Developing a Strategic Partnership

Having the responsibility to charter the course of your business isn't always as glamorous as most would envision. Think back to a recent annual strategic planning session to map out the big picture for the next 12, 24, 36 months and beyond for your organization. What are the topics your team focused on during the SWOT portion of your planning? Did you end up with more questions about the unknowns then come up with answers with finite direction? When it came time to assign action items, did everyone back away from the table slowly when it had anything to do with technology?

Based on feedback received during the recent executive roundtable from our first NOLOGY conference, we heard that strategic partnership was by far the most desired technology-focused need. One of the primary reasons that clients choose to partner with us for managed services is so that we can absorb the technology demands of their business, so they can focus on what they're truly good at. We've executed well at doing just that for 10 years, but just like the lifecycle of IT, our solution has to evolve to meet the demands of businesses and their challenges today. It takes a balanced skillset of technical knowhow, along with a keen business acumen, to ensure that the solutions we provide enhance and support company strategies.

To ensure success for our clients, I have recently taken on a newly developed role at P&L Technology – Account Manager. The primary function of this role will be to have regularly scheduled meetings with our clients, on a cadence that works for them and their business. The objective of each meeting will be unique to each company. Using a strategic planning format, and focusing on the implications of the challenges facing the company, we will ensure that the technology strategy is directly aligned with the direction of the organization.

We want to be a strategic partner, taking a premeditated and calculated approach to the IT blueprint which will correlate to the rest of an organization’s long-term goals. This may mean we are focused in on upcoming projects like an office relocation, or acquisition, a new line of business application, a downsizing; or looking at future plans like accommodating a remote workforce, demystifying the cloud and whether or not it makes sense, how to leverage technology for a competitive advantage in the marketplace; or looking internally at the people and not the tools to identify areas where we can wrap a training course around a certain line of business to increase efficiency and solve challenges across the organization.

Another purpose of my new role is to develop regular contact with our clients to draw feedback and keep lines of communication open. Input we receive will be directly forwarded to the P&L management team, and injected into ongoing development of deliverable services. Our focus is to enable our clients to continue to meet their business goals, utilizing IT as a strategic facet of their overall plan.

written by: Jeff Newton - 11/21/2014