First, globalization has created markets and demand for almost all products purchased online and delivered by global systems to anywhere for anyone.
Second, labor skills and costs are now distributed around the world, so customer support and administrative activities are now performed by a qualified and educated workforce around the world.
Third, technology has advanced to a point where old traditions of business processes and management are being displaced by information and insights becoming available to owners in real time and on mobile devices. It’s changing the structure of how business organizes.
Back office operations are a bright example of how technology has changed to empower more effective business performance.
1960’s & 1970’s – Time of “Big Iron” – large mainframes used to process information. Required cooling rooms and raised flooring to support process.
1980’s – Mini-computers evolved. Smaller versions of “Big Iron” needed less space and used more flexible software written for the platform.
1990’s – Personal computers developed and early networks created, using internal wiring and low bandwidth connection to process data.
2000’s – Networks of personal computers developed, with smart devices to manage them “on-premise”, beginning the need for IT support staff.
2010’s – “Software as a Service“ (SAAS) processes developed to replace on-premise networks.
The stage is set for current business practices to move to SAAS based models as an advance in effectiveness and efficiency.
By reducing the management focus to revenue-producing activities, customer service response, and business development activities, owners can focus on their core strengths.
Many manual processes are no longer efficient and can be replaced with automated technology to perform these functions.
By having all financial records, documents, contracts, and communications available in the Cloud, management can access current and active information from any location that is web-enabled. Fewer capital expenditures for servers, desktops, applications and IT staff are needed.
By having information available and editable and interactive with smartphones, tablets, and laptops, management can be mobile.
Virtualizing and creating digital data streams allow you to measure more activities in order to manage more outcomes.
Before a process change occurs, an operations assessment is performed, and the efficiencies identified as a prelude to designing the new environment.
In this stage process and duty changes are installed to create real-time information available to management anywhere.
Vastly reducing requirements to use and file paper documents. They are then accessed and used in a virtual environment.
Training, repurposing staff and designing dashboards with key performance indicators occurs.
If you have not considered these services in the past, you owe it to your business to inquire and investigate how it might make you more competitive and viable in your decision-making. If you are not going in this direction, and your competitors are, you are at a distinct disadvantage in the future!
In summary, the business world has changed for the better. Companies embracing and integrating these changes will rise above their competitors and succeed in an ever-increasing competitive world.
Stephen Gross is a big picture thinker and connector, with 40 years of rich and diverse experience in the C.P.A., business consulting, and venture capital worlds. Steve was an early adopter and evangelist of cloud-based accounting, as well as the concept of a virtual C.F.O. or Controller as a method of outsourcing the position in small businesses and startups. Steve brings his extensive experience as an entrepreneur, board member, and business advisor to his role at TCFOS. Learn More About Steve…
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