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The Top 10 Things to Consider When Choosing & Implementing ‘Effective’ IT Solutions

Introduction

Implementing ‘effective’ IT Solutions can be SUPER difficult and painful. First of all, what is an IT Solution? And what does ‘effective’ even mean? And how do I decide what the heck to implement in the first place? There are WAY too many options: companies, variations, salespeople, software, hardware, cloud, ‘stupid’ IT acronyms, implementation options, costs, etc. Let’s admit it, whether we want to or not. All companies, across all industries and of all sizes, need Information Technology or IT solutions. So, for our discussion today, here’s a very simple definition of IT Solutions (this in no way covers all scenarios, but it will work for this article) from our Founder CEO, John Ragsdale, who has 30+ Years of IT Leadership experience.

“IT Solutions include software and/or hardware that help companies efficiently and effectively capture, process, and protect relevant business data, also known as ‘Operations’. This data can then be transformed into ‘Actionable Information’, enabling business leaders to make critical decisions to succeed and grow in their industries.”

– John Ragsdale, Founder CEO, TAP Innovations and Former Global CIO

There are variations to this, but this is a general definition for us to use in this article. So, with this definition and the fact Everyone Needs ‘effective IT Solutions, let’s review the key considerations when choosing and implementing them.

To assist in explaining these considerations, this article will compare choosing and implementing ‘effective IT Solutions to a common process that you have likely experienced: Purchasing a TV.

You know when…you’re searching for a new TV (‘big box’ store or online) and you see a huge list of TV options to choose from: 15+ different brands, 30 + sizes, 100+ features, 1000s of ratings, multiple stores to buy from, special deals, delivery, installation, etc. You want the best TV, but this process can be VERY confusing! This simple analogy, although it may seem far-fetched, highlights the similarities between purchasing a TV and choosing and implementing effective IT Solutions.

So, let’s begin outlining the importance of taking informed methodical steps (specifically 10 of them below 😊) to ensure you make decisions that align with:

  • Your team members and business needs,
  • Your existing IT Solutions,
  • Budget,
  • Future growth plans, and
  • More.

You don’t want to implement ‘Any Old IT Solution’. You want and need an ‘effective’ IT Solution. As a note…We will say this upfront. Most mid-market companies going through these steps will need an independent 3rd party to help facilitate one or more of these steps. This is VERY common. You can talk to your Uncle Joe, a friend, a consultant, a company, an advisor, a peer, etc. However, it’s best to have an unbiased expert who truly understands YOUR business and industry. Of course, You can spend a lot of money on these steps, or if you find the right person or organization, you can access these services or receive help with these steps at an affordable cost. This is crucial because who has unlimited budgets? Finding the right resource for this can drive an impressive ‘Return on Your Investment’ or ROI.

Here is an industry secret’: Some of the pre-implementation steps (i.e. Steps 1-9 below) can be performed by a reputable partner at NO COST. That’s right! No Cost! This is worth researching. More on how to do that below.

It’s your choice. Since most don’t have an unlimited budget for IT Solutions, it’s important to choose a trusted partner or advisor wisely and then use them regularly. To find these resources, you can search online, contact an industry peer, and so on. Then, use this Top 10 list as a gauge to determine if they follow similar steps and if so, they may be the right choice for you.

The Formula for Change. Before stepping into the Top 10 Steps below, you need to first understand the Formula for Change as a foundation. This Formula was created by ActionCOACH, a successful international business coaching model. The Formula definition is as follows:

The Dissatisfaction with a Problem or Process Multiplied by the Vision of the Solution and what it will be like when the Problem is solved, Added to the Right First Steps needs to be Greater than the Resistance to Change.

If this formula is followed, it will create great motivation for you and your team to make a change. However, great motivation alone is not sufficient to enact an ‘effective’ change. It’s crucial to have, understand, and be capable of successfully implementing the ‘Right First Steps‘ to overcome any resistance that may arise.

This resistance might be mental, physical, or of another nature, but to combat and overcome these challenges, you need a proven formula. Michael Jackson might have known the secret to embracing change when he sang ‘Man in the Mirror’, reminding us that the most effective transformations start with ourselves, and overcoming resistance begins with a single step: changing the man (or person) in the mirror.

Now that we have a foundational understanding, here are the Top 10 things that ALL businesses across ALL industries need to consider when choosing and implementing ‘effective’ IT Solutions.

