Monday, October 15, 2012

IT Capabilities for the 2nd Decade of the 21st Century

Also posted at

Are your Information Technology (IT) capabilities stuck in the 20th Century or have they advanced to the 2nd Decade of the 21st Century?
·   Most of your clients are using Apple, Android or Windows phones and tablets – are your websites looking and functioning well on them?
·   Most of your people are using mobile phones and tablets:
o  Are these being integrated at your company IT?
o  Have secure access to sales, financial, history (e.g., stocks, personnel, medical, mechanical and maintenance), and requirements (regulatory – should this waste drum be here)?
o  Have offline capability to queue updates when can get online?
o  Can you voice update, write update or text to your database?
o  Are you using highly, portable, wonderfully capable 7" tablets?
o  Are your office and mobile application documents – word, text, spreadsheet, PPT – fully compatible?
o  Can you access the latest versions of company documents from anywhere in the world?
·   Can you collaborate on documents from anywhere in the world?
·   Have you migrated your websites to the newer multi-media, multi-platform HTML5 Standard yet?
·   Do you have your company or marketing database(s) integrated in your website so that your people or customers can update their info, progress, requirements online?  Eliminates transfer errors and delays.
·   Do your websites update from in-house databases – personnel, financial reports (public companies especially), board reports, press releases, social media updates, or is 20th-century manual/IT entry required?
·   Do you have your own Intranets/Internal Portals – for company info, training and updates and sharing information?  Going to outside services, such as LinkedIn, Google+ or Facebook opens up distraction and loses control.
·   Do your static graphics look great?
·   Are your graphics slow to download?
·   Are you using walk-on graphics, background graphics or video?
·   Do your graphics update dynamically from the latest data (charts, graphs – such as prices, products, services, personnel photos) by in-house users versus IT?
·   Are you at the top of search engines for your product or service keywords?
·   Do you have a high rate of contact information capture on your site(s)?  Auto-captured emails, phones, addresses are highly valuable, but only if you use them for client relations and gentle marketing.
·   Do you email your customers/clients regularly with highly-usable information and critical company updates?
·   Is your email marketing "one size fits all," or is it customized by needs, previous purchases/activity, demographics and time they entered the system?  Ads on Google and social media sites are tailored to your profiles and past activity, and the latest email systems add time-in to sequence marketing.
·   Do you alienate your prospects/customers/clients with regular promotions or disguised promos, or are you giving them information that makes them want to open your emails, texts and mail?  90% of communications with them should be highly-useable information – short, sweet, golden nuggets that can be immediately utilized to improve their lives or business.
·   Technical - Could your IT systems be hacked, shutdown, compromised or disrupted easily?
·   Are your in-house and on-line applications safe from non-authorized users or use?
·   Do you have any systems that have problems or are really slow?
·   Satisfied with your web host?
·   Have you purchased your full suite of domain extensions and similar domain names?  Squatters are grabbing popular and valuable domain name extensions, similar names, such as .info, .tv, .us and .ws extensions, as well as negative name versions (, hoping to sell them to back to you when they start popping up on Internet searches.
·   Are you paying for software by the computer or licensing by number of users?
·   Do you have to update your computers every time there's a software update?
·   Is you day-to-day and critical data protected by fire-proof, high-security offline storage … daily?  Hourly?  Every update?
·   Can your people access their day-to-day documents online via secured connections?
·   Can you collaborate on documents from anywhere in the world via secured connections?
These capabilities and opportunities can be:
·   Created in-house by your IT staff, but often they are overwhelmed keeping critical systems functioning and improved, so …
·   Talented contractors can do the job, but often they have a limited scope, so
·   Wide-spectrum, highly-experienced service organizations that use local project managers and well-educated and deeply-experienced local and off-shore designers and developers.
However you implement the upgrades, do so now, for those who do not keep their systems up to date will find it tougher and tougher to compete.
Comments and suggestions welcomed.  Contact info above.
Prosper Systems (.biz) • Kenton H Johnson (.com), Founding Member
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