Technology Officers

Technology Officers

You need a Technology Officer to steer technology at your company. There are only three things you need from your Technology Officer:

  • Aware – Your Technology Officer needs to be aware of within budget solutions that exist in the market and of the needs of each of your departments.
  • Strategic – You need a destination and a map. You need a plan that maps annual goals and projects to priorities across your organization.
  • Successful – Results. Technology without results is waste. You need technology to help you achieve your business goals faster and more efficiently. 

Let’s review each of the three items you need, and how XL.net addresses them.

Aware

There are hundreds of thousands different technology solutions in the market. The largest research organization in the world, Gartner, researches over 300 categories of technology solutions:

 

That’s a lot of categories, so much so we could not even fit it on a legible single image.

With COVID 19, remote work tools became missions critical for most. Take a look just at that category:

Again just for a single category, and we couldn’t even fit everything on the page, much less let it be legible.

Our Technology Officers have to be aware of the subset of technology solutions available that could be within budget for our clients and appropriate to solve the type of issues and opportunities most of our clients deal with.

Luckily, we focus exclusively on clients of similar size and complexity that makes it possible to be aware of technology solutions that can help you.

To understand which technology solutions to get adopted in your business we do the following:

  • We start by taking time to understand where you want your business to go and put together a one page Technology Alignment Plan.
  • We then create and together with you update quarterly your Business Model Canvas.
  • To ensure that the technology solutions continue to address issues and opportunities across your organization, we put together and run your Technology Committee with champions from each department.

Strategic

Technology without a strategy, is like wanting to go to an unknown destination without a map. Knowing the destination and having a map is what we refer to as the Technology Alignment Plan (TAP)  and below is a sample one: 

Our Technology Officers create one for you annually by interviewing one on one the head of each of your departments. We ask everyone the same questions and document all the answers. The document with all the answers is on average 18 pages.

We take the 18 page document, and based on our awareness of the technology solutions that companies similar to your size and complexity have succeeded with, we create a draft one page TAP like the one above. 

We then meet with you for 45 minutes to an hour and together make sure the plan is the right plan for you. We provide the 18 page document, and number the interview answers so you can see exactly the comments that went into an annual goal or project.

Once the TAP is approved, we begin our work to complete the Business Model Canvas:

This allows us to more deeply understand all the critical aspects of your business.

Next, we put together a Technology Committee with a champion from each of your departments. The purpose of the Technology Committee is to on a quarterly basis accomplish the following:

  • Jointly update the Business Model Canvas.
  • Jointly review the misalignments as identified by the monthly technology audits by your System Analyst.
  • Jointly with us select the right next quarter priorities in order to hit the TAP annual goals. 
  • To be the voice to the Technology Committee for their department needs, issues and opportunities.
  • To be the champion to the department they are part of for the next quarters changes as agreed to on the TAP.

Successful

You need results from your technology department. Results that move your business forward faster and more efficiently. Metric based results that you can track, so that you know what value your technology department is providing to your business.

There are 4 metrics that we track with you to jointly assess the value your business is getting:

  • Technology obstacle rate per employee – How many issues each of your employees experiences per month. This number should be less than 3 issues a year, yet we have found most companies that do not look at this number regularly have more than 14 issues a year per employee. That’s 10%-25% of your payroll that is wasted from poorly selected and maintained technology.
  • Security Level – The Center for Internet Security provides an easy roadmap to in a standards based fashion assess your Security Level, between 0-5. Most organizations with under 250 employees are at Security Level 0.2. Or phrased differently, most organizations have not addressed 96% of their security risks. Probably why 76% of small and medium businesses were attacked last year by hackers in the US and 69% reported losing sensitive corporate or customer information.
  • Balance – This is the metric in your business that cannot be breached, while you go after your goals. Your Mendoza Line. Perhaps it is the customer satisfaction level you maintain, that you do not want to bring in customers faster than you can maintain a certain satisfaction level. 
  • Critical Success Metric – The most important metric we jointly focus on. The one thing that you can look at if on vacation to know if last week your company was improving or declining. A leading metric there frequently has an indirect impact on your future revenues and profit. This metric is very hard to find and we will help you in finding it. Because once you do, everyone in your business and ours will know where we are heading on the map. Our company mission is to improve this metric by 30% a year. 

We realize we are not perfect, but we strive for it constantly!