Have you ever thought about the fact that for those of us who live in an urban area such as Boston (worst traffic in America, literally per studies) our use of technology often times does not help us? Cars are a wonderful invention, saving us time, and they’re just plain cool to drive usually, unless it’s a Corolla. No offense to anybody out there driving Corollas, and I drive them periodically as rental cars when I travel, but Toyota does not make that car in order to add to the cool factor. Anyway what do I mean when I say that the technology does not help us? In the morning, when I need to get to work, 10 miles away, I could probably get on my horse, which I do not have, and get to my destiny at least as quickly as it takes me driving a cool car. I would probably also be less angry. As I’m sitting on the highway going zero (0!) miles an hour, I imagine myself on my horse, galloping along at least a few miles an hour and arriving at my destination faster than in my car. Ugh.
And so I ask… In your business, is there any underutilized technology that you own but for which you are not making full use? Is there any technology available that could help your staff do their jobs more easily?
I have seen several instances in my career, where a company purchases accounting software, for example, along with several add-on modules, and two years later they are still paying for those modules, but never got past the barriers in implementing the features. Now it sits there collecting cyber dust.
Additionally, it is quite common for people to delay intentionally or unintentionally tapping into resources available to them. It’s easy for a company to just get used to the way things have always been, and let’s face it, a set of processes that include paper usually works, however inefficient it may be.
Examples include use of billing, purchasing, disbursement and payroll modules, HR platforms, and document management to name a few.
A CFO could be helping to assess those issues and opportunities. An assessment should include:
Then follow up, to understand what were the barriers and more importantly, what would it take to implement the use of technology? What would be the return on investment? Would it make people‘s lives easier? Would timing of said processes be different? Would we need as many staff as we currently have?
After an assessment is complete and if there are opportunities identified it will be important for somebody to take the lead and put a plan in place for execution.
A routine review of these matters will likely pay off in many ways. Don’t buy a horse to avoid traffic. You likely can find a pretty cool way to get to work!
Karl spends his time thinking about ways to help organizations with sound financial decisions.
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