1. Define the Business Problem(s).

Before selecting an IT solution and risking unnecessary spending, it’s essential to fully understand the problems you aim to solve, as advised by The Formula for Change. To better understand and address your organizational needs, we’ve structured a few key questions that will guide you in this process.

Business Challenges

  • Challenges: What key problems or needs does your business face?
  • Pain Points: What operations or aspects are causing pain to you or others?

Process Efficiency

  • Bottlenecks: Are any processes notably slow or problematic?
  • Manual Processes: Any tasks heavily reliant on manual efforts or spreadsheets?

Internal Insights

  • Leadership Insights: What solutions have Department Leaders suggested?
  • Team Feedback: Any specific changes recommended by team members?

Competitive Analysis

  • Competitor Edge: Where do competitors outperform you?
  • Desired Changes: What would you change based on competitor practices, and why?

Just as you are searching for that next great and gathering all the data needed to convince your spouse or significant other of all the reasons why you need the new TV, these questions aim to get you thinking beyond a simple, one-time transaction. In fact, you should also include the anticipation of future needs and preferences, ensuring that the chosen IT solutions not only address current issues but are also adaptable and scalable.

It is worth noting that mid-market companies are increasingly integrating their disparate and different branded IT solutions to create seamless workflows. This can be more efficient, more cost effective, and less disruptive than replacing larger business systems. Systems like HCM (Human Capital Management or HR Systems), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), Point of Sale (POS), and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) are now more efficiently being connected to create a more cohesive and optimized business platform. While these are a few examples, the trend is rapidly being driven by the need for efficient, accurate, and real-time insight into business operations.

Throughout this article, we will be keeping a tally of Your Readiness for Change on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the Most Ready for Change. If it’s a 4 or 5, then it probably needs to be fixed or changed. If it’s 3 or below, maybe you can hold off on change for now. We will be providing a total score chart with recommendations at the very end. Until then, keep a note of your score as you go through these steps.

So, for Defining the Business Problem, how would you rate Your Readiness for Change on a scale of 1-5? If it’s a 4-5, then you are ready for the next step. If it’s 3 or below, you may want more time on this step.

2. Believe and Then Outline the Future Benefit(s).

Once you understand and document the Business Problem(s), you and your team members need to believe there are solutions out there. Dream a little. Dream a lot. Just like Foreigner sings in ‘Juke Box Hero’…Picture the scene. You may not know what they are yet or how these will be implemented, but as you start this process, take a few minutes with your team members to think, dream, picture, and document what the benefits of fixing the problem would be. And be sure to quantify these with some type of values, numbers, etc. Some of these will be hard savings/benefits, but other things may be valuable, but without dollar savings. This will be an AMAZING motivator to help drive you and your team to find and implement a future solution. Implementing ‘effective IT Solutions is not easy, and you will need all the help and motivation you can get. These motivators might include:

  • Reducing Costs,
  • Saving hours and then where might you be able to direct these hours for another department, project, or benefit,
  • Increasing Revenue,
  • Improving Profitability,
  • Improving M&A/Growth,
  • Business/Site Consolidation,
  • Improving Business Value or Brand,
  • Adding Customers or maybe expanding to new markets,
  • Improving Customer Satisfaction,
  • Improving Employee Satisfaction,
  • Improving Your Own Satisfaction, more time with family, vacation, new car?
  • Making your Boss’s, Senior Leadership’s, or Board’s life better and in turn making you look good?

On the flip side think about this…What would happen if you did nothing, and things stayed like they are? Remind everyone of these benefits often, document them, share them, etc.

Back to the example…How about some motivation to push you towards that new TV. Does your old TV have the same capabilities as a new smart TV? Are your family gatherings, parties and game nights going to change when you have better features? Or are you going to constantly imagine what they would be like and delay taking the next steps. Picture that amazing Super Bowl party with your new TV and everyone making comments about how great the picture is…

How would you rate your Future Benefits Visibility on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the Most Visible? If it’s a 4-5, then you are ready for the next step. If it’s 3 or below, you may want more time on this step.

3. Define the Details: Processes & Participants.

  • Identify Key Individuals: Begin by determining who will be involved in this process. This includes stakeholders, decision makers, and participants. Ensure these individuals have the time and resources to contribute. If they’re unavailable, consider postponing until they are or find others.
  • Understand Current Processes: Take a close look at your existing procedures. Who is responsible for each step? What tools or technology are utilized? Document these processes in a clear and visual manner, using methods like whiteboarding or flowcharts.
  • Evaluate and Discuss: With your team, review the documented processes. Discuss the purpose of each task and the tools used. Is each step necessary? Has it become a routine without adding value? This is an opportunity to challenge the status quo and explore better methods.
  • Research and Compare: Investigate how other organizations handle similar processes. This might require some industry-specific research to understand alternative approaches or innovations that could be applied to your processes.
  • Team Collaboration: Gather your team for a thorough discussion. The goal is to ensure everyone understands the reasons behind each step of the process. This collective insight may reveal opportunities for improvement or confirm the necessity of certain procedures.

