The past years have matured the use of web technologies in optimizing business functions. From the initial experimentations with portals and Intranets to today’s wikis and a recent slew of innovative types of systems based on social concepts, Information Technology plays as important role ever in cutting costs, increasing response times and in general optimizing business.
The following list should help business leaders isolate organizational scenarios that can be improved through the deployment of web applications:
1. Centralize data through web applications
A lot of your business processes today are being done via excel spreadsheets and other documents floating around in email. Deploy fast, small web appplications that will help you increase efficiency of these units and overcome the dispersion of multiple file versions into centralized databases.
2. Make better decisions with aggregated data
Each new web application database creates a wealth of data that can be extended with reporting and analytics. You will have increase visibility over these sections of your business and understand faster how you can improve.
3. Bring different departments to work together
Extend web applications that were born to serve one function or department into other business units removing the gaps created by corporate silos.
4. Guide people through workflow processes
Web applications that reach through multiple sections of the enterprise are perfect instruments to guide people through particular process workflows further improving efficiency.
5. Measure process performance
These web applications create a wealth of process performance data that can be analysed and improved on.
6. Remove inefficiencies at the organization borders
By extending web applications into customers and partners you can remove the overhead of inefficient communication mechanisms at your organization borders and push work to the outside through self serve mechanisms.
7. Cut off the middle man
Consider reaching directly to end customers of partners at the end of the chain through these web applications by passing costly intermediate structures like brokers or agents.
8. Optimize communication between your organization and other organizations
Web applications can be equiped not only with web browser interfaces but also machine-friendly interfaces. Connect your web applications with other partners applications via web services.
9. Remove internal disconnections
You can overcome disconnections that exist among internal legacy systems by deploying web services technologies making these applications ready for better integration.
10. Refurbish old systems with new web applications
Old systems user interfaces can be replaced with web applications that compose the services exported by these legacy systems and provide unified user interfaces adapted to new processes and more efficient ways of working.
11. Leverage services from the cloud
Extend these composite web applications with services exported by cloud companies.
12. Leverage the wisdom of crowds
Web applications have evolved to harness the power of massive user contribution. Opportunities exist for further optimization by bringing togetrher employees and/or partners or customers into web applciations that explore their collective contributions.
For details on how to go about discovering business optimization opportunities in these areas, stay tuned.