What does 2023 have in store for you?
This month, Pete, our Head of Transforming, looks at why our Business Systems MOT service could be just what you need to put you on the right track for this year.
As I look out of my window at the dark morning and torrential January rain, it takes some effort to still talk about a “Happy” 2023. This first month of a new year is always a tricky one – still short days, variable weather (I might start on an ark at the weekend) and a long time until pay day. I’ve also returned after the break to a list of issues and actions that I put off in December, imagining they might have gone away and I can cross them off on my return. No such luck.
What are your challenges?
Likewise, our prospects and clients are returning to use the same business systems but facing new challenges as they begin another year. We found a pattern in late 2022 of delayed decisions in terms of reviewing existing systems or starting to select new ones. Not surprising really given the overall uncertainty in the marketplace, ever rising costs and no immediate signs of an upturn. With no real easing of the major challenges, it looks like 2023 is going to be another tough one, with squeezing efficiencies out of what we have being an immediate priority. However, we are talking with businesses that have really critical issues or perhaps are more bullish about the future and so are forging ahead with new projects. It could well be busy few months to look forward to.
One clear trend we did see in 2022 was a more urgent need from clients to quickly understand whether their business systems are still fit for purpose, and if not, do they upgrade or replace? The accent there was on “urgent” which meant for some embarking on a lengthy business review and then a detailed selection process taking some weeks or months was unacceptable. Clients instead wanted a quick answer – do I fix or replace? At Gradient, we are firm believers in adapting our services to meet market demands whilst still staying true to our focus on transformation through alignment of people, processes and systems.
Why review your Business Systems?
It’s for this exact reason we introduced our Business Systems MOT service.
Just like our precious cars, we don’t want to take them into a garage when a problem occurs or it’s MOT time again, to then be kept waiting too long to be told “the damage”. And worse still, “it’s not just your parts, mate”. Our three stages of preparation, inspection and results have been designed to offer our clients a much more immediate view of the health of their processes and systems with clear recommendations of the best way forward. We also gear this service to the varying needs of our clients: it might just need a call to debate the burning issues, a couple of days to visit and investigate or even a few visits to appreciate a bigger picture. Regardless, with no ties to the major vendors, our advice will always be independent and focused on our client’s best interests.
As just one recent example, our manufacturing clients are keen to embrace Industry 4.0 and all that offers, which we see as presenting some more immediate short term wins which do not require major investment or a long wait to deploy. Extending system access to mobile or remote users, automation of routine processes and deployment of IoT are almost becoming a basic requirement (think Bluetooth and Heads-Up displays in your car). But with these technologies comes additional risks and threats which we need to address as part of our advice to clients. Without a robust Cybersecurity strategy in place, there is a real danger of accidentally opening up ERP systems to the outside world which really is not what anyone needs.
So our MOT extends beyond just a functional review of business systems, but also digs deeper by considering due diligence of the whole IT infrastructure. This might also then lead onto disaster recovery and business continuity – all focused towards reducing business risk and increasing return on investment. We often hear that clients are keen to embrace new technologies to support business transformation but struggle as to where to start and how best to deploy in their environment. We can help!
Please contact us or call if you’d like an initial chat about your systems and whether they are holding you back from making progress. We can’t stop the rain, but we can bring an umbrella.