Information Technology (IT) Strategies A CIO Perspective for Small Businesses           Ted McLaughlan        A Mason Ente...
?IT Use and Leadership - ?’s 1. As a small business or startup, Information Technology (IT) for my company isn’t an Outcom...
IT Business Value Regardless of the source you rely on for IT expertise, consider first assigning someone, or yourself, to...
?Principles of Successful IT                   Have Some! For Example:  1. Tailor IT investments to specific business proc...
IT Business Value Examples Examples of IT Business Value Domains many small businesses or startups need to carefully monit...
?IT Domains – the CIO Now that we’ve got arms around the Value of IT, let’s focus on the IT Domains themselves – dealing w...
IT Spending Imbalance Does this seem familiar? A typical CIO’s problem space is here, to improve this ratio, therefore max...
CIO Concerns and Focus These CIO domains aren’t news to a large company, but may be to a small company or startup – though...
?CIO Imperatives for 2013 Big Data – focus first on “self-serve” analytics and data management requirements (tools, proces...
IT and Business Alignment Enterprise Architecture is a skill and discipline that establishes company-wide alignment betwee...
?Conclusions and Contacts  • Adopt Clear IT Principles.  • Monitor AND Measure Performance of the Business First, then IT....
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Loudoun SBDC Information Technology (IT) Investment CIO and Due Diligence Strategies for Small Businesses Mclaughlan

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Information Technology (IT) concerns and strategies a Chief Information Officer (CIO) deals with are equally relevant for small businesses and startups, as they are for larger businesses. A presentation to the Loudoun Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

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Loudoun SBDC Information Technology (IT) Investment CIO and Due Diligence Strategies for Small Businesses Mclaughlan

