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Breaking the Growth Barriers in the Information Technology and Software Sector

There’s nothing automatic about corporate growth, particularly in the information technology industry; build it and they will come is a myth. In the real world there is either a structured, process-driven growth cycle, or stagnation–and stagnation is automatic. Inherent to growth cycles are barriers, real-world business challenges that put some software companies out of business and spur others on to break through those barriers to higher levels of success. Overcoming those barriers is the very definition of growth; when you break through a barrier, you’ve achieved growth.

You’re a software or information technology company, prosperous in 2005, which means that you have a good product, you’ve made some smart decisions and you’ve already broken through some growth barriers. You’re successful. Now what?

Any company, regardless of age or size can experience barriers to growth: if you find it hard to develop and maintain market momentum; are tied to your entrepreneurial management style and unable to scale; have reached a level of revenue or income and stagnation is settling in; or if your revenue is generated from one product, service, client, or industry, then you’re at the next growth barrier, you need to be able recognize it, and you need to prepare to cross it. This overview discusses the typical growth barriers that confront many IT and software companies, and how external consultants can be used effectively to break through those barriers.

Strategy Constrained

At this point your company or product is in the early stages of its evolution. You’ve landed a handful of key accounts, and you’re encouraged by your early success. Now you need a plan, a strategy, a concrete agenda that will move your information technology company from being a collection of talented people with a common goal, to being a team with a common goal and a battle-tested strategy for achieving that goal.

This stage is characterized by:

    o Perpetual realignment of company strategy

By delivering guidance on corporate strategy, a marketing strategy consultant may be able to help a company like yours to:

    o Define untapped solution areas
    o Make technological platform decisions
    o Select appropriate geographic markets
    o Write actionable business plans

Capital Constrained

You’ve taken your software company or product as far as you can on your savings. Or perhaps you’ve made a few key sales that have kept you afloat. In order to move your company on to the next phase of development you need an infusion of capital to hire skilled employees, make key acquisitions and fuel your growth. Technology is your specialty, not prospectus writing for venture capitalists.

This stage is characterized by:

    o Inability to fund business strategies
    o Decision-making based upon short-term cash-flow issues rather than long-term strategy

Through road-show ready business plan development and introduction to network of VCs and angel investors, a strategy consultant may be able to help a company like yours to:

    o Author compelling investment prospectuses
    o Define immediate and long-term financial requirements
    o Execute successful finance road shows

Skills Constrained

Typically a company finds themselves at this stage of development with a great product built on sound technology aimed at a particular industry, and their first round of financing secured. They also find themselves with a weak or non-existent positioning statement, a reactive product management process, exhausted or ineffective sales skills, and a strictly opportunistic business development strategy. Company growth is limited in part by the notion that the product will sell itself because it is superior to any other on the market–indeed, it may be the only offering. Revenue growth is limited because the product is defined in terms of its functionality, not its value to the customer.

The offering, and by extension the company, is still being defined by technologists; it has yet to be married with a solid business development plan, marketing or sales acumen. More worrisome is that the very success of your company has brought you to the attention of major players who do have personnel and strategies dedicated to driving you out of the market; they view you as a threat. Your days of flying under the radar are over.

This stage is characterized by:

    o An attractive market
    o A compelling product
    o Adequate financial resources
    o An inability to develop market momentum

Through sales, marketing, product management and business development acumen, a sales and marketing strategy consultant may be able to help a company like yours to:

    o Recruit and manage skilled personnel
    o Craft compelling product and company positioning
    o Create effective sales vehicles and sales strategy
    o Recruit and manage appropriate and motivated alliance partners

Process Constrained

A company at this stage of development is typically successful, no longer a start-up, is being run by a management team, has been accepted in the market, and is competitive. However, fundamental product development and sales and marketing management processes have not yet been accepted within the foundation of the corporate culture. This means that the solution to most situations are human-based, usually hand-crafted by the management team; the foundation of proven processes is absent.

This stage is characterized by:

    o Market acceptance
    o Ability to compete with established players
    o All actions are hand-crafted, typically by the senior management team

By introducing repeatable, best-of-breed processes for sales, marketing and product management, a sales and marketing strategy consultant may help a company like yours to:

    o Introduce effective and repeatable product management, marketing and sales processes
    o Reduce day-to-day reliance on senior management resources

Innovation Constrained

Organizations at this stage of development have achieved a great deal of success; processes are ingrained, product development is streamlined, and sales and marketing systems are in place. But by definition the market keeps shifting: your product is being eclipsed by younger companies with products that perhaps even capitalize on your R&D and experience; your market may be saturated to the point that the double-digit growth rates your investors have come to take for granted are a thing of the past. You need a new product or a new market or both.

This stage is characterized by:

    o The management team no longer involved in all decisions
    o Stagnation beginning to creep in with respect to products and markets

By introducing fresh thinking about new markets, products, and channels, a business strategy consultant may be able to help a company like yours to:

    o Author innovative channel strategies
    o Leverage existing products into new vertical and geographic markets
    o Capture requirements for nascent product lines
    o Embrace change as the source of competitive advantage

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/44984

Cyberspace: In which Did the Expression Occur From and What Does It Indicate?

