Business is changing and firms need to adapt to it for the long term. That was one of the main themes of the Information Technology Alliance Fall Collaborative.

A track session entitled, “The Big Shift: Reinventing Your Firm,” attempted to drive the point home.
Speaking to a full room of ITA attendees in Austin, Texas, on Monday, True North Strategies president Craig McCollum explained that technology consultants, vendors and accounting firms can no longer conduct business in the way they have become comfortable doing. The changes occurring now will not dissipate any time soon.

“I assume that even by being in this session, you have accepted that change is happening and you want to do something about it,” said McCollum, a former vice president at Microsoft Dynamics and Sage North America. “That’s the first step. Change is now the norm and something we need to know how to adjust to and participate in on a regular basis. This isn’t just about moving everything to the cloud. Things will continue changing over time, and you have to be able to be light on your feet and be able to move.”

McCollum noted that cloud computing is an important factor in the way businesses and practices are changing, as is understanding social media and the use of a more mobile, “virtual” workforce.

He stressed that firms need to have all generations of their staff discuss change management. As knowledgeable as firms are, “they just can’t do it all,” he added.

“It is amazing to me how many senior managers do not believe significant change is required in their profession,” McCollum said. “Some are, however, in a position where they are feeling they can’t do it all and need to connect with others who can help them to do it all. “

He noted that more assistance is being sought from internal IT departments and outside technology consultants, in addition to collaboration with other firms.

Part of discussing change is having conversations around an exit or transition strategy, something most firms are still reluctant to do, McCollum concluded.