Strengthening IT Will Improve Your AECO Business
This is the second entry in a series of articles by the CIO Advisory Team. Check out the previous one here.
Often when businesses are looking to invest in their organization, they overlook foundational IT tools, processes and procedures. For example, moving to cloud is a popular option when considering data storage, but if the management, protection and administration of that data isn’t ready for the change you risk missing out on the benefits of the new technology. The good news is that most cloud-based services are not an all or nothing proposition. With many cloud service providers, you can adopt at a pace that works best for your organization and business needs.
Some project types may require that all information remains on in-house data storage systems while others may require robust project information sharing with outside partners. In the case of the latter it could even appear as a contractual requirement if the owner understands the efficiency opportunities of hosting their project on the cloud! Cloud-based data storage can be integral to your disaster recovery policy by offering a failover site for on-premise information. Or, it could be an important support component in your organization’s work/life balance objectives by offering easy remote access to project information when working from home. The point is, cloud-based data storage solutions can take many forms and can become integral to your workplace when the time is right for your organization. It’s okay to start small and to test the waters before going into the deep end.
Looking at another example, something as simple as delivering inconsistent email signatures on a regular basis can work against the corporate brand by promoting inaccurate information about your organization. Cloud-based email signature creators can easily address these types of problems when implemented with care and precision. But to be successful, signature creators need to draw from an accurate source of information like well thought-out contact databases and other corporate resources.
Contact database management can benefit from cross-functional ownership that includes IT, HR, Legal, Administration, Practice Leaders and Marketing among others. It can help to ensure that all information is well maintained and accurate. While this can involve a coordinated multi-departmental effort, in addition to the more obvious benefits associated with brand consistency, successful enterprise-wide email signature delivery will serve as an ongoing testament to your firms ability to efficiently manage and deliver coordinated, consistent and complete business information when and where it’s needed.
Applying thoughtful consideration in the right places can often yield powerful results for little cost. Leveraging similar enterprise data management practices within even larger application and solution rollouts can deliver even better outcomes for the business. For these reasons, AECO firm leaders should carefully review IT department initiatives when determining where and how to invest. It offers a partnering opportunity to drive greater integration, efficiency and reduced complexity, while empowering your organization’s ability to accelerate and deliver in a digital marketplace!