Is the decision to buy that new TV all on you? Or do you have roommates, family members or a significant other involved? How were your decisions handled in the past? Well, just like The Clash debates a decision in their classic song, ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go?’, if you don’t have a system in place, this is a great way to start.

Take note, how would you rate your Process and Participant readiness on a scale of 1-5? If it’s a 4-5 then you are ready to go to Step 4. If not, maybe you need to spend some more time on this step.

4. Develop a Preliminary Budget.

Understanding the financial range for an IT implementation project is key. Create a rough estimate of what you are comfortable investing in and explore the usual costs involved in similar fixes. Researching similar IT solutions and projects with other organizations can provide valuable insights into their spending. This can help you benchmark your potential investment. However, this task can be daunting if you have little to no experience with it. As noted in the introduction of this article, a Trusted Technology Partner, like in the song “It’s a Matter of Trust” by Billy Joel, with both deep industry and technology experience would be invaluable for this step. If the specifics are unclear, that’s perfectly fine; implementing change often requires some kind of budget strategy. You can always adjust the budget as you continue throughout the next steps. At least you have a starting point. You can now begin removing options that are way beyond your means. This will give you a clearer vison and remove some of the stress of having too many options.

Just like rewarding yourself with a brand new TV, what price range do you have? Are there categories that are absolute ‘No’ and ‘Yes’? Each of those has different price ranges. Knowing your limits will help you move past the easy no’s and prepare you more for the Yes!

On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest, how would you rate your budget confidence?

5. Choosing IT Solution Types.

There are many types of IT Solutions…

  • Integrations: Connecting different software systems to work together and share data.
  • Data Transformations: Changing data from one format or structure to another.
  • Data Capture: Collecting data from various sources for processing and analysis.
  • Bulk Data Loads and Migration: Moving large volumes of data between storage systems or databases.
  • Converting Data into Actionable Information: Analyzing data and presenting it in an easily understandable format for decision-making.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): Providing software over the internet, eliminating the need for local installation or maintenance.
  • Custom Apps: Tailor-made software applications designed to meet specific business needs.
  • Staff and Resources: Managing human and technical resources necessary for IT operations.
  • Infrastructure and Security: The hardware, software, and policies needed to support IT services and protect data.

The list goes on and on like Abba’s song ‘On and On and On’… Picture these IT Solutions as being tools in a Digital Toolbox , all there to eliminate your Manual Efforts & SpreadSheets (MESS) from your business problems above. Now like Home Depot or Lowes, a Digital Toolbox like this is not one software tool…there are literally thousands of digital tools in the toolbox, and it grows with the global technology industry every single day. Many tools have been created by many different vendors, like the Home Depot or Lowes model. When you are presented with a MESS or business problem, you need to find the appropriate combination from the digital toolbox to solve or eliminate the MESS, just as you would find the specific tools at Home Depot or Lowes to accomplish an average ‘DIY’ project.

In addition, you may be able to solve some of the issues with a process change or two which could be one of the solutions.

On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest, how would you rate your confidence identifying types of IT Solutions needed? If it’s a 4 or 5, then you are ready to go to Step 6. If it’s 3 or below, maybe you need to spend more time on this step.

It is common to ask for help with this step (partner, expert, research, etc.), but don’t forget what was mentioned in the introduction that there are great options to get expert help with this at NO COST!

6. Choose Software/Hardware Brands.

Choosing the right Software & Hardware Brands for the IT Solutions above involves the previous steps & may require additional time to flesh out.

  • Needs vs. Products: Compare what you need to what’s available, whether it’s something off-the-shelf or a custom solution. This will take a detailed review of the features needed.
  • Market Research: Look into what’s standard in your industry. What do other’s use? What’s most popular?
  • Cost Analysis: Think about whether you need a solution for now or for the long haul, and how that affects your budget.
  • Compatibility: Make sure it works well with the tech you already have. This is where Integration solutions come into play.
  • Security & Compliance: Ensure it meets all necessary safety and legal standards.

