Why should you be more analytical about your system business? Numbers matter, especially your profit and loss statements. The number and quantity of data streams in our lives is increasing. This growth trend is called Big Data. Illustration ©istockphoto.com
Picking up where we left off last month, we continue our journey exploring observable trends that may or will impact you, your company and the security industry in general. In January, I shared thoughts on three trends:
- The edge is way past the edge and how it will impact how your design, install and service network centric systems.
- Many-to-many edge devices that send the right data to the right people and at the right time they will need it to take some action.
- Instructional to intuitive learning and training for a fast moving world with more demanding customers.
Did any of you get a chance to read and/or make a comment on my Value-Added Security blog last month? If not, you get a second chance as I am putting up some posts about these trends as well this month.
Now let’s explore the other three trends that round out my half-dozen for 2013. The “Jeopardy” categories today are:
- Your enablers
- Analyze this
- It’s just a phase
Piqued your curiosity? Good! Read on for more explanation.
Enablers Can Be Empowering
Your enablers are the people and trends that help your business grow. They are divided into three areas: yourself, your associates and demographic trends. Your control of your enablers could be characterized as absolute, somewhat and no chance, respectively.
You can control your attitude, leadership skills and relationship with your associates. When I consult with owners and senior management, we typically focus on their leadership and business goals first. Associates and customers will remain loyal to a business if they perceive owners not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. Talk is cheap, action is not. Walk the talk. People want leadership and they want to do meaningful work these days, especially millenniums. The first stop is the mirror.
You have some control based on how your company is perceived as a desirable place to work. Most of my clients understand “the paycheck is why they come to work” mentality is long gone, even with our struggling economy. How you position your company for growth, quality of service and attracting high quality talent depends on both your actions and your associates. The best recruiters of quality talent are your current employees if you walk the talk as an organization. Your current associates become your best recruiters and salespeople. There are some things you can’t control, such as demographics.
The people between the ages of 17 and 37 are characterized as the millennium generation. They probably comprise some of your current associates. They will make up a larger percentage in the future. Demographic statistics gleaned from initial results of the 2010 census indicate that every day for the next five years an estimated 12,300 people will turn 52; 11,500 will turn 55; 9,200 will turn 62 and 8,000 will turn 65*. This trend has been termed the silver tsunami or the graying of America and means that experience, maturity and wisdom will be leaving the working ranks in record numbers during the next 15 years.
The bottom line is you still need talented and dedicated associates to enable the growth of your business. Make sure you can walk your talk!
Analyze to Realize More Value
Why should you be more analytical today about your system business than in the past? Numbers matter, especially the ones in your profit and loss statements at the end of the year. The number and quantity of data streams in our lives is increasing. There is a term for this growth trend: Big Data.
Typically, Big Data is measured in the exabyte range. That number comes with 18 zeros behind it. My personal favorite is the yottabyte, gosh I love that term, with 24 zeros behind it! Think about all the zeros made up of video, access control, POS, inventory and customer profiles. Welcome to your customer’s world. Crunching Big Data numbers takes some serious computing horsepower to deliver information that is actually useful to someone leading a business.
That would be the emerging, or submerging, field of business intelligence (BI) — the trend toward integrating and correlating discrete data streams. BI tries to making some sense out of all that raw data in a way that is useful to us mere mortals. A simple example would be sales automation solutions that crunch many variables and produce a dashboard for the sales manager to project monthly sales. In my view, BI is something that is as complex or simple as you or purveyors of BI products want to make it. This is an important distinction in the selling of technology solutions. I like simple much better.