  1. 1. Information Technology (IT) Strategies A CIO Perspective for Small Businesses Ted McLaughlan A Mason Enterprise Center/ Loudoun SBDC Discussion 3/21/2013
  2. 2. ?IT Use and Leadership - ?’s 1. As a small business or startup, Information Technology (IT) for my company isn’t an Outcome, it’s a key: • Enabler – HW and SW we use, onsite or via the Internet • Output – HW/SW we sell, make, maintain or distribute • Skill Requirement – Our employees need expertise Are you the Business Owner? You’ll need clear 2. To handle IT decisions, questions, audits answers to these questions. or reviews, implementations - and to determine whether we’re doing it right, who do we turn to? • Our IT vendors or providers – can we trust them? • Our employees or partners – what if they leave, or tweet? • Ourselves, and what we read – what should I read? • An outside expert – should this be outsourced? Overseas? • Our IT Lead, or CIO/CTO – can we afford one? A whole one?
  3. 3. IT Business Value Regardless of the source you rely on for IT expertise, consider first assigning someone, or yourself, to manage and monitor IT Business Value Domains, that require knowledgeable IT Decisions. This is managing business performance, vs. IT operations performance, and is driven by the CEO/CFO/COO . IT Business Value Domains: • Cost Savings & Avoidance • Operating Risks • Issues & Feedback • Marketing Threats • Opportunities • Curiosity Source: Computerworld
  4. 4. ?Principles of Successful IT Have Some! For Example: 1. Tailor IT investments to specific business processes and link them to key performance levers. Focus on critical, measurable activities 2. Deploy IT sequentially, building capabilities over time, seeking reuse and cost-efficiencies among program portfolios. Don’t do everything all at once. 3. Understand that IT investment evolves simultaneously with managerial, technical and service or product innovation (i.e. people and technology). Maintain vigilance regarding the context.
  5. 5. IT Business Value Examples Examples of IT Business Value Domains many small businesses or startups need to carefully monitor, and measure (2 different activities): Business Owners: These are YOUR topics to resolve, with trusted help • Cost Savings and Avoidance – now or later? • Operating Risks – you usually have several people working on the same document or presentation, on their own laptops • Issues and Feedback – you’re getting a lot of complaints about your online form and payment mechanism • Market Threats – a cloud-enabled service will soon be available to deliver what your distributed software or employees do now. • Opportunity – your business is merging with, or working closely with a new partner; what duplicate systems or services should go? Are there any, and does it really matter? • Curiosity – an employee asked whether they could join a web- conference via their mobile phone - ? Is that new App I saw on Mashable.com useful or relevant to us?
  6. 6. ?IT Domains – the CIO Now that we’ve got arms around the Value of IT, let’s focus on the IT Domains themselves – dealing with these may require different people. The competencies a CIO deals with overlap many roles – but all require Information Mgmt. Some areas are Others are not quite IT-centric; so technical, perhaps more and overlap the role of a more with CTO or Chief CFO, HR or Engineer/ Lead perhaps Developer LOB/Sales Leadership Business Owners: DON’T spend all your time here – delegate/outsource but retain authority Sopinion8ed.wordpress.com
  7. 7. IT Spending Imbalance Does this seem familiar? A typical CIO’s problem space is here, to improve this ratio, therefore maximizing IT Value. What is costs to buy… What it costs to run and maintain – including people and facilities…
  8. 8. CIO Concerns and Focus These CIO domains aren’t news to a large company, but may be to a small company or startup – though the scope may be quite different, these CIO domains are no less important to manage: 1. Strategic Planning – how much time, energy and resource to we devote to IT? 2. Security – is our eCommerce data protected? Assume you WILL be hacked… 3. CPIC – what IT investment to consider first, or to combine? 4. Leadership and Management – who hires the IT staff, or signs the SLAs? 5. Technology Acquisition – do we use an RFP for a new web developer? What sort of IT provider do we really need? Are we being assessed for due diligence purposes? 6. Process Improvement – can some of our processes be helped with IT? 7. Performance – does our website perform well? In technical and business terms? 8. Architectures – do we follow standards? 9. Policy – should we follow standards? How are policies conveyed and enforced? 10. Technology Assessment – is our software, or website, licensed and installed properly? What should we care about “Big Data”, “Mobility”, “Cloud” – key buzzwords for 2013?
  9. 9. ?CIO Imperatives for 2013 Big Data – focus first on “self-serve” analytics and data management requirements (tools, processes and skills) to support business performance, including social feedback, reviews and reach; 3rd-party providers of market data and low-cost BI tools more accessible as well (like SumAll, Yurbi, InsightSquared, and the SBA’s “Sizeup” at sba.gov/sizeup). This also means an expert, consistent focus on digital marketing. The data you have now is already probably too much to handle with existing staff, tools … Cloud – great opportunities to divest, consolidate or otherwise outsource computer servers, systems to reduce risk and cost, and increase flexibility – as well as locally- installed applications, to providers like Rackspace, Amazon. Opportunity also to consider “context-aware computing”, and whether the intersection of sensors, social media and application use can yield new insights or process change. You’re probably already using the cloud… Mobility – choices to be made to regarding online presence for increased revenue, visibility and market share; for Web Apps vs. Mobile-enabled websites; also consider employee and partner secure access to internal systems and portable content. Do not ignore mobile, in fact, focus on it as critical for this year…
  10. 10. IT and Business Alignment Enterprise Architecture is a skill and discipline that establishes company-wide alignment between Business and IT – this topic is equally-relevant for large and small entities, though toWhy Enterprise Architecture? Business (CEO/CEO/CFO) and different degrees of scope and investment. Your IT (CIO/CTO) Leadership should agree this is necessary, learn and act on it in some way. Business Goals Technology Challenges Delivering Real Increasing System Business Value Enterprise Complexity Architecture Reduce Costs Business Infrastructure Integration Faster to Business - IT Alignment Market Intelligence & Enterprise Analysis Mgmt Innovate = Enterprise Solutions: opportunities to Applications & Data & create value, Services Content Globalize mitigate risk, achieve mandates Security & Application and so on Compliance Development Source: Oracle
  11. 11. ?Conclusions and Contacts • Adopt Clear IT Principles. • Monitor AND Measure Performance of the Business First, then IT. • Have a Defined Role and Resource for CIO Responsibilities - All of Them. • All IT Investments Require CIO Input – Products, Services, Personnel. • Consider an Enterprise Architect (EA) role, or Methods. • Don’t Do It All Yourself – and Don’t Just Outsource it Thanks and Good Luck! Ted McLaughlan  IT Investment and Due Diligence  Startup Digital Technology Strategy  Oracle - Enterprise Strategy Team  Enterprise Architecture & IT Program Management  KME Internet Marketing - BOD  Interactive Marketing and Digital Technologies  Loudoun EDC - Commissioner  Information Management & Solution Architectures @Loudoun

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