How Does Your Business Work?

How much do organizations typically understand about how their business actually works and what enables their competitive advantage?

One of the most interesting consequences of being a Solution Architect rather than a traditional software company is that it allows us to start by asking our Customer: “How would you like your business to work?”

What happens next is an invigorating discussion about what people do, why they do it, how it could be different, and what would be the benefit of change. The management team thinks not just about their IT systems, but about the workings of their business and what makes it special.

I have had Customers tell me that even if they had not proceeded past this analysis stage to build the IT system they commissioned from us, the deeper understanding of their business and how it should work was worth the investment in its own right. What really brought me up short though, was last month two companies told me — in separate conversations — that until Fraysen had engaged with them, it had not even occurred to them that they could ask these questions. Don’t misunderstand me: these are both highly innovative companies who I admire greatly. But they were mental prisoners of their IT systems. IT is so difficult to change, and IT is so fundamental to everything a modern business does.  These business leaders allowed their thinking to be governed by what they believed their IT systems could do. What lost opportunity! Why not ask your team the question? “How do we want [X aspect of our business] to work?” I think you will be excited by the results.

Finbar Gallagher

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