The way to look at really optimizing your costs starts with a well-known framework of understanding the three elements that most affect your business and how each of those come together to help you realize your strategic goals. As technology plays a bigger and bigger role in both our personal and professional lives, it changes how we interact both internally and externally with colleagues and customers. But, if we just rely on technology to ‘solve all our problems we’ll miss the boat. Successful technology deployment is as dependent on the ability of the other two elements (people and processes) to properly support it, as they are dependent on technology to improve productivity and effectiveness.
Also, when we think about optimizing our costs, it’s important to note that we’re not always talking about cost avoidance or cost-cutting. We’re talking about ensuring your resources are dedicated to your strategic direction so you can accomplish your long-term goals. So… let’s unpack those three elements and look at how working with all of them together can help you optimize your costs to recover your business going forward.
Let’s start with everyone’s favorite, technology.
Technology has led us to some amazing places in the last 25 years. The computing power of what is now in a single hand-held device used to be housed in a climate-controlled building. That alone has implications that are enormous. One of the most important of those implications is the shift of information and knowledge. Previously kept amongst only those at the top of an organization, this new world of distributed knowledge translates to a much more empowered workforce. And, that shift has a direct effect on how you lead departments, cross-functional teams, and the organization as a whole – both from a process and people perspective. Technology has become a great equalizer in the workforce. As a result, having the right people with the right skills to choose, apply, and manage the technology is critical to maximizing your effectiveness. Technology without talent gets you nowhere. Additionally, if you apply a tech solution without first ensuring you have laid out a complete framework for where and how it will be applied, you can run into real issues.
An example of this would be getting new software that allows you to manage your top-line priorities and critical success factors so there is transparency throughout the organization towards strategic goals. If people aren’t involved in ensuring data gets into the software if processes aren’t involved in understanding how you will structure your strategic goals before you manage them with the software, the information you receive will be subject to the old rule, ‘garbage in, garbage out”. People and the processes to support what you are trying to manage must be in place to realize meaningful efficiencies and information with a new software solution.