Let’s look at the argument for implementation of the standard
Running a business has a different level of risk now as compared to ten years ago and minimizing those risks have a lot to do with having a robust information security management system in place to support the management system.
The calm before the storm. You now have the General Data Protection Regulations, coming into force in the UK and the rest of Europe, the cyber threat landscape is becoming increasingly hostile and hazardous now. In the midst of all that, businesses, small and large, are facing the growing threat of cyber-attacks that can impact a business in more ways than one, including:
Loss of customer trust,
Negatively impact the brand,
Causing material financial damage to the bottom line.
So you take the initiative and protect your business from the biggest facing companies now – Cyber Crime
You have to take ISO 27001 seriously now
Companies that are awarded ISO 27001:2013 certification can claim that they:
Are taking appropriate control measures to protect confidential and privileged information.
Are following international best practices to mitigate cyber threats and have cyber incident response and management processes to respond to cyber attacks.
Have established a formal information risk management process and a functioning ISMS or Information Security Risk Management System.
Assuring customers and regulators that the business takes cyber security risks seriously.
Protecting and enhancing your brand reputation.
Satisfying audit requirements by internal teams, customers and or regulators.
Possibly realising financial savings in the long run (reduce expenditure on technology incidents, regulatory fines and non-compliance).
Think about this for one minute
Some of the biggest internal threats to a business ten years ago were things like stealing a little bit of intellectual property, rebranding it and taking it to the next company you end up working.
Fast forward back to 2019 and you are one click away from infecting your entire IT infrastructure or leaving yourself exposed (under GDPR laws) to seriously large fines.
If you manage the risks involved and keep ahead of the curve you will not be one of these company that ends up being dissolved within two year. Stability and growth is what you will be looking at, as the competition fades away, you get stronger and become more profitable.
Where is the business trying to get to in the long-term (direction)
Which markets should a business compete in and what kind of activities are involvedin such markets
How can the business perform better than the competition in those markets
What resources (skills, assets, finance, relationships, technical competence, facilities)are required in order to be able to compete
What external, environmental factors affect the businesses’ ability to compete
What are the values and expectations of those who have power in and around the business
Strategy at Different Levels of a Business
Strategies exist at several levels in any organisation – ranging from the overall business (or group of businesses) through to individuals working in it.
Corporate Strategy– is concerned with the overall purpose and scope of the business to meet stakeholder expectations. This is a crucial level since it is heavily influenced by investors in the business and acts to guide strategic decision-making throughout the business. Corporate strategy is often stated explicitly in a “mission statement”.
Business Unit Strategy – is concerned more with how a business competes successfully in a particular market. It concerns strategic decisions about choice of products, meeting needs of customers, gaining advantage over competitors, exploiting or creating new opportunities etc.
Operational Strategy– is concerned with how each part of the business is organised to deliver the corporate and business-unit level strategic direction. Operational strategy therefore focuses on issues of resources, processes, people etc.
How Strategy is Managed – Strategic Management
In its broadest sense, strategic management is about taking “strategic decisions” – decisions that answer the questions above.
In practice, a thorough strategic management process follows this process shown in the figure below.
This is all about analysing the strength of businesses’ position and understanding the important external factors that may influence that position. The process of Strategic Analysis can be assisted by a number of tools, including:
PEST Analysis – a technique for understanding the “environment” in which a business operates
Scenario Planning – a technique that builds various plausible views of possible futures for a business
Five Forces Analysis – a technique for identifying the forces which affect the level of competition in an industry
Market Segmentation – a technique which seeks to identify similarities and differences between groups of customers or users
Directional Policy Matrix – a technique which summarises the competitive strength of a businesses operations in specific markets
Competitor Analysis – a wide range of techniques and analysis that seeks to summarise a businesses’ overall competitive position
Critical Success Factor Analysis – a technique to identify those areas in which a business must outperform the competition in order to succeed
SWOT Analysis – a useful summary technique for summarising the key issues arising from an assessment of a businesses “internal” position and “external” environmental influences.
This process involves understanding the nature of stakeholder expectations (the “ground rules”), identifying strategic options, and then evaluating and selecting strategic options.
