktop application and made accessible to the business audience should get you a “hmm”. “Hmm” from an enlightened business owner could lead to the opportunity for a big “wow” down the road. Some notes:

  • Sell the idea as it really should be: an ongoing effort toward enterprise systems integration.
  • Select tools with momentum: tools and platforms with community, history and ongoing support.
  • Plan incremental success milestones that add business value: it’s important to show tangible progress.
  • Plan to minimize impact on the users of the applications: it’s best to work with the back-end plumbing before you introduce change to the desktop.
  • Show your work! Expose prototype components that let business owners see data they’d not seen before. Please note: I said data, not more application layers or widgets.
  • Continue searching for the “hmm” factor, but be mindful of adding any scope until you can show successes.

Business Owners
Ask yourselves: have you opened your mind to think outside conventional wisdom in solving a ticklish business issue? Have you cultivated an environment in which those with technology knowledge can present you with potential solutions or opportunities?

There are reasons that either (or both) answers could be “no”. One possibility: you’re already fully integrated, and in this case, kudos. Another: you feel you lack the budget for another project. Still another is you may not see a value in integrating back-end data. If the latter two are your reasons, take a careful look at your environment and your data.

A well-planned and well-executed integration will not cost you money; it will make you money. Yes, you’ll have cash outlay, of course, but there is ROI potential in improving both the top and bottom lines.

Your data is valuable, and not just because your applications run on it. Your data has value outside regular business operations. You can mine your own data to:

  • Identify business and customer trends.
  • Recognize waste and redundancies.
  • Uncover process improvement opportunities.
  • Reduce business risk.

Further, access to your data has value to others within your organization. If users could see relevant data in fewer interfaces (eliminating “screen hopping”), you have the opportunity to increase productivity and reduce errors through automation and integration.

Next: Integration – The Brainstorming Process.

About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

One Response to It’s About the Business, You – The “Wow” Factor (Part 2)

  1. Pingback: Sustained Innovation: Corporate Culture is da Bomb « OpsanBlog

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