Kynektyd is a Strategic Information Technology (Strategic IT) Solutions provider. In this article I reduce the ambiguity of that statement.
Strategic IT Solutions aim to combine technology products with technology services to achieve business objectives. That may involve objectives such as acquiring more customers, driving inefficiency out of a process, managing and reducing risk or improving your working conditions.
Strategic IT Management is the service component of the solution and, broadly speaking, it can be delivered as professional services or as managed services.
Strategic IT as a Professional Service
As a professional service we would be filling a temporary organizational need. Migrating to the cloud or installing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system would be great examples. The expertise required to plan, organize and execute those projects justifies hiring a specialist to help guide the organization through that process. At the conclusion of the engagement, however, many of the skills that allow specialists to complete that work efficiently are no longer valuable to the organization, and so the understanding is that there is a definitive end to that relationship.
Strategic IT as a Managed Service
The professional services model is not always the best fit, however, even for the largest organizations. I have previously discussed how the cloud facilitates new business models. For instance, in today’s environment, it rarely makes sense for an organization to maintain its own servers. It is more efficient and affordable to work with an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider. What was once a large upfront equipment cost, followed by a recurring on-premises service charges, delivered on a per-hour basis by a service technician, has been replaced by an on-demand, subscription-based service. This is a managed services relationship – a contractual fringe that provides a service on which you rely continuously, but the function is not part of your organization’s core mission.
Strategic IT as a Solution
In addition to servicing the IT needs of its own clients, Kynektyd also maintains relationships with other product and service providers. We tout our relationship with Microsoft in our literature because it is one that we are heavily invested in, but Kynektyd is part of the Apple and Ebay developer networks, we have a resale relationship with the sales tax automation software Avalara and we are currently exploring relationships with various Internet of Things vendors. We are comfortable working with any technology that is a best fit for our client.
That said, best fit is often partially, if not primarily defined, by the total cost of ownership to the end user. Becoming familiar with these options allows us to skillfully deploy those technologies and our partners work actively with us to deliver complete, affordable solutions to the problem with are engaged to address.
Strategic IT Applied
The who, what, how, where and when of what we do it always situational, but an example may help understand the scope of how Strategic IT Solutions can assist an organization achieve its objectives.
Let’s use an example of an organization whose core mission is to make food widely available and affordable. There are many technologies that could be applied to help better achieve that mission. I could see several practical applications of technology to drive this businesses results. Here are a couple that come to mind.
- Operational data could be fed into dashboards created for the various functional roles to provide them with real-time actionable information. For instance, electronic data exchange could help the company identify where transportation providers have capacity (e.g. a plane may be scheduled for a trip but only be eighty percent occupied). This could be integrated into the company’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to provide real-time visibility of competitively priced transportation services to the purchasing department.
- IoT devices could be used to provide detailed information about the current location, and condition, of shipped product. IoT sensors would relay information into the cloud where AI could be employed to identify product that has been exposed to conditions that could result in spoilage while in transit. When certain thresholds are exceeded triggers would send notifications to the customer warning them to verify the product is fresh before putting it on the shelves.
In September I publish a whitepaper aimed at solving one of the more challenging problems facing the accounting profession – preserving their clients’ confidential information. This is a problem for all businesses right now, but I am concerned that the technology employed by many smaller firms, and their clientele, may achieve certain tactical objectives (e.g. making it easy to generate an invoice), but miss the mark when considered in the context of the organization’s strategic needs.
Under current operating conditions, I do not believe most small businesses, particularly small accounting and law firms, could survive a cybersecurity incident. The paper provides them with a set of technology-augmented protocols that would give them a fighting chance.
That is a Strategic Information Technology Solution.