Guide: Systems

The key question to ask yourself with regards to systems is “in what ways will the business need to be run differently in order to be successful?”


Technology gets a special mention for many reasons. Obviously, good technology allows you to do many tasks faster and better which provides many benefits e.g. more sales, higher gross profit percentage, lower expenses, higher customer retention, happier staff.
The one technology benefit often overlooked, however, is access to good data. If you don’t have a good IT platform, then you won’t have good data, and good data is an essential building block to success. Even technology businesses who use technology to differentiate their business, often miss this part.

At the other end of the spectrum from technology-based businesses, many businesses think of technology as an after-thought since it’s more of an enabler than differentiator for their business. Good IT platforms are essential for every business. This includes both hardware and software, especially moving to emerging platforms like cloud software that can set you ahead of your competitors.

To keep this lesson in balance, though, remember the common innovation mistake about over-investing in technology in the hope it alone will be the innovation. Usually, it is just the vehicle that is laid over top of the true value you have created e.g. Uber and Airbnb are brilliant strategies, not brilliant technology innovations.