R&D Projects to Cut Corporate Operational Costs

In reading this article yesterday, CIOs Must Become Technology Consultants, it reminded me of my early entreprenureal corporate ideas to reduce costs of doing business inside the firm. I’m glad to see this author discuss essential changes to a CIO’s perspective because he is on the right track.

“Times, though, have changed dramatically in the last few years. New and exciting technology in social media, mobile and cloud have empowered business leaders to seize control and benefit from technology directly. Today’s business leader seeks to adopt immature, consumer technology that the CIO used to shun.

It’s now contingent upon the new CIO to make the technology sales pitches, not receive them. The new CIO must show how IT services can help business leaders become better within their particular operations, as well as how a cross-departmental, holistic approach raises the tide and lifts all boats. The new CIO must advise and assist on technology adoption, not give orders and mandates.”

We at Newbound, Inc., adopted a similar business philosophy in the early 1990’s. We understood the technology of the times allowed rapid-prototype development to examine and solve problems in shorter times and less expense than traditional corporate IT practices.

As a result, my software partner and I tired of working for employers over 20 years ago who didn’t embrace emerging technology. It took them years after we formed our first software partnership in 1993, to catch the emerging technology wave to help improve operations at reduced cost. One of my proof-of-concept ideas was to streamline the labor intensive benchmarking studies frequently conducted by the company I worked for, but my idea was rejected.

I wanted to initiate an R&D group in the firm to conceive and develop potential business solutions. Reluctance to even do a pilot study of new ideas that might be useful were not part of management’s field of vision.

During my 30-plus years of developing business software solutions  and consulting, I recognized early on that employees actually know more about how to perform their job description better than their management does.

It made sense to me then to teach non-technical employees enough technology skills so they could consider new approaches to accomplishing their ever-increasing load of work. To the degree I could implement that strategy in a company, I did.

I believe had management supported the efforts as a dedicated program, the results would have been even greater than they achieved without that dedicated support.

This closing paragraph from the above linked article states my philosophy from the 1980’s very well:

“Change in the CIO role is more prevalent now than at any point in my career,” Wilson says, adding, “It’s about running IT as a business.”

What business would that be? A consultancy, of course.”

We at Newbound, Inc., believe it too!

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About Don Larson

Using computer technology since June 1980.
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