Often the hardest part. When a strategy has been analysed and selected, the task is then to translate it into organisational action
The most under-rated of them all SWOT
Once you know your macro goals and marketing strategies, analyze your company strengths in all areas pertaining to the four P’s. For example, your manufacturing facility directly affects the quality of your product. In a restaurant, the kitchen is responsible for product quality. Determine what competitive advantages you have in terms of product development so you can take steps to maintain them. You might have big enough profit margins that you can lower your prices, helping you take market share from competitors or making it difficult for new businesses to enter your market. Review the effects of adding wholesalers, outside rep companies or online sales.
Start by reviewing your strategic vulnerabilities rather than looking internally at departmental performance. A poorly performing department might cost you money but have little effect on your strategic plans. For example, examine where your competition holds an edge and figure out why it does. Determine if you are vulnerable to a serious setback if one or two customers leave you or demand lower prices, and then take steps to expand your customer base or diversify your product line. If you are in a mature market with little room to grow, your only option for increasing profits might be cutting costs, diversifying or acquiring another business. After you have examined your strategic weaknesses, evaluate how your departments might be contributing to these problems and how you can solve these problems at the departmental level.
Review the four P’s again and determine if any marketplace needs aren’t being served. Determine if you can improve your product or add complementary items to your line to serve those needs. Evaluate the effects on sales volumes and gross profits of different price points. Analyze the effects of using new distribution channels. Test different advertising, promotional and social media options you haven’t tried. Share your findings with your department heads and solicit their opinions about how they can provide increased benefit to help the company with its long-term strategies.
Using the information you found in your analysis of your weaknesses, determine what internal and external factors could trigger them. For example, evaluate what would happen to your sales if your competitor lowered its prices, began selling online or took one of your largest customers. Examine everything that could go wrong with your business and create plans to prevent these occurrences or to respond to them if they happen.
For any business that has the intentions of growing and increasing turnover, you will only achieve success with a clear defined strategy and set objectives
Coast through life and stay within the tolerance bands of being average and its guaranteed throughout your working like, you are going to contribute to making someone else successful.
I wrote this short book about the concept of time and if digested correctly becomes a wakeup call, so I recommend you read the section that breaks down the average persons day. – Enjoy
Can you image the average person reads one book per year, so the rest of the time must be spent flicking through social media, watching Netflix or watching someone on YouTube that is trying to convince you they are making £1000 a day affiliate marketing, working from home.
This is 2019 and we live in an age now where you can learn anything at anytime thanks to the internet running through your smartphone that you can’t help picking up every 5 minutes just to see if something has changed in your Facebook or Instagram page.
When I was studying for a degree, I had to use this building called a library (now called the world wide web) and then spend hours researching books, then writing information down because you couldn’t take books out of the library as you could always guarantee someone had it reserved at the time you wanted it.
Fast forward to current day and you can access information on demand anytime you like so you have the capability to learn anything if you have the mindset to focus. So being average and wasting life in front of a television or using your thumb to flick through pages of crap on Facebook daily just on the off chance you might have missed something, seems to be how a large percentages of people like drifting through life, then they moan about not having enough money each month to cover those bills.
Do the research on people like Elon Musk who is mostly self-taught and look at the number of books he read and absorbed throughout his childhood and even today he continues to read and gain knowledge. Look at the top 1% and what sacrifices they made to achieve success.
The book I wrote a while back proves most people have at least 3 hours spare each evening where they decide its best spent, feet up in front of the TV watching some crap while time drifts by. Imagine if you took those 3 hours and looked at it over a one week period, then you have potentially wasted 21 hours of your existence on this planet.
If you dedicated those 21 hours to gaining knowledge or doing a course, its highly likely you will achieve some level of success. Those 21 hours over the space of one year gives you 1,092 hours each year to focus on improving you.
You should be looking at yourself as an asset and everything you learn has the potential to improve the net worth of that asset, then take it up a level and set goals with defined objectives so you map out the path to success. The message in all of this is time is the one thing you can never get back once it’s gone so whatever you waste now, you are going to pay for in later years.