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IT - 95% Technology, 5% Information (if you're lucky) (05-28-2008)

The term Information Technology (IT) implies solutions to information problems. While this may be the case for banks managing customer account transactions, and the like, it is almost universally untrue when one considers the sorts of unstructured information that business developers are paid to discover, collect, and analyze.
While all business development (BD) organizations are focused on winning orders their practitioners are still almost universally uninterested in sharing the information and relationships that make success possible and repeatable. Today's highly competitive marketplace with its constrained customer budgets and white hot competition all but compels firms that compete for large, complex opportunities to maintain and grow their edge by pre-positioning for re-use, information from all sources to determine rapidly:
  • what customers are thinking;
  • what competitors are doing;
  • what bid teams should be proposing; and pricing to; and
  • where the price points and strategies need to be.
For most enterprises improving the 5% portion of IT that the corporate information asset presently represents will require fundamental cultural change. But to succeed with the critical yet neglected elements of the capture process -- competitive analysis, price to win (PTW), and strategic pricing -- everyone associated with a firm's BD activity needs to become a net provider of competitive intelligence, not just a user.
For this sea change to take hold, management has to take the initiative and provide the thought leadership, infrastructure and cultural imperative to ensure the information they pay their people to learn is captured and pre-positioned for reuse. Today's reality, wherein valuable information is routinely squandered, is a pale image of the inevitable future whereby valuable information will be counted as a corporate asset.
It is ironic that most organizations whose business is solving customer IT problems often cannot even get their own employees to maintain their resumes -- IT, or no IT. Training in what we call "infocentricity" is an integral component of successful competitive analysis, PTW and strategc pricing activities. Infocentricity has been shown to provide enduring benefits when the information husbanding techniques learned in our PTW seminar are applied.
Good luck and happy hunting!
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