binary auto trader scam What has your IT done for your business lately? IT is what IT is
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at Oracle Open World 2009
March 4, 2015
Career advice #11: Your best job interview is yet to come.
March 5, 2015

I’ve seen the infinite limits of technology. Even though we’re going through tough times, I’ve never been more confident about the future.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Now, tell me, be honest: did you expect that quote to come from Terminator himself, a.k.a. “Da Governor” to still a lot of Californians? I bet not. I was there when he delivered it, back at Oracle’s Open World 2009 and it was moving to hear this gigantic bodybuilder and icon of the 90’s, cybernetic organism and Governor say that.
I even filmed it and 6 years later I find myself still remembering it. If you want to see the videos just check my profile or visit my blog. I promise, it’s worth watching!
By the way, the picture up there is from a movie called “Transcendence”. A very good movie about the power of Technology…that ironically did not transcend. I do recommend that you take a look. The actual use of IT in this movie opens up many debates, one of them being exactly this: what can IT do for you?
As an IT sales person I am used to working as an interpreter. As an IT sales person who has worked exclusively around software, I am used to taking interpretation to different levels. Translation alone doesn’t help, and interpretation is just the salt everyone in sales use to translate content into something that will bring us eventually more sales so through time I figured: IT must have a higher yet simpler message we can deliver to our customers, but what is it?
What is the nature of the this message? That was the first question I asked myself. It can not be solution-centric or product specific, otherwise it’s just marketing. It can not just be labeled as “value add”, as that’s exactly what every sales person I ever met sells. It must not be around anything that’s either a devised or branded concept, otherwise I am just another sales rep doing his job.
And then I heard Mr. Schwarzenegger give his speech about Technology and I got “IT”: regardless of how technical or not you are, IT is here for us and it’s signaling the change of an era. This is not about the first computers ever built or the birth of the Internet. This is about a life changer, this is about our lives being shaped by IT.
You might be wondering why I refer to IT alone and not just every single piece of Technology that’s out there and the answer is quite simple actually: Information Technology is what connects all other technologies, and the key to all of this is the I in information.
What is IT doing for me? Have you asked yourself that question? Because right after you realize that the so called “Internet of Things” is just the beginning and you’re probably there already, you’ll start wondering what can IT do for your business. What has it done already? Let me give just a simple exercise, feel free to do it or just skip it. All you need to do is add a mental tick to the ones that make sense to you.
  • Do you own a Business or are part of one?
  • Do you use your banking account to pay for services, receive payments or make transfers, from or to other businesses?
  • Do you have a website for your business or does your company run one?
  • Are you more used to using Apps in your tablet or phone rather than programs in your laptop or desktop?
  • Do you access systems (ranging from email to ERPs) from more than 1 device?
  • Does “collaboration” describe how you engage other users, employees or partners through the use of different apps or tools?
  • Are your maintenance costs going up, slowly but steadily?
  • Are you hearing a lot or repeating of words that you might not really be 100% certain of what they like “Big data”, “the cloud”, “The internet of things”, and so on?
  • Do you spend more time looking at small screens (phones, tablets and the likes) vs big screens such as TVs?
If you find yourself ticking most of them, now is the time to ask yourself again this question: what is really IT doing for your Business? Are you adopting trends or are you playing it safe and keeping faithful to the same technology? What does that mean for your Business?
Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.
An e-commerce site is really hard to setup at first. I would know as I was a beta tester for a few, back in the late 90’s. Inventory and product glitches. Pictures of products that were either repeated, outdated or poorly formatted. Now…if you are running one and you’re a big company, you might envy Amazon’s platform. Or if you are a small start-up, platforms such as etsy.com might work for you.

The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.

Bill Gates

Regardless of the size of your business, both Etsy.com and Amazon.com rely heavily on IT based on at least 2 factors: user experience and overall performance of the technology involved. That means that their platforms need to be nice looking and friendly as well as powerful, fast and stable. Oh yes, and secure of course, that’s a big thing these days too. IT for both of them is doing a lot as it’s mostly their core business.
Now let’s take this back to you: think it through and think it well because what I’m giving you is the key you want those sales reps (like myself) visiting you to explain better: what can IT for you? How can we help you? Forget about solutions or products, and even value add. Think about your business.
IT can do a lot more for you, trust me, but you need to ask the right questions and pay the proper attention to the answers. What’s next in your business plan, and how does IT map to those steps and needs? If you go back now to that plan (if you have one of course), you might soon find yourself wondering “what else can IT do for me”.
If you do…just comment on this post, I’ll be happy to share my take with you.
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