One of the major problems confronting business our team works with is a lack of systems integration. At a basic level, this means the tools most companies use to run their business don’t work together. As a result, they waste time and money trying to fix problems as they arise.
A lot of these problems can be prevented by understanding what your business’s operating system is. In the case of your computer, it’s easy to know what operating system you’re using. Something that much more complex in the business world.
What is a business operating system?
A business operating system is the set of fundamental tools you need to run your business such as email, word processing, and accounting software. These tools are the cornerstone of your business and every additional tool you add needs to work with them. Most businesses have extremely unique needs so they generally don’t use a business operating system. The most comprehensive business OS solution on the market in my experience is Zoho One. Since it provides a comprehensive set of tools that cover the majority of business need in a foundational way.
This system takes care of essential functions like sales, marketing, accounting, human resources, operations. Functions that most businesses approach in an ad hoc manner. If you are planning to hire employees or contractors you need to have an onboarding process in place. There are a lot of legal requirements your business needs to comply with. And you can afford to use the wrong tools.
In the end, your business operating system needs to set a framework for how your business deals with its legal and contractual obligations. A business operating consists of foundational IT systems, accounting systems, compliance, and business databases.
Note about Business Databases
One of the most important assets your business has in its database. A crucial part of your business operating system is how you store business data over time since this determines your ability to identify your best customers. Data supports effective strategic decisions and you need to ensure your applications integrate with your business’s main database. Put another way, where do you store your business data? If you said spreadsheets you have a big problem.
Tools like your website and email marketing software are business apps since they don’t need to explicitly play well with the other tools your business uses. This means they should integrate with your business operating system. The ability to integrate with your business operating system determines what business apps your team can use. Not the other way around.