Just like you might do when purchasing a TV, you may need advice and help choosing the right technology brands…LG, Sony, Hisense, Samsung, etc.. With technology constantly evolving, decide if you can do this evaluation on your own or if you should get expert advice. Consider if you have the expertise and time needed. Most of the time, bringing in experts can make this whole process smoother, helping you make choices that fit your business goals and budget.

On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest, how would you rate your confidence choosing the right software/hardware brands? If it’s a 4 or 5, then you are ready to go to Step 7. If it’s 3 or below, maybe you need to spend more time on this step. This is a step most need help from a partner.

7. Choose Business & IT Resources.

Now, to implement ‘effective‘ IT Solutions, you will need the right people for the job. To set up, implement, and support your solutions efficiently and effectively, follow these steps:

  1. Get the Right Team: Make sure you have people who understand your business and the industry well, alongside IT pros who can work closely with them. You might consider full-time employees, part-time experts, or even freelancers from the gig economy.
  2. Consider Location Options: Your team can be anywhere – local (onshore), in a nearby country (nearshore), or far away (offshore). Think about what works best for your needs.
  3. Check Backgrounds: Look into the market to find people with a strong track record, high client satisfaction, and the right kind of expertise.
  4. Think About Support and Growth: Choose partners who offer good support and can scale with you as your business grows.
  5. Team Chemistry Matters: It’s important to have a team that works well with yours, ensuring a smooth collaboration.
  6. Don’t Forget Security and Compliance: But…Just like Simple Minds says in their iconic ‘Breakfast Club’ song…’Don’t You, Forget’ to ensure all your resources meet the necessary security standards and comply with regulations to avoid future issues.

Are you ready to install that TV? Do you have the right resources to hang the TV in the right spot without tearing up your wall with holes and ensuring that all wires are hidden properly?

Again, it is common to need help with this step (partner, expert, research, etc.), but remember there are great options to get expert help with this at NO COST!

On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest, how would you rate your confidence choosing the right business and IT resources? If it’s a 4 or 5, then you are ready to go to Step 8. If it’s 3 or below, maybe you need to spend more time on this step. This is a step that most need help from a partner.

8. Determine Project Plan, Timeline, Pricing, Payment Terms, etc.

To align your ‘effective‘ IT solution project(s) with your budget and work style, consider these steps:

  1. Budget Check: Match the project costs against your budget. Be prepared to adjust your scope, costs, or budget if needed.
  2. Execution Strategy: Decide how the work will be done. Which project method fits your organization best? Agile and Waterfall are common options, but there might be others that suit you better.
  3. Project Management Skills: Make sure someone on your team is skilled in managing IT projects. Did you know that over 80% of IT projects fail? If this is not in your wheelhouse, consider getting external help.
  4. Marry Resources with Timelines to get a Project Plan: Like Run DMC rapping ‘Tricky’ in the 80s, it is always tricky to align the business needs timeline with resource availability and manage risks, issues, and unforeseen situations at the same time.
  5. Learn from the Past: Reflect on your previous project experiences. If things went well, stick to those strategies. If not, it’s time to try something new. Remember the saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein”
  6. Cost Structures: Understand the difference between one-time and ongoing costs. Decide if you prefer flexible billing options or fixed bids versus time and materials. These decisions will affect how you manage and forecast project expenses.

Just like trying to pin the ‘Cable Guy’ down to a timeframe to come to your house for TV/Internet setup, determining the project plan, timeline, pricing, payment terms and more can be quite challenging. We recommend getting help with this step.

On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest, how would you rate your confidence designing and executing and effective IT Project Plan? If it’s a 4 or 5, then you are ready to go to Step 9. If it’s 3 or below, maybe you need to spend more time on this step. This is a step that most need help from a partner.

9. Calculate Return on Investment or ROI.

In the context of IT solutions, ROI helps you assess whether the benefits from Step 2 above—such as improved efficiency, cost savings, increased revenue, or other operational advantages—outweigh the costs.

Why It Matters:

  • Justification for Investment: Demonstrates to stakeholders the value and impact of the IT project.
  • Decision-making: Guides future investment decisions based on the expected return.
  • Budget Allocation: Helps prioritize spending on IT projects with the highest potential ROI.

Below are some Example Scenarios of calculating ROI for a $15,000 project that is broken down by Hours Per Day and by Hours Per Month:

Scenario 1. Hours Per Day

  • Project Fee: $15,000
  • Hourly Rate of People Currently Performing the Role: $25/hr
  • Hours Per Day Spent on Current Process (example 10 people spending 3 hrs/day): 30hrs

Calculations.

