Businesses operate in a hostile environment where the only constant is “change”. Customer demands changing rapidly, new technologies transforming the business landscape, and regulations continue to be passed regularly making the modern business environment a struggle to navigate alone. How do you keep up? How does your business adapt quickly to the virtual jungle before being eaten alive?
Executives need to make decisions to counter the incoming barrage of issues, but quick decisions can sometimes become your downfall if customer and employee growth are not considered as well. Changes in processes without proper vetting, rapidly hiring personnel while rushing onboard training, and attempting hurried upgrades in infrastructure, could result in flawed implementations or massive confusion.
The reward for doing business in this way is increased downtime, never-ending upgrades, and watching profits take to the skies like the birds of spring. On the other hand, resilient sustainable businesses secure their future by following detailed processes such as exhausted technology vetting and detailed onboard training.
People, Processes, and Technology
People, processes, and technology are the keys to ensuring your business will endure long into the future:
People are the cornerstone of your business. They make decisions, service, and deliver for your customers which directly impacts the success or failure of your business. Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are one way a business can support its personnel. SOPs are detailed processes and procedures to follow for handling specific issues employees may be confronted with. Also, ongoing employee training should be considered an essential investment in your business’s most valuable assets.
Communication is also a key factor in a successful business. Keeping employees informed about upcoming changes will allow personnel to ask questions before the change goes into effect and raise concerns about instances that could cause problems. When people are effectively managed and supported, your business benefits in ways that often go overlooked.
The Chief Documentation Officer (CDO) keeps crucial process documentation updated — from IT processes to HR, marketing, and beyond — so anybody can quickly step in and assist whenever necessary. Think of the CDO as the head chef trying to produce a huge holiday meal for hundreds or thousands of people. The processes are your company’s recipe for how each dish is made to your exacting standards. Without the recipes people will get food but who knows if it will be your favorite stuffing or some generic ingredients, thrown together at the last minute.
Similarly, all other processes must be carefully planned, monitored, and managed so your daily operations run like a well-oiled machine. Your organization must have someone designated as the Chief Documentation Officer (CDO).
First off technology should support the business and make the process as easy as possible within reason. The
technology should support your people and processes. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when prioritizing sustainable scaling:
- Build around one platform. Products built to integrate or work together saves a lot of time and effort.
- Technology ages. After a few years, technology, like milk in your fridge, “expires”or becomes unsupported. To preserve security requirements, make sure certain technologies are replaced before they become unsupported and ensure the budget is allocated ahead of time to ensure the business can cover the cost.
- Commit to integration. While you can find a cheaper alternative, you typically only get value equivalent to the price paid. Instead of choosing the most inexpensive option, commit to selecting solutions that work with the business platforms you already have.
- Scan for vulnerabilities regularly. While having a good backup and recovery plan is essential, it’s even better if you can combine it with a proactive approach that addresses gaps before hackers exploit them.
- Automate routine workflows. Errors are going to happen and there is no way to completely eliminate them from the business environment. But we can leverage automation to reduce common errors in critical areas of your business, regardless of whether it’s invoicing or anything with a small margin of error.
Don’t go it alone. Partner for success
It’s easier said than done to strike the perfect balance between people, processes, and technology to scale your business sustainably. Often, it requires far more time, effort, and skillsets than you have available. This is where a managed service provider (MSP) can come to your rescue.
An MSP like ITNS Consulting, with in-depth subject knowledge and years of experience, can make sustainable scaling a hassle-free journey. Our staff of expert technicians are ready to help you start your journey to sustainable scalability. Schedule a free no-obligation consultation to learn more about how a partnership with us can benefit your business.
To learn more about what to consider when trying to achieve organizational sustainability, download our free infographic “The Relationship Between Business Sustainability and Success”.