A few weeks ago, I received a pleasant note on Linked In from Global IT Executive Randy Wadle who is a world traveler and marathon runner. He also is the sole owner of Strategic IT Consulting.
Randy is a talented individual who effortlessly blends IT knowledge and business acumen to benefit a wide range of organizations. In his case, Randy’s career spanned Aviva, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Maytag Corporation. (Our paths first crossed when we both worked at Aviva.)
Technology always has intrigued me. So when Randy and I reconnected, it seemed only natural to pick his mind about how technology is impacting business today. Randy was thoughtful. Then, he began sharing how changes in approaches to technology increase the speed at which businesses can respond and level the playing field for entrants in many industries.
“The availability of cloud-based software and consumerization of technology makes it easier for large companies to try new things and smaller businesses to have some of the same capabilities as big corporations,” explained Randy.
“Specifically, in the last five years, the availability of software such as Office 365, cloud-based SharePoint and software as service products such as Salesforce.com and even Enterprise Resource Planning has made a big difference for companies of all sizes.
“In the past, it could take weeks to months to purchase a server, add a core operating system and load and configure application software. Now with the availability of new software and using a cloud provider infrastructure as a service, it’s possible to be up and running in 30 minutes.
“Cloud-based software is a fraction of the cost and can be implemented more quickly than the traditional cost of a capital investment in technology. It is analogous to being able to pay by the drink versus having to stock a whole bar.”
Randy went on to say that software is being used to help IT and business leaders understand the marketplace on a deeper level. “Many times, new software engages people not only throughout the organization, but throughout the market. It is encouraging flexibility, innovation and integration across the workplace.”
As our time drew to an end, I asked Randy, “What are three questions that CEOs or entrepreneurs should ask themselves when considering the implications of changes in approaches to technology.”
He replied, “Ask yourself, ‘how knowledgeable is my IT and business leadership in this space?’ Then, consider whether your IT department and business unit heads are working together to assure its fit to business purpose and integration. Lastly, does your finance department understand how to take full advantage of moving from fixed expenses such as buying multiple licenses and servers to provide greater opportunity to flex with variables in your environment?’”
When our conversation concluded, my first thought was: “Randy was the same dynamic individual that I remembered from Aviva.” My second thought was: “Thank goodness for Linked In, how can I bring his depth of expertise and experience to benefit others?”