  1. Weekly Hours: 30 hours/day × 5 days/week = 150 hours/week
  2. Monthly Hours: 30 hours/day × 20 days/month = 600 hours/month
  3. Yearly Hours: 600 hours/month × 12 months/year = 7,200 hours/year
  4. Annual Cost: 7,200 hours/year × $25/hour = $180,000/year
  5. ROI in Months: $15,000 ÷ ($180,000 ÷ 12) = $15,000 ÷ $15,000 = 1 month

Scenario 2. Hours Per Month. 

  • Project Fee: $15,000
  • Hourly Rate: $25
  • Hours Per Month: 80

Calculations.

  1. Monthly Hours: 80 hours/month
  2. Yearly Hours: 80 hours/month × 12 months/year = 960 hours/year
  3. Annual Cost: 960 hours/year × $25/hour = $24,000/year
  4. ROI in Months: $15,000 ÷ ($24,000 ÷ 12) = $15,000 ÷ $2,000 = 7.5 months

On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest, how would you rate your confidence calculating and evaluating your ROI for this? If it’s a 4 or 5, then you are ready to go to Step 10. If it’s 3 or below, maybe you need to spend more time on this step. This is a step that most need help from a partner.

10. Decide.

With Steps 1-9 under your belt, you are now ready to make an educated decision to go or not go, choose a time frame if applicable, and implement if applicable. Don’t waffle. Your team members have gone through steps 1-9 with you and the Dissatisfaction, Vision, and Right First Steps should clearly be greater than any resistance at this point. They depend on you to make the decision to move forward or not but be sure to have clearly communicated reasons for not moving forward if that’s the case. Like the song “Check Yes or No” by George Strait, it’s time to make a decision.

On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest, how would you rate your confidence you are ready for a final decision? If it’s a 4 or 5, then you are ready to to move forward with your decision. If it’s 3 or below, maybe you need to spend more time on this step. This is a step that most need help from a partner.

Score Calculator

As mentioned earlier, we have been keeping track of our scores on each step in the 10 steps process. If not, feel free to go back and quickly rate your ‘pain scale’. We will be adding the scores to create a total. The maximum score is 50. See where your range is below!

High Readiness (40+ Score): If your total score is 40 or above, this means you have a high level of readiness for change within your organization. It suggests that you are well-prepared across nearly all evaluated sections and poised to implement changes effectively.

Consideration Phase (30-40 Score): Scores in this range suggest that while there is a foundation in place, there are areas that require improvement or further development. This phase shows the need for thoughtful consideration and targeted efforts to address the gaps identified during the evaluation. It’s a critical time for strategic planning.

Low Readiness (30 and Below): A total score of 30 or below shows that your organization is not currently ready to consider or implement change. It may call for a pause to reassess your processes and whether or not the change is something you need in the near future.

Conclusion

Just like Dire Straits said in their iconic 80s song, ‘Money for Nothing’, ‘I want my MTV!’, picking the right IT solutions feels a lot like choosing the best from a pile of options—overwhelming but totally doable with a bit of guidance. We’ve broken it down from identifying your tech headaches to dreaming big about the solutions, all the way to figuring out if the investment pays off. It’s about making smarter choices that really align with what your business needs to grow and thrive. And remember we mentioned several times that there are quality partners out there that can help you with these steps at NO COST! Do your research and find a quality partner…

Remember, the journey doesn’t stop once you’ve made a choice. As Journey says: ‘Don’t Stop Believin’! The tech world is always on the move, and keeping up means being ready to adapt and fine-tune your solutions as you go. Armed with a clear plan and the willingness to stay flexible, you’re all set to tackle the tech challenges head-on, turning them into opportunities for real improvement and success. Here’s to making choices that matter and keeping it fresh. Want to learn more about this process? Have questions about how to start? Want suggestions on partner options? Let’s Chat.

TAP Innovations Sponsors Women Leading Technology Golf Tournament

Irving, TX – 5/2024

Press Release: TAP Innovations Sponsors Women Leading Technology Golf Tournament

TAP Innovations proudly sponsored a hole at the recent Women Leading Technology (WLT) golf tournament, demonstrating our commitment to supporting women in technology. Representatives Patrick Hoare, Ron Bruno, and Sean Lough attended the event, with Patrick and Sean joining fellow supporters and golfers on the course. “We were thrilled to play in the tournament, even if our scores didn’t exactly put us in first place,” joked one of our team members, adding a light-hearted touch to the day’s activities.

