Tools to help you shine as an IT leader or CIO
2021 is moving so fast! As we hurtle headlong towards the halfway mark, we reflect on the widely-declared challenges for CIOs and IT leaders.
Right at the top of the year, we scoured the web for all of the predictions and insights for 2021 and, *spoiler alert*, they were all saying pretty much the same thing!
- Embrace the need to put systems in the hands of your business teams (not just the good old IT department)
- Provide a robust, secure – but simple – set of tools for remote workers, to enable and encourage collaboration, and teamsmanship
- Automate your processes as far as possible, to increase consistency, quality, and user experience.
Here’s the thing. There’s nothing new here. What might be new for you, is actually getting some clear pointers on how to deliver. Executing might be much easier than you might think.
There’s nothing radical required. No need for cool, trendy startup tools, nor old-fashioned software programs that were around in the eighties. There’s a reassuringly comfortable, yet cutting-edge, middle ground comprising powerful, modern platforms.
Here’s how we do it.
As a refreshing alternative to suites that were born in the desktop software era, Google offers a powerful set of collaboration tools that grew up on the web. Sheets, Docs and Meet all offer compelling and engaging ways for teams to work together, in real time, with minimal friction.
At nearly ten years young, this platform, originally launched as ‘the future of work’, is now in its element; the world has almost caught up with it. Its key strengths are in the enablement of citizen developers to get on and build their own work apps (within a consistent framework), and in its formidable support for workflow automation.
Pro tip: when you automate a process using Podio’s Workflow Automation tool, it will even tell you how many hours you’re saving! Deeply satisfying.
Possibly its own worst enemy given that we’ve heard of people not wanting to roll out Slack because they thought it was a cool startup thing. No matter! The important thing is that, in Slack, you have a great communication look that does a couple of things really well.
a) it’s a powerful chat platform, and
b) it puts simple automation into the hands of many. If you want to boost your remote team’s productivity, increase information sharing, and also reduce the likelihood of people missing important meetings, you could do a whole lot worse than rolling out Slack.
Bespoke tools and integrations
For the niche operational needs and quirks that cannot immediately be satiated by off-the-shelf platforms, we use a number of techniques to bridge the gaps. In some cases we can interlock disparate platforms using tools such as Zapier, which works on a (nearly) idiotproof ‘if this, then that’ basis.
In other scenarios we tap into the talents of our own development team to create simple API integrations.
Either way, all of the above pushes us well along the path to increased operational excellence, allowing us to focus on taking care of our clients.
If your needs can be met by platforms like Google Workspace, Podio, Slack, Wrike or others, dive in and get started (we’re happy to advise). If your needs cannot be met by existing tools, then we can help with that too.
As always, we are always happy to have an informal no-pressure-or-obligation chat, if you’re still not sure what’s the best option for you – drop us a line if you need us or have any further questions!