Many who grew up in the 1970’s will remember the television series “The Six Million Dollar Man.” The narration sets the stage for the stories to come: Steve Austin, astronaut, was severely injured in an aviation accident. However, the injuries to his legs, right arm and left eye were repaired with in a cutting-edge $6M operation (and that was in 70’s dollars). Bionic technology was used to…
Better, stronger, and faster proved to be the key to a very successful television run for this series, and it appears to be the key to business success today, as well.
CFO Research found that nearly 90% of senior financial executives surveyed cited the need for managers to be able to analyze financial data and data relating to performance ‘much more quickly’ in order to help create profitable growth. But in the real world, unfortunately, the need for speed is rarely fulfilled: only 12% of survey takers indicated that they are able to respond to requests in time. More than half say it will typically take financial staff members up to an entire day to respond to requests for information, and more than a quarter responded that it typically takes longer than a day.
What could help? Fully 80% of survey respondents indicated their ability to deliver the bottom line would improve if they had a better information system. Technology improvements, in other words, are badly needed in the opinion of 8 out of 10 business executives.
Dave Girouard is former President of Google Enterprise Apps, which he helped build into a more than $1B global success. Currently CEO of personal finance enterprise Upstart, Dave knows a thing or two about the need for speed:
Consider two large American businesses: Google is fast. General Motors is slow. Obviously, one of these companies has embraced technology more than the other, and benefitted from doing so. The speed to which an individual—or a company—embraces technology is what differentiates achievers from non-entities.
And it’s not just a modern phenomenon.
Technology, in whatever state to which it had advanced, has always been developed to change lives and advance progress, from sailboats invented thousands of years ago, to the printing press in the 1400s, to the electricity discovered just before the turn of the 20th century, or penicillin, or the internet.
But how do you develop speed in your own business enterprise? The key is empowerment and technology that is easily accessed by the management team themselves: two-thirds of respondents said in the survey said that their systems had become largely “self-service.” In other words, no “middle man.”
Direct access to information is the norm today.
The days of a secretary printing emails so that the boss can read them are long gone.
(Yes, there was a time when managers had secretaries). Business is conducted in the office, on the road, and at warp speed. The key is ensuring your management team is not only technologically savvy, but also giving them an information system that allows them to find the information they need, when they need it—fast.
Children grow up now learning via iPad instead books. WiFi is everywhere. It’s up to you to provide the best information tech possible, and ensure your management team is engaged in it. Knote is a company dedicated to the science of productivity said about technology. There is a faint echo to the backstory of the Six Million Dollar Man in one of their recent quotes about technology:
Make it your ally and be a better person –happier, healthier, and more productive.
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5i Solutions. One single, secure point of intake, access, and storage. One singular solution.
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