Last week I had the pleasure of presenting to the members of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce. I was asked to speak more of ‘the web’ rather than web sites per se.
This was a relatively easy topic (or so I thought) for me given it is the big issue we try to help our customers understand every day (and our organisation).
I have included the presentation slides below which kind of show some of the message.
The main theme for me was “are you paying attention?”
In reality, most senior executives and small / medium business owners are not paying enough attention to how web technology can affect their business. While the current economic changes are forcing people to do things smarter, which is good for focusing the attention in the right areas, the stampede to using web technology is not necessarily going to be smart.
Typically, when you mention a new technology / application – people jump in to using it without necessarily understanding the implications for their business.
Why should you pay attention?
- Size of opportunity.
- The people you can reach.
- Cost and efficiency savings
You can now access a much bigger community than ever before.
You need a strategy (even a simple one)!
Who will be your strategist? You need someone to do it. In addition, you need to know why. The use of internet technology should not be buried deep under another department area.
As an owner – how much of your time, resources, money and thought are you applying to using web technology (and other tech solutions) to improve your business? In relation to the other areas of your business, many give it only a cursory look in. Time to check if the balance is right. Ireckon the thought piece is the most important!
I brushed on understanding what outcomes you want, understanding your different communities and the interactions you think could be successful for you and them. Getting involved in the community in a positive way rather than just using it as a broadcast medium, and broaching lightly on many of the different ways you can do that using web technology.
This carried the big warning “just because you can doesn’t mean you should”, coupled towards the end with “just because your staff won’t doesn’t mean you shouldn’t”.
Make sure you have good reasons for why you choose to do what you are going to do. It may not work out how you want it to, in this game there is a lot of trial and error, but you still need to have a strategy of why you are doing it. Don’t just copy the competitors or others for no good reason. Of course once you decide to do something if your team won;t buy in you have to look at that as well. How will you implement your strategy. Resourcing (not just money) is the key.
The biggest challenge I had with this presentation, was covering a very complex topic in 25 minutes. Originally, I assumed I would need to take breaths to fill in the time, whereas in reality I was concerned the presentation may have ended up as too much of an overview, rather than providing anything meaningful.
In the wash up and from feedback, I think I may have got the balance right. My intent was to make sure that, as business executives and owners of mainly smaller organisations, they didn’t put this in the ‘too hard‘ basket, or the ‘that’s just IT’ basket. I wanted them to realise they need to pay attention because the velocity of change is increasing and business needs to be stretching what they do to keep up.
Well that’s what ireckon anyway.