After the tournament, participants had the opportunity to share food, drinks, and engage in valuable networking. The camaraderie and conversations fostered a sense of community among all attendees.

The tournament was part of WLT’s ongoing efforts to foster community and raise awareness about the importance of women in STEM fields. Both TAP Innovations and WLT are Texas and DFW-based organizations dedicated to driving positive change in their communities. TAP Innovations is honored to contribute to this cause and engage with like-minded organizations and individuals.

About TAP Innovations TAP Innovations, a minority-owned business certified by Texas SBA®, delivers cloud-based solutions to eliminate Manual Efforts and SpreadSheets (MESS). TAP Innovations…THE Integrated Digital Toolbox™ automates manual processes, greatly reduces spreadsheet sprawl, transforms data into actionable information, and performs intelligent content organization across people and entity enterprises. A growing set of Digital Tools for HCM, CRM, Business Intelligence, Integrations, and more are web and mobile-enabled, filling data interoperability gaps with core business systems. TAP Innovations solutions streamline business processes for leading organizations with 50-15,000+ employees. Visit http://www.tapinnov.com/ to learn more.

About Women Leading Technology Women Leading Technology (WLT) is dedicated to bridging the diversity, equity, and inclusion gap in the technology sector by creating a circle of service around our future leaders of tomorrow. Through programs like the WLT STEAAM Experience Center for Girls, WLT provides hands-on education in science, technology, engineering, architecture, arts, and mathematics, empowering girls and women from K-12 and beyond. Join them in supporting education and innovation by visiting Women Leading Technology. Join the sisterhood and apply to become a member today. For more information, contact Women Leading Technology at info@womenleadingtechnology.org or call 214-310-0544.

TAP Innovations Unveils Custom Application for Offshore and Subsea Construction Company

Paving the Way for Revolutionary Efficiency

Irving, TX March 2024.

In a move that mirrors the iconic journey of “Back to the Future,” where innovation propels us to new heights, TAP Innovations proudly announces a groundbreaking custom application designed for a leading company in offshore and subsea construction. This state-of-the-art solution is set to transform the industry by streamlining operations and setting new benchmarks for efficiency and productivity.

A Leap into Operational Excellence

TAP Innovations stepped in with a custom application that centralizes and integrates critical functions such as employee roster management, project scheduling, and payroll processing. This technology ensures that growth is supported by a foundation of streamlined operations, avoiding the need for a proportional increase in operations staff. The benefits include improvements like reduced labor costs, improved data accuracy, time tracking accuracy and more.

A Future Built on Integration and Innovation

The application represents more than a technological upgrade; it is a strategic investment in the future of the organization. With user-friendly interfaces, seamless system integrations, and robust data security, TAP Innovations is not just meeting the current needs but is also preparing them for future challenges in a rapidly evolving landscape. Like taking a ride in the DeLorean, this collaboration is about speeding towards an innovative future. The application not only promises to redefine operational standards in the industry but also marks a significant step forward in how technology can empower growth and efficiency.

Do you have a desire to grow your company’s operational capability? Learn more about TAP’s solutions here.

About TAP Innovations

theAppPlace (TAP) Innovations, a minority-owned business certified by Texas SBA®, delivers cloud-based solutions to eliminate Manual Efforts and SpreadSheets (MESS). TAP Innovations…THE Integrated Digital Toolbox™ automates manual processes and greatly reduces spreadsheet sprawl, actions data into information, and performs intelligent content organization across people and entity enterprises. A growing set of Digital Tools for HCM, CRM, Business Intelligence, Integrations, and more are web and mobile-enabled and quick to fill data interoperability gaps with core business systems. TAP Innovations solutions have been implemented to streamline business processes for leading organizations with 50-15,000+ employees. Visit http://www.tapinnov.com/ to learn more.

A CEO’S Journey of Digital Transformation: John Ragsdale’s Appearance On ‘Muddy Waters, Clear Vision’

Leadership Through Change: John Ragsdale on ‘Muddy Waters, Clear Vision

Irving, TX March 2024.

In a recent enlightening episode of the “Muddy Waters, Clear Vision” podcast, John Ragsdale, the visionary CEO of TAP Innovations, detailed his journey from a modest upbringing in South Georgia to leading a pioneering company at the forefront of digital transformation. Ragsdale’s story is not just a testament to entrepreneurial spirit but also an inspiring blueprint for building a business that genuinely makes a difference.

