Chloe Aitken
2 minutes length
Posted: 8th October 2021

I pity the fool who wants a back-office A-Team

Mr T and the A-Team: your ideal back-office system?

The A Team were incredibly entertaining, no question.

But they were a little chaotic in their approach.

A mish mash of personalities, their methods were often haphazard and not the most efficient.

Yes, in the end, they got the job done. Eventually. But it was more luck than judgement.

A-Team or A game?

Would you trust the A-Team to run your business?

Would want your back office system to perform in this way?

I hope your answer is no!

Your systems should operate like a well-oiled (digital) machine, not a 1980s TV classic.

COVID showed importance of solid systems

Back to reality, away from the adventures of the small screen, we’ve seen some evidence that the companies who proved to be more robust during the pandemic were those who had slick, digital back-office systems.

For those wondering what kind of back-office systems I’m talking about, examples include your finance, payroll, CRM, stock management systems, and data warehouses.

Those firms that were more advanced than their peers in implementing digital technologies in these systems were able to respond to their COVID challenges more effectively.

They were also more agile, cutting the time it took for leaders to receive critical business information and reallocate resources to fund new initiatives.

Many businesses are adopting this approach. This survey by McKinsey & Co 2020 found that:

  • 38% of respondents report investing in tech for competitive advantage
  • a further 19% have refocused their entire business around digital technologies

When the plan doesn’t come together

When back-office systems are not efficient and well-oiled it can cause huge problems for a business, leading to massive aggravation, time lost, and stress.

For example, if your payroll system crashes.

In the same survey cited above, 40% of respondents whose organisation had experienced a downturn in revenue generation in recent years admitted they were behind their peers in their use of digital technologies.

And problems in these areas can build frustration and demoralise staff, potentially leading to talent being lost.

Thinking of your system like a member of staff

Going back to thinking about your team again, I believe it’s important we consider our systems like we do our colleagues. The systems are also a key part of the team.

But the people and the tech need to be able to work hand in hand, linking with each other in a synchronised way. The goal? To make sure the whole is more than the sum of its parts.

Getting the job done…well

Ultimately, it’s not good enough to have something that, like the A-Team, just about does the job. It needs to do the job well, do smarter, better and slicker.

You need an intuitive and coherent system that is easy to interrogate.

Don’t rely on the unreliable and don’t put up with it until it gets to the point of failing you. Make the changes now.

How can IRIS help?

Contact me on Linkedin to have a discussion. And check out our page of solutions here to see more details.