We covered a lot of topical ground in our blog this year, and not surprisingly, much of it surrounded the central theme of “what should we do now” as the COVID-19 pandemic swept through our world and changed the way business is done perhaps forever.
Although we may be leaving quite a bit out here, we thought it would be a valuable exercise to go through and package together some of our best thoughts from this past year. If you want to read the rest of the blog from which a point comes, just click the link in each selection. So, enjoy…and Happy New Year!
Top 10 Thoughts from Imaging Office Systems in 2020
- Deliver a Digital Customer Experience. Whether you want to digitize your customer journeys, increase your speed and agility in reacting to customer desires, or build trust with your customers, the digital customer experience is increasingly the one that matters most. Digital transformation and cloud technology allow you to take advantage of the fact that people are now obsessed with apps and digital solutions that make their life and work easier.
- You spend too much money on purchasing and maintaining computing hardware, facilities, utilities. One of the biggest benefits of an enterprise cloud computing platform is that you outsource your computing infrastructure, which means your organization is no longer responsible for maintenance and hardware upgrades. If it’s important for you to keep your organization focused on its core mission, maintaining your IT hardware probably isn’t among those objectives.
- The average employee tenure at our company is around 12 years…12 years! That says a lot about our work atmosphere, how we value everyone from a sales person, to a driver and a production associate, and as we near our 50th anniversary, our Indiana and Hoosier values are more important than ever. To celebrate this shared heritage, this year, we dove into some delicious nachos and tacos from a local Indy food truck and enjoyed games and prizes outside!
- What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about sales from your first day on that first job to now? It was the realization that people put their trust into people they know. So, getting to know your prospects and your clients and what their issues are, what gives them angst, and what they’re trying to do to make money is incredibly important. The quicker you can put yourself in their shoes and demonstrate that empathy, the quicker you can become an ally…and people like to buy from allies. So, now, I’m always trying to get to know my clients better. Not just their business, but who they are, how they operate on a personal and professional level, how they make decisions, and what their goals are.
- When a company is having an information management problem, what should be their first course of action? They’ve first got to identify the breadth of the issue. Is it localized to one department? Is it interdepartmental? Is it company-wide? How big is the issue? Once they’ve identified that, they’ll need to figure out who the key decision makers are for those affected departments and get them together with the knowledge workers to outline their processes and identify pain points and bottlenecks. This is really important. Facilitating this exercise is one of the key aspects of what we do in our business analysis process. You need the mix of the knowledge worker and the executive to solve the issue. Knowledge workers understand their world and know the day-to-day business processes better than anybody, but they may not be able to approve the changes necessary. Executives look at it from a different perspective, but they may not know the nuts and bolts of what’s going on daily, so it’s important for those two groups to get together and hash it out amongst themselves.
- Manage expectations. It’s tough to manage expectations when it comes to ROI for a digital transformation. Executives wanted ROI yesterday. So, establish objectives at the outset that can be easily achieved to create immediate impact. Quick and easy wins demonstrate value and progress early, which generates more buy-in and enthusiasm from your organization, and this coalescence will help you achieve more difficult objectives. There’s no better friend to a long-term, transformative initiative than a cheerleader with team spirit!
- Instant scalability. Big companies have different IT requirements than small companies, but with the cloud, a small company can more easily grow into a large company, and a large company can scale down just as easily. This level of agility is a real competitive advantage and also mitigates risks associated with operation and maintenance of in-house IT.
- Organizations that are built on “knowledge work”—jobs characterized by creativity, problem-solving, and coming up with new ideas and strategies—need different kinds of support than they did a generation ago. These companies and teams now often comprise diverse, global networks of permanent and freelance talent. Members of the same teams often don’t even work in the same location or time zone. They may even choose to work different hours than traditional business hours. As such, they require work infrastructure that facilitates how they work now…not how they worked 25 years ago.
- Perhaps nothing else could be so transformative, so quickly, in our society than largely eliminating office work commutes and having more time to spend on our work and with our families. Maybe the time has come to let the grand roadways we’ve built breathe a little bit…as we have more time to breathe a little deeper the cleaner air and less hurried existence of an increasingly home-based life. What will you do? How will your company adjust?
- In April 2017, Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor Nicholas Bloom set out to prove his thesis that requiring employees to be in an office was an outdated work tradition that was no longer necessary—a relic of the Industrial Revolution from over 100 years ago. The results: “We found massive, massive improvement in performance—a 13% improvement in performance from people working at home,” Bloom said.