Let’s clarify that data is raw 0s and 1s that security or business systems collect via edge devices. Information is data that has been processed in a way that makes it actionable or useful to you or your customers. I suggest you ask yourself two simple questions: 1) What do our customers need to know to make better security/safety decisions more quickly to mitigate impacts on their companies? 2) What do we need to know about our customer’s business to deliver better actionable solutions more efficiently and consistently?
You may be wondering what this BI thing will help you gain. Competitive advantage comes to mind … the Holy Grail in business. This will help you differentiate yourself with a prospect during the supplier buying selection process. Information converted to customer knowledge is a powerful ingredient in the competitive advantage recipe.
The final secret in the sauce is good communication; communicating all of the above effectively enough to build new relationship bridges within your customer’s company. To effectively deliver your solutions, you need bridges to cross the IT river, the senior management divide and the CFO gorge. Start building the bridge foundation today by carefully considering our final “Jeopardy” trend category.
Phases Help Keep Clients Unfazed
It’s just a phase was a phrase we used around our house when our children were growing up. It is an appropriate analogy in these converged times. When I work with both systems integrators and end users around technology migration strategies, I get early buy-in to the concept of phasing. Without a well thought out, debated, analyzed and phased migration strategy, somebody is going to be disappointed. If that turns out to be the owners or senior managers, what follows is not likely to be pretty.
Here are some suggestions regarding phases:
- Inventory everything, including physical security and IT assets installed
- Determine the lifecycles of current assets technically and financially (amortization)
- Jointly determine phasing of server, network, field processing nodes and edge devices
- Build the financial planning model around that during a three-year period
Building a solid business and technical case goes a long way to gaining senior management support and funding. Customers’ perspectives and expectations are migrating quickly, but be careful not to move too quickly. Technology does not deliver solutions by itself. It needs discipline, processes, procedures and policies in place to deliver on its promises.
Your golden nugget for today: Be proactive vs. reactive to gain momentum in a nonbuying timeframe. I have found that customers are much more open to the free exchange of ideas and dialogue when they are not in the middle of a competitive purchasing decision.
Take a business vs. a project focus based on the point above. Why does a migration strategy and plan make business sense? Remember, the biggest and best trend of all time is the steady growth of your business!
* “6 Disruptive Demographic Trends,” January 2011. James Harden Jr. and John D. Karsada - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Paul Boucherle, Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Certified Sherpa Coach (CSC), is principal of Canfield, Ohio-based Matterhorn Consulting
(www.matterhornconsulting.com). He has more than 30 years of diverse security and safety industry experience and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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