IT Outsourced  

Enterprise architecture

With the rapid advancements in technology it can be very difficult to keep up with where your company needs to be or where you want it to be. Technology has transformed virtually every business you use, the customers you deal with and how you produce your product or service. Managing this change is challenging and requires an increasing level of sophistication. Larger organizations are starting to utilize Enterprise Architects who identify and direct the company’s overall direction for all their technological needs. Think of an orchardist who is pruning, looking at the tree for what it is, and what it can be. EA’s is being recognized as a profession and are starting to develop standards (see http://www.feapo.org/index.php)

Integrating new ideas or concepts into a company is not an easy task. Even a simple thing like email can quickly become as much a problem as a solution. Staff can spend hours reading and responding to messages when their time might be better spent elsewhere. Sometimes simple projects can suddenly become a key component to the business. Recently, on a trip to Vancouver, my family was looking for something a bit different to have dinner. I often use the internet to research. I checked out a popular restaurant review website (I like www.urbanspoon.ca) , then over to a government site to read health inspection reports for food handling (see Interior Health Authority). We found a fantastic little bistro with amazing food!

Take a close look at your business or organization. It’s not just the problems you need to identify. There can be gaps in your business you need to identify. Do you have a website and would it benefit you? Are you or your business on Facebook, twitter, and LinkedIn? Think about how nice it is to eat at a restaurant with wireless debit machines. I can sit and enjoy time with my friends or family until the waitress brings over the debit machine, no standing in line waiting to pay. It frustrates me when I can’t find the operating hours for a business easily on the internet. I often use my smart phone to see when places are open. It would be nice to have QR codes to product literature in retail outlets. If the resources aren’t available, then I search for the product online, sometimes finding better prices at another location. Always evaluate your business and see if some key component could be more efficient. Look at trends, talk to your IT personnel and assess benefits versus risk.

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About the Author

Mark Smed started as a self-employed consultant, integrating computers into small business in 1989.  The range of work expanded into installing networks and consulting with businesses on the fast paced changes in technology.  As his career progressed he taught Network Administration at a small business college and continued to build his base of clients. 

Today, Mark works for Northern Computer Inc. (http://www.northerncomputer.ca) as a consultant, specialist and technician.  His client base continues to grow and many of his clients have worked with him for over 10 years now.  In 2001, Mark joined the Network Professional Association (http://www.npa.org) and now sits on the board of directors and is responsible for publishing the Network Professional Journal for the association.

Mark can be reached at [email protected].

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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