For instance, early in a company’s life, the focus is often on innovation and functional delivery of a product or service—with cost efficiency taking a back seat. But as a company begins to experience growth, a shift occurs. Suddenly, the organization needs to find ways to lower overall costs and maximize its investments. And more often than not, management turns to IT to help achieve these greater cost efficiencies.
One of the most effective ways for IT to lower business operating costs is to establish and implement system standards throughout the company. When a business is small, IT can afford to let employees use whatever equipment and software they want to get the job done. Naturally, this hodgepodge of systems becomes increasingly difficult and complicated to support as the company grows.
But growing a business requires more than simply purchasing more equipment or exponentially scaling up current systems. IT needs to find ways to bring greater cost efficiencies to their operations, driving per-user costs down as the company scales up. Otherwise, margins will remain the same, with greater profitability an elusive dream. The challenge is twofold: IT must decrease the company’s bottom line while increasing its topline.
To achieve these goals, IT must establish strict standards and drive as much uniformity as possible across the organization. This includes roles-based provisioning that provides a standard, optimized UX for users performing the same duties. For IT, this becomes a balancing act between giving users what they want, meeting the organization’s financial requirements, and protecting their systems.
Standardization is not only effective for physical equipment, but can also be applied to cloud systems as well. For instance, Salesforce.com allows companies to customize dashboards, apps, and other elements based on predefined user roles.
This uniformity minimizes support cost because it becomes a very predictable environment. IT professionals know exactly what to expect because everything is configured based on standard constructs.
This predictability doesn’t just help the user experience, it also helps IT to more quickly understand and troubleshoot any problems by eliminating the known and focusing on the unknowns. And the set of unknowns becomes significantly less in a standardized environment.
The use of application program interfaces (APIs) can bring another layer of uniformity and predictability to software, allowing IT to leverage current processes without needing to re-create them every time. Individual team members no longer need to be experts in non-reusable integrations without documentation, or take the time to train others in using internal systems.
At RingCentral, we believe strongly in the importance of building a reliable and scalable global communications system. We know it’s not enough for you to achieve uniformity across one office, one region, or even one country—you need systems that work the same everywhere, ready to grow alongside your company. We want to make sure people can easily interact with our system so they can leverage it to scale internally, as well as between their products and customers.
Join me on March 25 at 12:30pm PDT for a thirty minute webinar on how to plot your course to greater IT uniformity and predictability. Click here to register today!
Originally published Mar 16, 2016, updated Aug 11, 2020