Proactively engaging in revenue generation is a surefire way to increase the value and influence of your IT work in your organization, and among your customers and within your industry.
Here are six ideas to help you find ways to create revenue through new business opportunities or by cutting costs. For a more detailed conversation, check out the debut podcast The Next Level on the Packet Pushers Community Channel.
1. Get new value out of existing data
Most organizations have lots of data sitting around in various repositories, be it file shares, databases, storage arrays, and so on. With a little creative thinking, you may find ways to leverage that data for new business opportunities.
In the podcast, we discuss an example from an insurance company that matched publicly available government information with the insurer’s internal proprietary data to identify mismatches between customers’ policies and the actual risk. Using this information, the company increased revenue by writing policies that better reflected the actual cost of covering customers.
2. Get out of your silo
Seek out colleagues in other departments, such as sales, marketing, and so on. Talk to them. Learn about their jobs and how they use IT. Find out how IT can accelerate their job functions.
McKinsey International reports “IT-enabled business innovations will account for at least half of their companies’ earnings growth over the next five years.” This report describes the most difference being made in:
- Product/Service development
- Customer care/After sales service
- Corporate management and back office functions
- Manufacturing/Service delivery
In addition, Forbes reported on a study that found salespeople using social media outsold their peers who didn’t use social tools. IT can clearly play a role in helping to facilitate social media use while also meeting internal requirements around privacy and security.
3. Observe how your company’s customers interact with technology
Think about ways your company could use IT to engage them more frequently and meaningfully. For example, mobile apps and self-service portals can deepen the company/customer relationship and increase the frequency of interactions. Every interaction is a sales opportunity and may lead to revenue growth.
Companies with more available and functional service interfaces are more likely to win over customers from their competitor.
4. When introducing new technology into the organization, design the solution to be scalable and modular
Consider that many IT organizations have spun off successful projects and deployments as other companies or revenue generating services.
For example, according to an article by SearchCIO, popular bicycle manufacturer Trek spun off nascent, internal point of sale software into profitable software company, Ascend. And Sears Holdings spun off a big data project into a new company, Metascale LLC, that helps companies harness unstructured data.
5. Kick it up a notch. Add more value
How do you stack up against other providers in the market? What will make you the most efficient and qualified provider in the market? Find out how you can deliver even more value to your customer, then go do it.
For example, you can level up you knowledge and certifications, pursue experience building projects, and build a track record of delivering on time and on budget. By increasing the value you deliver to your customer and employer, you can earn a higher bill rate and salary.
6. Spend money to make money
Be mindful of the cost effectiveness of everything you do. Perform a basic ROI calculation. If you see an opportunity for revenue growth (for example, performing work more cost effectively, or increasing your ability to boost production capacity) bring it up to your manager.
When your manager finally does give the you the go-ahead, track revenue and productivity growth. Compare it to your ROI calculation. Share the results with your manager.
For example, you might justify data center network infrastructure upgrades or the implementation of orchestration tools in terms of the revenue growth potential. The increased capacity of the data center allows your company to serve more customers and to serve them more quickly.
If you find your team is doing a repetitive technical job, find out if it can be outsourced at a lower cost so you can complete more work for your organization and customers.