These 3 Business Bottlenecks are Holding you Back

  • Ed Thompson, CTO
  • January 16, 2014

how cloud business intelligence helps reduce business bottlenecksAny business is only as good as its decision-making. That’s obvious. So the ability to make better decisions, more quickly, is a clear competitive differentiator.

Conversely, making poor decisions—or making slow decisions—is a drag on competitive prowess.

So why do so many companies make poor, slow decisions? When instead they could be making good, quick decisions?

And yes, we think that it’s odd, as well.

In fact, it turns out to have a lot to do with three business bottlenecks that are very prevalent in an awful lot of companies. Namely: people, processing power, and priorities.

To see why, let’s take a look at Widget Co, a—hopefully—fictional business.

The people problem

Today’s business systems are complex, and today’s enterprise systems rarely contain exactly the right reports that businesses want. So to plug the gap, they rely on report-writing packages, typically running SQL queries against the database.

The problem is, only a tiny handful of people within the business have the skills to do this. One person, or maybe two.

And these people quickly become a bottleneck. Especially when they have other responsibilities as well.

Simon is one such person. And he’s so busy dealing with report requests from the people at the top of the business that he has rarely any time to prepare reports for anybody else.

Even when—ironically—those reports might add more value to the business.

The processing power problem

You’ve probably heard of Parkinson’s Law, coined by former British senior civil servant Cyril Parkinson in the 1950s. In short, “work always expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

But the point is this: it also pithily describes what happens with many computer systems. When new, they just zip along. But after a while, they start to clog up with all the stuff that’s been added.

Which is Henry’s problem. He’s the Finance Director at Widget Co. And when he wants to run his end of month reporting suite, there’s only one thing to do. Send an e-mail around the company, telling everybody to log off the system. Or his reports won’t run.

So there’s the choice: no reports, or an expensive computer system that people are barred from using.

And yes, we think that it’s an odd choice to face, too.

The priority problem

Meet Charlie, a programmer in the IT department at Widget Co. He sits next to Jo, the business analyst. Who sits opposite Claire, who keeps the ERP system going.

But don’t make the mistake of thinking that their job titles describe what they do.

Oh no. Because what they really do is build reports. Even when much more important jobs need tackling.

And yes, once again, we that think that it’s odd, as well.

Nor can we tell you what the IT manager thinks of it, because sadly it’s unprintable. Because with major IT challenges to address, scarce resource is being squandered building reports.

The bottom line

The trouble is, Widget Co isn’t alone. Look around, and its story is replicated endlessly.

Put another way, the counterparts of Simon, Henry, Charlie, Jo and Claire might be in your business, observing your business make poor, slow decisions instead of good, quick decisions.

Are they? Only you can answer that.

If you are interested in knowing how you can quickly an easily improve decision making in your business, download our free E-Book today.