Information, in all its formats, is the lifeblood of business. Yet, it is an asset that’s often poorly managed, and therefore, provides less value than its potential. Let’s face it. Information only has value when it is refined and used for decision-making. So why do we not treat information with the respect it deserves? There can be many reasons for this, but I believe that fundamentally, it is about ease of access and use.
As one observer noted, even large disasters like Chernobyl didn’t completely stem from a lack of documentation. This crisis caused so much damage because people failed to follow the planned and documented processes in time. While it’s important to document processes, no flowcharts or instructions will help businesses run more efficiently or overcome unexpected unusual obstacles if nobody follows them.
Along with so many dramatic changes the coronavirus pandemic has abruptly introduced into our daily lives, a lot more business has moved to the internet. Because of social distancing, millions of employees have exchanged their commutes for a home office. At the same time, all sorts of companies have seen an explosion of traffic to their eCommerce and online service sites. During this time, businesses have been forced to rapidly shift both their marketing and servicing channels.
One management consultant for a boutique professional services firm said he sometimes compared competition between his company and larger competitors to a mouse scrambling between the legs of a herd of elephants. Children’s cartoons to the contrary, elephants aren’t really scared of mice. Still, boutique professional services firms can capitalize on some important advantages to compete with larger players.
Shadow IT is when employees use unapproved software, apps, and devices to do their jobs. Typically, employees have good intentions and may turn to various ad-hoc services to get their work done because they don’t believe their employer provides them with a good solution. Since the 2020 Coronavirus outbreak, surveys of IT professionals have revealed that the rise in employees working from home has generated a surge in this practice.