Business Benefits and Business Outcomes!
Today’s ZNDP episode is all about Business Benefits and Business Outcomes! We will be asking and answering questions: What do businesses really care about? What are business benefits? What are business outcomes? Why should you care about business benefits and business outcomes? Lets get started!
In today’s world you are blinded by the technology outcomes and technology benefits that a project has. In most cases you lose sight of the real reason you are doing the project in the first place. I have done this and I’m sure you have as well.
Technology outcomes and benefits examples that we are focusing on
- Single pane of glass for management
- The new High Speed Technology
- Layer 3 Access Design (Personal Favorite)
- Spine Leaf Architecture
- Software Defined X
- Security as a whole
- Next Gen Firewalls
- Network Access Control
- MPLS BGP Hot-potato Cold-potato routing
- IGP / BGP Traffic Engineering
This is a never ending list of technology outcomes and benefits that we as technologists can focus on, and will focus on. We are technologists for a reason, right!
The Three Step Process:
The questions you should be asking yourself is if you and your team are actually matching the Business outcome(s) your company is expecting. This specifically relates to following the Design Framework and your design blueprint that was mentioned in ZNDP Episode 12: Evolving Your Design Mindset. There is a three step process here:
- The Technology Benefits and outcomes should correlate to the Business Requirements, Constraints, and Drivers
- The Business Requirements, Constraints, and Drivers should correlate to the Business Outcomes and benefits the company is focusing on and expecting
- Repeated Validation of these correlations throughout the project to make sure the Business Outcomes and Business Benefits are being achieved!
Not aware of the Business!
In some cases, you as engineers and technologies aren’t even aware of the business benefits or the expected business outcome. This is more of a limiting situation by your management staff of your organization. Your management staff should be aligning your projects with the business benefits and business outcomes the company is looking for. If you are not aware of the business benefits and business outcomes of a project you should be asking your management staff. You need to be proactive here!
Show me the money!
Most companies in today’s world care about two things:
- Making Money
- Saving Money
In my opinion everything a company does eventually comes back to one of these two items.
The exception to the rule (There is always one!)
There are Not for Profit companies and organizations out there, that do not just care about making money or saving money. They just care about making enough for their associated costs and the rest goes back into their mission.
If you take a look at the US Military, its very different than a traditional company or even a Not For Profit organization. The Military, whatever branch, does not have a business goal or a business outcome to make money. The Military’s business outcome is to uphold its mission whatever it may be specifically for that Branch of Service. To help with accomplishing these unique business outcomes the Government gives each Military Branch a budget. Its then on that Military Branch to complete the mission within that budget. For this specific example, that’s where we come in. We may not be able to make the business money, but we can save the business money by solving technology problems with this in mind.
This example applies to a number of businesses and organizations, this isn’t just the military. This is any Government Agency or Department, any State Agency or Department, any Not for Profit company or Organization, and a number of other examples that are not coming to mind at the moment.
How does a business Make money?
- Finding ways to increase / grow business
- Finding ways to enhance customer experiences to gain a competitive advantage
- Retaining old customers
- Gaining new customers
- Evolving old products
- Launching new products
How does a business Save Money?
- Increased efficiencies
- Troop Multiplier
- Reducing headcount
These are not full all inclusive lists. They are just meant as examples as these lists could get really long.
You as a technologist, as a geek and a nerd, must align the technology benefits and outcomes to how your business can make money or save money. In essence you are showing your company the value you have. This is where you are going to start to see the different business terminology like Capital expenditure (Capex), operating expenditure (Opex), Return On Investment (ROI), and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and a ton of other terms that we haven’t gotten too yet.
Call to Action:
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Hosted By: Michael “Zig” Zsiga
Guest Expert: None
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