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  • Dave Woods

How Can IT Match the Speed of Business?

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

New tech solutions traditionally take months or years. But business needs have always been immediate.

What are we seeing in the markets?

Business leaders today frequently cite the “fail fast” mantra. For the uninitiated, the expanded implication is “fail fast, then win fast.” Or stated in the context of tech solutions delivery, one might say “build it fast, review with stakeholders, rebuild it fast, win fast.”

This “fail fast” ethos is built on a simple leadership superpower: The courage and instinct to make a decision and pull the trigger with a less-than-comprehensive set of decision inputs. Therein lies the first lesson: The most effective business leaders we encounter have a sixth-sense talent for synthesizing scattered inputs and knowing when to pull the trigger.

Unless we’re building bridges or practicing neurosurgery, we can afford the risk inherent in rapid decision making amid uncertainty. The business effectiveness that leaders derive from habitually taking decisive and speedy action vastly outweighs the risk of a misstep along the way. We see too many business leaders hung up on a decision when they already know the right answer, but they pause (often indefinitely) to wait for some sign of certainty. They need to fail faster – and win faster. And, to be sure, rapid decision making will lead to the occasional miss. But the nine other decisions that landed are the home runs that careers are built on.

What’s the catch? The challenge is having the time to act. An unshakeable business axiom holds that individuals and teams generally fill their capacity getting business done, without capacity to spend time on process improvement – without the discretionary capacity for process improvement discovery and execution.

What’s the point? These technology wins are really just waiting to be had, and the previously prohibitive nature of the BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is just not as big and hairy as it once was. More than ever, companies have access to incremental technology solutions that can pay off in tenfold savings, and these savings will then enable us to invest in and capture the next solution priority, and we’re off to the races.

"Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations." - Steve Jobs

How Can IT Move Faster?

The consistent tipping point we see in transformational change is the courage of business leaders to let go of the comfort and protection of comprehensive feasibility studies and enterprise strategic planning, when business instinct and acumen tells us there’s a win sitting *right here*. We don’t always need to be talking about enterprise solutions. Start small, win fast, and repeat.

How can you move technology at the speed of business? Just Do It.

  • Check your input data

  • Make a decision

  • Take action

  • (Go fast!)

Today, with decisive action and readily available solutions, leaders are more capable than ever to realize significant wins in operational efficiency, quality, and cost reduction, using software already licensed, for low-code solutions with weeks-long solution-delivery turnaround. You have quick wins just sitting there waiting to be picked up – let’s capture those wins. Let’s meet those immediate business needs with technology solutions delivered in weeks.

What’s that about “already licensed” software? In most organizations, existing enterprise Office 365 licensing already includes business process automation solutions (Power Platform) that are already integrated across the organization and existing Microsoft implementation. Customized business process solutions simply need to be conceived and configured. By leveraging tools that are already in place, companies can more quickly develop workflows, automation, and reporting solutions that can help to meet the needs of the business. This avoids lengthy product selection and licensing processes and makes immediate use of capabilities these companies are already licensing.

How Can X1 Help?

The foundational value proposition to X1 clients is our comprehensive IT assessment of people, process, and technology. We do this regularly, we love it, and we’re pretty good at it. Where applicable, we work to distill our recommendations into a bottom-line ROI value in annualized time savings, sales growth, or cost reduction, vs an estimated cost to implement.

And here’s the key: We draw many of these insights from client executives, managers, teams, and individuals. The client deliverable we love to leave behind is a list of technological wins prioritized by ROI, catalogued and vetted by client business and IT teams. These lists are invariably topped by one or two quick wins that will return astonishing ROI value at a minimal IT implementation cost in the single- or double-digit hours.

Our clients value the availability of our on-demand IT leadership, dropping in with dedicated bandwidth, an objective perspective, and with decades of experience in technology solution delivery and operations:

  • Identifying the quick wins – Rapidly assessing your current state to identify risks and opportunities

  • Planning the tech roadmap – Working with clients to quickly prioritize and kick projects in motion, establish budget, provide missing resources, and generate results quickly

  • Executing technology projects by:

    • Providing dedicated leadership for key strategic projects to maintain momentum and complete efforts on time and within budget, rather than allow key initiatives to be run as a “side effort”

    • Providing highly experienced resources in rapid process automation implementation, focused on low-code solutions that break the paradigm of the 18-month Hail Mary enterprise software implementation

To get started, give us a call – we’d love to help your team identify and execute a few solutions that begin to match the speed of your business.



Justin Webb Founder & Managing Director 540.412.8227

Eric Norden Managing Director 404.434.6915

Dave Woods

Director, Process and Program Management 804.350.7470



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