Nick LaPalomento: Hi there. Thanks for joining for another Tech Talk. I’m Nick and I’m joined again by Chad Hiatt, he’s our chief information officer here at Aldridge.
Today, we’re talking about business reviews. I’m sure a lot of clients are familiar with business reviews from maybe other IT providers, but we wanted to go into a little bit more detail about how we do business reviews and how they’re a little bit different. Go ahead a describe for us—what do we actually do in a business review with Aldridge?
Chad Hiatt: A business review is something that we try to do on a quarterly or semi annual basis just depending on the size of the client organization and really what they’re looking to accomplish. The prep for the business review, and I’ll start there, is we’re pulling together all the information that we’ve had in prior conversations with those clients about what are they really trying to achieve. We’re looking at the architecture and the design work that’s already been laid out so that we can check progress and make sure that we’re all moving in the direction that we plan to for the next 12 to 18 to 36 months.
The actual business review, when I’m out there at the client site, when our CIOs are out there at the client sites—we’re sitting usually across with the principals or the top level office management. We’re trying to make sure that we understand if the business itself has had any new initiatives come up or if they’re trying to maintain the course that was set three months or six months ago, and how they’re doing overall. The best business reviews are all about what the client organization is trying to achieve. It’s really understanding to a higher level of detail how the architecture fits, making sure that the design for the IT is aligned to what the client organization is trying to do and then taking those insight back into all aspects of IT delivery.
Nick: Why do we do business reviews? What’s the purpose of them?
Chad: The top two reason are really strategic alignment, because we want to make sure that any solution that we’re putting forward, any support that we’re providing, any maintenance that’s being done inside the organization is consistent with what the organization itself is trying to achieve. Otherwise, all it is is trying to chase after a problem and never becoming part of the solution or getting ahead of it.
Really, another key part of it is making sure that our clients are able to achieve what they want to do. Whether that’s increasing revenues or reducing costs or managing risks. IT has an important part to play in that and until we really understand what our clients are goin through and what challenges they’re going through. Honestly, some of the best reviews are what are they excited about? What are they looking forward to in the next 12 months? How are we going to be able to support that initiative through proper IT and making sure that that’s aligned, bringing that value into it is really what the business review is for.
Nick: You hinted at this a little bit, but who should actually be involved in these business reviews with Aldridge?
Chad: The most successful business reviews usually have a principal or the executive team, or at least a few representatives from the executive team present. The strategy in an organization is often set at that level. Usually, it’s the CEO or the president who is establishing the overall vision and direction for the client organization. CFO is usually very attuned to that and understands the operations of it, but it’s also part of the strategy conversation.
We want that type of person engaged in a business review, so that it doesn’t become something where we’re just talking about the week ahead or the month ahead, or even worse, the three weeks behind or the month behind, because that’s important, but that’s very tactical on it. It doesn’t help us plan for 12 or 14 or 36 months ahead.
Nick: How do Aldridge business reviews differ from maybe other business reviews that other IT providers might do?
Chad: Well, I’ve head, just in feedback, from clients that have come on board with us that a lot of the business reviews that they’ve seen in other providers are frequently production of automated reports and discussions of tickets. Discussion of service delivery, things that honestly should just be healthy and along the way. Those things we don’t incorporate as much into the business reviews. We bring them along as exhibits and supplemental information because if it’s an important discussion topic, then it’s something that we want to be prepared to talk about again at that executive level. But that’s also information that’s regularly presented just throughout the regular course of service delivery. As long as you have a mature organization that’s delivering consistently and doing what is say it needs to do, those usually don’t come up as topics within a business review.
Some of the best reviews, some of the best meetings I’ve had with a client, some of the best relationships I’ve had with clients are the ones where the client is excited about what they do and we go to the point where we’re excited about what they do. There have been business reviews where I’ve come back to the office and just shared a page full of notes or even just stood up in front of the room and said, “You can’t believe what these guys are doing, this is amazing. As an organization, they’re accomplishing this, this and this, and this is how we’re helping them and this is what we’re supporting.”
Nick: Thanks for joining us for another Tech Talk. Hopefully, you’ve learned a little bit about our business reviews and how they’re a little different, but we really think they bring a lot to the table and can really help businesses make good strategic decisions to help their growth.
If you have questions, feel free to visit our website—we’ll be happy to chat with you. Thanks for joining us and we hope to see you on another Tech Talk.
At Aldridge, our team of IT professionals provide your business with the resources it needs to reach its potential. We put customer service first and deliver support and strategic planning that effectively manages your IT. Our approach relives you of the hassle of technology management so you can focus on running your business. Contact an Aldridge representative today to learn more about how you can leverage technology to reach your business goals.