When an organization gets a big order or a new client and has to add two hundred employees immediately, is the organization equipped to handle that growth efficiently, quickly, and responsively?
- Is the hiring process automated so that all relevant forms can be delivered to candidates via the web?
- Can new hire forms be accessed once a candidate is hired but before the start date, so that more time can be invested in the work and less on the form-filling-out aspects of the first day or two of employment?
- Is there an automated on-boarding workflow that will get the new hires onto the network, set up with the right applications, and ready to work?
- Are reference materials relevant to the job easily accessible no matter where the employee is located?
- Are HR policies and procedures readily available no matter where they are to be accessed?
- Does the network platform easily support the additional storage requirements associated with the new business that has just been won?
- How quickly and efficiently can new laptops be configured and ready for use?
When an organization grows by acquiring other companies or merging with other organizations, there are unique challenges presented to the IT group as well as to the organization as a whole. The most important questions perhaps, are these:
- How quickly will clients/customers see the acquisition as a benefit to them?
- How quickly willl the organization realize the benefits it planned on when deciding to move forward with the acquisition or merger?
Assuming that the acquired or merging entity is meant to be integrated into the organization, what processes and systems will be needed to support this growth? It might take some time to decide on a single management platform or ERP system, but corporate management will need a view to the entire organization without having to wade through separate sets of reports. A few thoughts:
- Can systems (ERP, CRM, financial) communicate with each other so that an integrated view of the organization will be available to management?
- Will customers get multiple invoices or can they get one invoice?
- Can the supply chains be integrated quickly in order to immediately save costs?
- How will HR handle the influx of the employees from the merged or acquired organization?
- How quickly can the messaging platforms be integrated?
- Can duplication of IT effort be avoided?
If an organization is planning for growth, a key component of that plan must be the automation of key processes across the organization. When process is exposed, examined, and automated, the organization becomes more efficient and more able to handle opportunities for growth as they present themselves.