As a business, it is important to be looking at how your assets, whether they are tangible or intangible, create business value. Knowing this is the best way to ascertain how successful your business is, and also how to achieve greater access through generating more value.
Over the last decade, we have seen a huge shift in the way businesses work and compete in both global and local markets. This shift has been largely to do with the prevalence of technology, and its proliferation within businesses. For several decades now, technology has been apart of how we work, but it is only recently that the implementation of technology has become a necessity for any business looking to find success. This is clearly evident when you consider that the digital economy represents an estimated 15% of the total global economy, and the global information technology (IT) industry being worth over $5 trillion.
But we do have a very solid case regarding the necessity of information technology in business: COVID-19.
Two years ago, businesses were forced to quickly adapt to a changing landscape of business, in which public health was suddenly at the forefront. We spoke to TechQuarters, a company providing IT managed services London SMBs relied on during lockdowns and other COVID-related restrictions. TechQuarters remembered the initial spike in demand for remote work solutions just weeks before lockdowns in the UK were announced. They themselves had to pivot very quickly into a remote business model – but as a digitally transformed organization, they found the transition went better than they expected, and have since decided to stay remote.
The businesses that adapted and suffered the least during the onset of COVID-19 were ones that had implemented modern information technology solutions.
Creating Business Value with IT
TechQuarters inadvertently found themselves with an increased business value during the onset of COVID-19, as one of their primary services is migrating customers to the Cloud, and equipping them with solutions that proved to be ideal for remote working scenarios. They were able to help businesses adopt remote working, and thus protect their employees and the public.
While we can all hope that a situation like COVID-19 won’t happen again, it is an excellent example of how information technology can make businesses more resilient and even flexible to sudden and significant changes that have a knock-on effect in markets and business environments. Changes in society, markets, sectors, or the world over can turn businesses on their heads – in a worst case scenario, a significant change to a market could wipe out a business’ value entirely, making them virtually redundant. But a significant change to a market (or anything else) could just as easily open opportunities for businesses to create new value for their customers.
Whether its IT that enables you to offer new services, or helps improve existing ones, or even IT that makes you more resilient to negative changes, thus ensuring your business is one of the few left standing (a harsh idea, but worth considering), there are many ways in which modernized IT can create value for your business:
Business value largely is generated through the types of assets a business holds. Such assets can be tangible or intangible; they might be physical assets such as land, vehicles, or machinery. But when it comes to information technology, there are all sorts of digital assets that create business value for an organization:
Modern Work Solutions – Modern work is most commonly defined as work that is integrated with modern IT solutions. Examples of these solutions includes the Cloud. For instance, the Cloud has diverse capabilities to make compute resources available over the internet. Most of us are familiar with the idea of Cloud storage – we have it on our phones, our PCs, and even in our emails – but the capabilities of the Cloud go so much further; like with the ability to virtualize servers, or even create serverless network infrastructures. Network security can be entirely Cloud-based, too. Modern work in the everyday normally manifests as the use of Cloud storage and Cloud-connected applications in order to make sharing data, collaborating on files, and communications more fluid, and much quicker. Consider products like Microsoft Teams, and the Microsoft Office applications – these are in fact the solutions TechQuarters use to enable remote work every day.
Data – Data is at the core of modern IT, and it is arguably the most valuable assets a business can acquire. Data can be accrued from a range of sources – there are of course always a wide variety of databases that business can access, which will provide them with great insights and information. But perhaps the type of data that has the greatest potential is unstructured data. Big data is what we call the vast amounts of unstructured data that is being created every second on the internet. There is too much of this data for a person to be able to process and analyse; but, with modern IT solutions such as machine learning, business can process Big Data and gain insights the likes of which businesses have never been able to gain.
Software – as we all know, software is very important to businesses nowadays. Most of the basic tasks that we think of relating to business are now performed with the use of software – as discussed above with relation to modern work. But using the right software can also create customer value. Let’s say you are a marketing company, or a graphic design company – the content creation software you use plays a big part in value you have in the eyes of your customers; a business that uses the full Adobe Creative Suite will have much more value compared to a company that only uses free design software, for example. Another way in which software can be an asset is if a business develops their own custom software. With solutions like Low-Code and No-Code development, it is becoming much easier for any business – even small businesses – to develop their own software, and this can lead to a great deal of value, especially for B2B companies looking to offer custom software solutions to their customers.