Hardly ever does a day go by that we will not occur throughout the preface “Cyber.” We listen to it in conversation, on Tv set and radio. We see it in print. Regardless of the resource, we generally have a tendency to think of the phrase as owning some relation to computers and the Web.

Cyberspace is acknowledged in my Word spell-checker, but cyberstudy is not. And to more cloud the problem, cyber is often utilised a one term, i.e. cyber crime, cyber intelligence. As time passes, what we the moment utilised as two phrases are now often merged into one particular. “Web page” is now acknowledged as a one term in the Involved Press (AP) Fashion Handbook (the guidebook for journalists).

Following a prolonged look for of much more than a dozen websites for a definition of cyber and cyberspace, here’s what I discovered:

· 3 different forums experienced subscribers say it stood for pc sexual intercourse (we know the place they are coming from).

· Webopedia: A metaphor for describing the non-actual physical terrain established by pc programs. Online programs, for illustration, develop a cyberspace within which persons can talk…

· Wikipedia: Cyberspace is the digital medium of pc networks, in which on the net conversation usually takes place.

· And some feel the phrase cybernetics, and in particular “cyber” derives from the Greek for steersman, rudder, or pilot. Cybernetics is a phrase that referred to digital conversation and handle science.

· The phrase cyberspace even seems on whitehouse.gov site.

Yes…I do have better items to do, but considering that I’ve been doing the job on a collection of content about digital detectives, I puzzled how a prosecution witness would determine cyberspace or cybercrime if it was utilised during testimony.

In latest Tv set information broadcasts I heard representatives from the NSA, Homeland Safety and the navy express their beliefs that the best threat to the U.S. is not a terrorist attack. These officers feel that cyberspace will be the usually means whereby villains cross into our boundaries…by means of the Web.

Studies reveal that our federal federal government skilled about 41,000 cyberattacks in 2010, and these are the ones they had been equipped to detect. They used shut to $twelve billion on Details Technology (IT) security that calendar year-most of which covered staff salaries and gains.

Identification theft is a growing problem. Possibilities are you have skilled it by yourself or know another person who has. In my circumstance I recovered a voicemail information from our residence cellular phone one particular Sunday afternoon. We had been requested to get in touch with our bank’s credit card fraud unit. They verified that we utilised our credit card to shell out for dinner on a Friday night (in Raleigh, NC), and the upcoming day our card produced a selection of buys in Palm Beach front, FL. The buys ongoing by means of Sunday right up until the card was maxed out.

Extra lately, I gained an E mail from Fb security (certainly, they seriously have a security office). They requested if I experienced produced posts on my webpage that early morning. I experienced not. It appears that some chap in a Russian province (which I are unable to pronounce, let by itself spell) experienced been employing my account.

Yes, legislation enforcement has produced magnificent strides in the investigation of cybercrime. But will this avoid it? No it will not likely. IT security industry experts convey to us that about 800 million individual records have been stolen by hackers about the latest past. And even with the most intricate, hello-tech security software package accessible, some cybercreep will ultimately hack into it. Cyber forensics grew out of the screaming desire for increased legislation enforcement involvement in cybercrime. Today numerous organizations have established models that offer with this on the net mayhem, and numerous much more are gearing up for it. The issues is that these pc experts may well hardly ever see the light-weight at the finish of tunnel identified as cyberspace.

Execs and Cons of Cloud Net Web hosting

As standard, there are professionals and downsides to every little thing on the internet and that consists of cloud hosting for enterprise. We will go by way of some professionals and downsides, pros and negatives that may perhaps aid you come to a decision no matter whether cloud internet hosting is proper for your organization.

The “cloud” is an IT phrase for the World wide web, and cloud computing, or cloud hosting, usually means storing and possessing entry to your personal computer details and software on the World wide web – on desire – somewhat than running it on your personalized personal computer or business server. In actuality, if you use applications these as Gmail or Google docs, you may perhaps not recognize it, but you are currently collaborating in cloud computing. Component of the confusion in the enterprise selection approach of IT is that the terminology is somewhat complicated in that it improvements so frequently, specially for non-tech-savvy sorts, which include numerous smaller enterprise proprietors. And it does represent a major shift in how organizations and men and women use and keep electronic information.

Benefits for enterprise

There are numerous evident pros to cloud internet hosting that are talked about on news mediums and on numerous enterprise internet web-sites. With cloud hosting, you have your internet details and enterprise computing applications running on the net, somewhat than separately on your business computers, and this usually means that you and your IT staff members have entry to them whenever, everywhere there is an World wide web relationship obtainable. An additional gain is the preset-charge draw to cloud computing. We get in touch with this the dreaded charge- and hassle-conserving component. With cloud internet hosting, the software that is provided on the net is upgraded and managed by the supplier, so the smaller enterprise operator does not have to purchase the hottest version of a software software or down load upgrades and patches. Not possessing to purchase a plan outright but moving into into a regular or once-a-year deal is quite motivating, as is the enchantment that numerous programs are presented for free. The preset charge enables enterprise proprietors to prepare for the potential, somewhat than be shocked when a pricey software or components up grade is essential. And for organizations that have updates to their internet website(s) made hourly, even by-the-minute improvements to their internet website, cloud internet hosting can supply a significant gain around self-hosting.

