IT and Telecoms: Mid-Sized Businesses Need Full-Sized Management
Recent Gauteng Business News
Performance Management as a tool is something that has traditionally only been available to larger enterprises, mainly due to the hefty price tag involved. However, PM for the mid-sized business is a rapidly growing trend, and solutions for smaller businesses are very close on the horizon.
Strategically, PM can provide a host of benefits to the mid-sized market, such as enabling managers to have greater insight into how to grow revenues, reduce operating costs and improve processes. However an added benefit of deploying PM throughout a mid-sized organisation is that it will, in a very real way, enable the smaller enterprise to compete on a level with its larger rivals.
One of the major business drivers for the adoption of PM in mid-sized businesses is the fact that many such enterprises rely on outmoded and inefficient manual processes, such as spreadsheets, for key management tasks such as planning, budgeting, forecasting, consolidation, analysis and reporting. However, these systems were never designed to handle the levels of complexity experienced by business today, and mid-sized enterprises are experiencing a need to really harness the power of data stored within operational systems. Performance Management can help to unlock this potential, but there has been a preconceived notion about the high costs and complexity of deploying PM, and this has been a major barrier to entry.
However, Performance Management need not be excessively complex or prohibitively expensive, and does not require an overhaul of IT systems. Mid-sized organisations are by nature cost sensitive, and in order for these businesses to gain true value from a PM solution, as well as minimise risk and maximise return on investment, existing IT systems, resources and infrastructure can be leveraged. This will also speed time to results and lower the total cost of ownership dramatically.
Another thing to bear in mind as a mid-sized business is that PM does not need to be an "all or nothing" solution. It can also be deployed in modular, incremental steps as and when budget is available. The result of this is a cost effective PM system that will enable better decision-making capability throughout the enterprise.
The three components of a PM system will enable an organisation to answer three questions that are the key to the success and streamlining of a business. Measuring and monitoring capabilities such as scorecarding and dashboards allow the business to see how it is doing, whether it is on track with plans and strategies. Slotting in on top of that are planning capabilities, which enable the organisation to see what it should be doing next in order to stay on track and on target. The final layer consists of reporting and analysis tools which allow an organisation to see why things are happening and how strategy translates into operational priorities.
A well-deployed PM solution has a range of benefits that will help tostreamline any mid-sized enterprise, such as the ability to plan for thefuture, manage progress and ensure that the business stays on course, as well as enabling the analysis of business information for greater understanding of what is driving trends, and the spotting of anomalies.Better customer insight allows a business to improve its customer loyalty, and access to targeted information when and where a business needs it allow for faster response times to changing market and business conditions. On top of this, a Performance Management system will provide reductions in costs as well as improved productivity across business units, product lines or operational divisions.
In today's competitive business environment, mid-sized organisations face the same challenges as their larger rivals, compounded by the need to be even more agile and quick to react to changes market conditions. Performance Management enables these enterprises to benefit from better decision-making ability, greater efficiency and enhanced cost savings.
The right solution, a unified PM platform, can help smaller businesses to leverage data and resources, transform the business and maximise value and return on investment.
For further information or to reach a representative: www.ibm.com/cognos
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