Jun 21

Who Should Handle IT Procurement?

By Mark Geschke | Mastermind Digest , Operational IT Leadership

IT procurement is the series of activities and procedures in a business for acquiring information technology (IT) hardware, software and services. It involves both strategic and administrative responsibilities and a frequent question of IT leaders in mid-sized businesses is who in the business should handle which parts of the process.

Due to the complexity of making IT purchases, the obvious answer is to keep this within IT and away from the central procurement function. But is this really the right choice when one considers that procurement in general is a fairly well-defined process and requires many other competencies which are not specific to IT at all?

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Jun 13

7 Steps to a Kick-Ass Service Desk

By Mark Geschke | Tactical IT Leadership

If you are the IT Manager of a mid-sized business, I have a 90% chance of being accurate when I say:

Your IT environment has become so complex and business now expects so much from you that you are feeling completely overworked and can barely keep your head above water.

But it doesn't have to be like this and there are some really simple steps you can take to quickly dig yourself out of this bad situation.

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May 16

Business CIOs Urgently Needed – But Most IT Leaders Still Don’t Get It!

By Mark Geschke | Digital Transformation , Strategic IT Leadership

I seriously believe that every growth-minded mid-sized business will appoint a Chief Information Officer (CIO) within the next 3 years!

And not just any CIO, but a real business-savvy leader that knows how to create business value from technology and who is respected at the highest levels for strategic business contributions.

Even more contentious is my firm belief that most current IT leaders will not be ready to step up when the time is right.

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Apr 11

What is Digital?

By Mathias Tölken | Digital Transformation , Operational IT Leadership , Strategic IT Leadership

Wherever one looks, the word Digital does tend to crop up more and more. Every business publication will have at least one article concerning some aspect of digital. Often the term is used in conjunction with either Disruption or Transformation, but also derivatives like Digitisation and Digitalisation are becoming more and more widely used. And let’s not forget expressions like going digital. But what is meant by this and what is the difference between all these terms?

In this blog I will have a look at several key phrases and words, what they mean and especially how they relate to each other.  

I will conclude with a short, unified definition of the overarching concept of Digital.

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Apr 05

3 Reasons Why SMEs Should Hire a Business Technology Advisor

By Mark Geschke | Other

Xuviate has been very privileged to be part of not one, but two separate startup accelerator programs over the past two years.

Business advice from the likes of Andrea Böhmert (Knife Capital), Keith Jones (sw7), Riaan Pietersen (Blue Oceans Consulting), Mike Joubert (The Billybo Group), Richard Dewing (Cibecs), Waldo Steyn (ENS Africa) and Marc Ashton (Moneyweb) has been invaluable to us for successfully navigating our business through the last 18 months.

And that got me thinking.

If Startups benefit this much from getting external advice, how much could established small and medium businesses gain from engaging with strategic, external advisors who can assist with complex business technology questions?

When one stops to think about this, the answer is "actually quite a lot" and it is quite surprising that we don't (yet) see more businesses turning to such advisors.

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Mar 22

The 5 Stages of Digital Transformation Maturity in Mid-Sized Businesses

By Mark Geschke | Digital Transformation , Strategic IT Leadership

After many years of being on the sidelines of the digital transformation (DX) media frenzy you have decided that it is time to do something.

But where and how do you really start?

If you are like me, you will read all the information you can lay your hands on (articles, books, reports) ... and I suspect you will be as confused as I have been for a long time.

To save you all this trouble, we have created a super-easy to use digital transformation (DX) maturity model for mid-sized businesses.

By applying it, you will not only learn more about the big picture of digital transformation, but also gain clarity on what your possible next steps should be based on your current level of maturity.

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Mar 14

The Speed of Agility: How IT Is Teaching Business a Lesson

By Mathias Tölken | Digital Transformation , Operational IT Leadership , Strategic IT Leadership

In last week's blog I observed that "strategy as we know it is dead" and that the practice of setting BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) that last for the next five, ten or even thirty years, is doomed to fail in this fast-paced world.

I then used a word to describe the new state that every organisation should aspire to: agile.

"Agile" (with a capital A) is a term that originated in software development.

But what does it mean?

And more importantly, why and how should we use it to better manage our businesses?

In this blog I will not only answer these questions but also highlight three lessons any business can learn from IT.

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Mar 07

5 Key Insights the Past Two Years Have Taught Us About Digital Transformation for the Mid-Market

By Mathias Tölken | Digital Transformation , Operational IT Leadership , Strategic IT Leadership

Last week it was 2 years since Mark Geschke and I did officially lay down the reigns at Space Age Technologies to fully focus on Relevant IT and what was to become Xuviate.

In the 3 months that followed, we upgraded the Relevant IT Framework  to version 3 and it has served us well, but recently we realised that it is time again for a revision.

We are busy with that process and will report on it in due course, but in the mean time I would like to reflect a bit on what the past two years have taught us about Digital Transformation and also how the marketplace has changed.

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Feb 28

Delaying Digital Transformation Is Super Risky

By Mark Geschke | Digital Transformation , Operational IT Leadership , Strategic IT Leadership

Open any business publication and I can guarantee that you will find multiple articles about digital disruption and the almost universal need for digital transformation.

And yet, when I talk to senior business and IT leaders of mid-sized businesses there is usually no urgency to address this topic formally. Most are content to wait for a competitor to do something and to then be a fast follower.

Unfortunately this strategy is no longer viable in our digital world and will probably lead to disaster!

To understand why, I'll introduce you to 3 little-known facts that companies with strong digital DNA know very well ... and will use against your company.

  What do you think? Am I exaggerating or missing something?
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