Under Ragsdale’s leadership, TAP Innovations has become synonymous with revolutionizing organizational processes through digital solutions, demonstrating the transformative impact of incremental improvements on profitability. With a belief firmly rooted in the power of technology and innovation, John has led his company to unprecedented heights, illustrating that a focus on enhancing operational efficiency by even a small margin can lead to exponential growth.

A pivotal aspect of John’s success story is his emphasis on mentorship and learning from others. Drawing inspiration from his father, a sports coach imbued with strong Christian values, Ragsdale highlights the importance of collaboration, resilience, and the invaluable lessons learned through embracing challenges. This foundation has not only shaped his personal growth but also defined his approach to leadership at TAP Innovations.

As CEO, Ragsdale’s philosophy extends beyond business acumen to foster a culture of support, community involvement, and work-life balance. His commitment to creating a positive work environment, supporting community initiatives, and promoting professional growth among his team demonstrates a leadership style that is both compassionate and effective.

John Ragsdale’s dedication to making a meaningful impact is evident in his active support for engineering education through scholarships, emphasizing the role of impactful leadership in shaping the future. His experience from managing a side hustle to achieving substantial revenue growth with TAP Innovations is an example of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs everywhere.

Reflecting on his journey, Ragsdale’s unwavering commitment to success, stewardship, and leaving a legacy that honors his values is a powerful reminder of the impact one individual can have. His story is a testament to the idea that true success comes not just from financial achievements but from the ability to inspire, lead, and give back to both the community and the individuals who contribute to a company’s success.

John Ragsdale’s appearance on “Muddy Waters, Clear Vision” is more than just a podcast episode; it’s a call to action for current and aspiring leaders to envision a path to success that is both profitable and profoundly impactful. You can listen to the full podcast episode here.

 

About Muddy Waters, Clear Vision Podcast

Muddy Waters Clear Vision is a podcast that delves into the experiences of Louisiana’s entrepreneurs, sharing their beginnings, mentors, and leadership approaches. It explores their challenging moments, lessons learned, and the impacts they hope to make. The podcast aims to guide the next generation of entrepreneurs, offering insights into their successes and future aspirations. It’s a celebration of entrepreneurship, community, and leadership within Louisiana, inviting listeners to join this insightful journey. Visit https://muddywatersclearvision.com/ to learn more.

About TAP Innovations

theAppPlace (TAP) Innovations, a minority-owned business certified by Texas SBA®, delivers cloud-based solutions to eliminate Manual Efforts and SpreadSheets (MESS). TAP Innovations…THE Integrated Digital Toolbox™ automates manual processes and greatly reduces spreadsheet sprawl, actions data into information, and performs intelligent content organization across people and entity enterprises. A growing set of Digital Tools for HCM, CRM, Business Intelligence, Integrations, and more are web and mobile-enabled and quick to fill data interoperability gaps with core business systems. TAP Innovations solutions have been implemented to streamline business processes for leading organizations with 50-15,000+ employees. Visit http://www.tapinnov.com/ to learn more.

TAP and Friends at the Dallas/Fort Worth Tech Prayer Breakfast 2023

On Friday, October 27th, the team at TAP Innovations had the privilege of hosting 2 tables at the highly anticipated Dallas/Fort Worth Technology Prayer Breakfast (DFW Tech PB) at the Irving Convention Center.

Speakers of the Day: Stories of Faith and Leadership

 

Ana Lopez: A Journey of Resilience and Faith

 

Ana Lopez, Founder and CEO of Alturas Technology Services, graced the stage with her inspiring story. Before establishing her company in the Bay Area in 2018, Ana held the position of VP-Strategic Accounts at cPrime. Here, she garnered numerous Top Performance awards and built high-performing teams for renowned technology brands. However, Ana’s journey was not without its trials. Facing family strife in her early years, she rediscovered her Christian faith, undergoing a transformative journey. Ana shared her powerful story at the event, providing attendees with a poignant example of resilience and the strength that comes from faith.

Robert Hunt: Living a Life of Purpose and Accountability

 

Robert Hunt, a distinguished member of the DFW Technology Prayer Breakfast leadership committee and a Merv Tarde Values in Leadership Circle inductee, also took the stage. As the owner of REF Dallas, Robert leads monthly peer group meetings for CEOs in the DFW area. In 2022, he added ‘Author’ to his impressive resume, co-authoring “Nobody Cares…until you do.” This book offers readers insights and tools to overcome blame and excuses, encouraging them to live the life they truly desire. Robert’s session, marked by his trademark humor and candor, left a lasting impact on all in attendance.

