2006 technology predictions for SMBs

Want to know what to expect for your IT organization in 2006? Our SMB experts look at the year ahead for issues such as offshoring, SaaS, strategies and open source.

Strategy
By Richard Skinner
Richard Skinner is the author of IT is About the Strategy. He has worked in IT for 40 years.

At long last the light bulb comes on!

Every year I predict the same thing and every year I am disappointed. But I remain the eternal optimist. Let's see if 2006 is the year. The light bulb will come on in the SMB and the business will at last grasp the concept that IT is not about the technology, IT is about the Strategy. The SMB will develop a strategic approach that enables them to kill those wrong-minded software development projects, outsource that infrastructure, and focus time, energy and money on projects and technologies that indeed provide a competitive advantage to the business.

The small SMB will select the business layer strategy and:

  • Stop constructing their own infrastructure and instead outsource infrastructure to external independent hardware integrators.
  • Stop wasting time and energy developing or modifying back office applications and outsource these to independent application integrators.
  • Start focusing on customer facing applications and building the business a technology competitive edge.

The medium sized SMB will select the business model strategy and:

  • Document their business flow and model.
  • Document their technology model and accompanying views.
  • Document the deltas between the two and identify the technology areas where the business needs to focus time, energy and money.
  • Define their strategic areas of focus.
  • Define their strategic drivers.
  • Turn those strategic areas of focus into technology projects and execute.

The larger SMB will select the business process strategy and:

  • Conduct a strategic assessment.
  • Develop a process and service centric strategy.
  • Identify critical issues and strategic moves.
  • Focus on the strategic trilogy:
    • Processes and process reengineering
    • IT organization and realignment
    • Technology architecture
  • Plan, build, and run with a service mentality.

A well defined strategy will drive the SMB in 2006 and prevent technology from continuing to create a tangle of business problems. The focus will move from technology to strategy and the SMB will realize its full potential.

Or not!

This was first published in January 2006

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