Not all internet web-sites demand hourly news updates. JanesCustomDrapes.com possibly doesn’t have to have up-to-the minute reporting from the entire world of sewing. I imply, how substantially improvements from 1 day to the upcoming in the sewing entire world? But that doesn’t imply that Jane need to seek the services of a duplicate author for her website text, established her gross sales pitch and hope for the very best. If she’s a savvy enterprise gals (let’s think she is) providing content on sorts of yarn, on-line lessons for beginners, information on other handiwork, site visitors will be inspired to carry on to stop by JanesCustomDrapes.com for the information and, at some point, make a purchase. That is the target of all for-financial gain enterprises…proper?

What is cloud hosting?

Cloud computing or cloud hosting is frequently the phrase employed to explain the “as a service” model around the World wide web. You will see the terms “infrastructure as a service”, “platform as a service”, or “software as a service” used as you carry out your investigate of the foremost cloud hosting companies these as Rackspace Web hosting, Amazon and SoftLayer.

Execs of Cloud Web hosting

The charge cost savings in cloud hosting, as opposed to co-site, can run as significant as fifty-three %, a large quantity in the startup dynamics of enterprise. It only helps make a good enterprise circumstance to use cloud hosting and any arguments towards it on the charge front are with very little merit. In a extremely competitive enterprise economy, charge cost savings are a significant additionally.

Cons of Cloud Web hosting

Cloud hosting is a quite financially rewarding enterprise for service companies. As these, it can direct to highly-priced regular expenses if the code of your internet website is not perfectly penned. And the way to conserve dollars, as a purchaser, is to improve your code. For projects hosted in the cloud, you can truly get a regular assertion that can illustrate your functionality optimization attempts. If you and your programming staff edit your code so that it accesses the database much less, you can conserve a couple hundred bucks per thirty day period. The cloud can give you a immediate line from your code to your bucks. Exciting things!

Carbon neutral internet hosting

An additional con of cloud internet hosting is that the the greater part of cloud hosting companies are not environmentally-friendly or carbon neutral, this means that they do not use renewable electrical power to ability their details facilities. The cloud is escalating at a point in time when local weather improve and reducing emissions from electrical power use is a escalating issue for shoppers. And for the reason that it is of issue to shoppers, numerous of these shoppers purchase merchandise and solutions from businesses that are making environmentally friendly choices – these as the variety of internet hosting supplier they pick. While numerous smaller and medium sized organizations are going their internet web-sites to environmentally friendly internet hosting companies, the emissions developed by the IT sector proceeds to mature. With the development of the cloud, however, will come an increasing desire for electrical power. For all of the internet written content to be shipped to World wide web consumers in real time, digital mountains of video clip, photos and other details ought to be saved someplace and be obtainable for pretty much immediate entry. That “someplace” is details facilities and in most situations, details facilities emit a large volume of carbon. This begs the question of no matter whether a webmaster need to pick environmentally friendly environmentally friendly internet hosting alternatively of cloud hosting. The selection need to be made, however, only right after a quite extensive investigation into the professionals and downsides, pros and negatives of each variety of internet hosting.

Environmentally friendly internet hosting

The air is finding dirtier. The seas are turning black. Clear ingesting h2o is scarce in numerous places in the entire world and we all have a responsibility to use much less electrical power. It is the ethical detail to do. So, to commence, search for a internet hosting corporation that shows issue for the natural environment currently and in the potential – a internet host that employs environmentally friendly technologies to supply solutions to you.

What to search for in a internet hosting supplier?

    • a lot more renewable electrical power sources like wind turbines and cold h2o cooling for internet host servers

 

    • Electricity Star rated, extremely successful servers, which are very little a lot more than big tough drives on which your internet website resides on the server side

 

    • accountable disposal of out-of-date machines to avoid heavy, harmful metals from seeping into our h2o provides

 

    • an ethical, company benefit to employ the minimum volume of electrical power when offering the highest high-quality of service

Green hosting solutions are the potential of the internet hosting sector. Only a couple internet hosts employ environmentally friendly technologies end-to-end. Pick out 1 of these vanguard businesses. That dedication to a cleaner potential helps make an ethical assertion about what is vital to the internet hosting company’s administration staff.

Nonetheless not finding it?

Simply because you provide motives for website site visitors to revisit your website – and maybe even award you with a bookmark, which need to send shivers of delight down your spine. These are prospective customers who may perhaps not develop into purchasers for months, months or many years, but as prolonged as they continue to keep coming again…you maximize the chance of converting a customer into a purchaser.

So make some adhesive to continue to keep site visitors caught on you. In time, these repeat site visitors will aid shell out your rent and establish your enterprise.