About the DFW Prayer Breakfast: Connecting and Inspiring Technology Leaders

 

The DFW Tech PB is a volunteer-led organization based in Richardson, TX, founded by Jeff Clement with support from the IT community in DFW. The event is designed to connect technology leaders in North Texas, providing a platform to share convictions and passions.

Mission and Vision: Fostering a Life-Changing Relationship with Jesus Christ

 

The primary mission of DFW Tech PB is to create a relevant business environment for technology professionals in DFW, where a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ is presented and nurtured. The organizers aspire for technology leaders who follow Jesus Christ to live out their faith boldly in every aspect of their lives, including at work. They aim to represent Christ authentically to others, encouraging more people to hear the Gospel, believe, and follow Jesus.

Core Values: Guiding Principles for Life and Work

 

The event is anchored in core values that guide attendees in their personal and professional lives:
• Following, serving, and proclaiming Jesus Christ
• Humility
• Servant leadership
• Mentorship
• Honoring God in work by pursuing excellence

The DFW Technology Prayer Breakfast 2023 provided a unique and enriching experience for all attendees, including the team at TAP Innovations. The powerful stories shared by Ana Lopez and Robert Hunt, coupled with the deep sense of community and shared values, created an environment of inspiration and fellowship. The event served as a poignant reminder of the power of faith and the impact it can have on one’s personal and professional life. For TAP Innovations, it was a morning well spent, full of meaningful connections and renewed inspiration to lead with purpose and integrity.

TAP Innovations Secures #1 Spot on the LSU 100 for 2nd Consecutive Year

DALLAS, TX –11/1/2023  TAP Innovations, a Dallas-based leader in automating manual paperwork and reducing spreadsheet reliance for businesses, has proudly claimed the number one spot on the LSU 100 list for the second year in a row growing over 400% over the last 3 years. The LSU 100 is an esteemed annual ranking showcasing the fastest-growing businesses worldwide that are owned or led by LSU graduates.
LSU unveiled the 2023 ranking, solidifying TAP Innovations’ standing as a formidable player in the global business landscape. The company’s founder and CEO, John Ragsdale, is an LSU alumnus who earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the esteemed university in 1994.

Attendee Highlights

– 2 Super Bowl Rings New England’s Patriot Kevin Faulk (An LSU graduate in 1998) was in attendance as the MC and he helped make it a rockin’ event! Check out more about him here!
– CEO of TAP John Ragsdale sang the iconic “Hotel California” with the outstanding Three 37 band! More about this great band can be found here.
– It was also wonderful for TAP to mingle with Dr. Christina Melton, Holt Ragsdale, and Dr. Jamar Melton at the celebration!

About the LSU 100

The LSU 100 is a competitive program that celebrates the growth and success of businesses led by LSU graduates. To be considered, companies must apply each year, with the ROARING20 list highlighting the top 20 revenue-generating businesses. The rankings for both the LSU 100 and ROARING20 lists was revealed at an exclusive gala on Friday, October 20, 2023.
“Being recognized by my alma mater for the second consecutive year is a tremendous honor,” said John Ragsdale, CEO of TAP Innovations. “This accolade is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire team at TAP Innovations. We are committed to helping businesses streamline their operations and drive efficiency, and this recognition fuels our passion to continue innovating and growing.”
EisnerAmper serves as the official accounting firm partner for the program, while b1BANK is a gold-level corporate sponsor. Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry & Distinctive Gifts sponsors the honoree awards, Gatorworks sponsors the LSU100 website, and the Tiger Athletic Foundation partners with LSU’s E. J. Ourso College of Business Stephenson Department of Entrepreneurship & Information Systems. The LSU Alumni Association supports the gala as the entertainment and digital media sponsor.
Since the inaugural LSU 100 event in 2011, the program has recognized and celebrated the achievements of LSU graduates and their businesses, fostering a sense of pride and community among alumni.

About TAP Innovations

TAP Innovations, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is at the forefront of business process automation. Founded by John Ragsdale, an LSU alumnus, the company provides innovative solutions to help businesses eliminate manual efforts and spreadsheets or MESSs, embrace digital transformation, and achieve operational excellence. With a commitment to efficiency and innovation, TAP Innovations is a driving force in the tech industry and continues to contribute significantly to the growth and success of businesses worldwide.