A friend of mine was venting the other day about the less-than-agile company she works for. There was some reference to a stick and mud, but I'll just leave it at that. She's a saleswoman for an established software company and handles one of its biggest accounts. But it seems that every time she works up a creative (and potentially lucrative) plan for her client, she has to sell the idea to her own managers before selling anything to the customer. "That's not how we do things." "We don't structure licensing programs that way." "We've always sold these products as a package, not individually," she hears. "But that's what the customer is asking for. That's what will keep this customer a happy, long-term (revenue-generating) customer. Can't we re-evaluate the way we do things?" she asks.
This software company could use a little advice from Larry Bossidy, former chairman of Honeywell and author of Confronting Reality: Doing What Matters To Get Things Right, who I recently heard speak at the World Business Forum. Great companies need to be "perpetually adaptable." Too many people, he says, hold onto good ideas for too long simply because they work. Smart business strategy not only means setting growth plans for the business and taking steps to improve productivity but also identifying the things (margins, customer satisfaction) that put a business behind where it wants to be, Bossidy says. "You'd be surprised and shocked by the number of companies unwilling to confront the issues that separate them from greatness." Great companies identify those weaknesses and quickly work to fix them.
Bossidy's book should be a must-read for any company that's feeling a little sluggish in strategy, operations, or leadership.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Infographic: The State of DevOps in 2017Is DevOps helping organizations reduce costs and time-to-market for software releases? What's getting in the way of DevOps adoption? Find out in this InformationWeek and Interop ITX infographic on the state of DevOps in 2017.
2017 State of IT ReportIn today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.