The structure of an organisation can create business frameworks that lead to growth. However, many organisations suffer from structures that literally suppress creativity and innovation, due to bureaucracy and unnecessary complexity.
"IT solutions providers must master the art of integrating people, processes and technology to deliver true values to the customer," says Stephen Chu, executive director of Microware USA Limited.
At Microware, a simple, clear and transparent organisation structure provides competitive advantage that enables sustainable growth during the past 20 years.
Nowadays, the company employs over 280 staff. Apart from the adminstration and finance department, the workfoce is divided into four core business units — Systems Integration Group responsible for sales and marketing of comprehensive IT solutions to business and government institute; Customer Services Group in charge of after sales services and system maintenance; and Microware Solutions Limited providing technical consulting services and cutting edge system solutions to customer organisations of all sizes. It offers tailor-made solutions to maximise business operation and enhance productivity.
"Such simple structure and clear division of labour enable tight collaboration and make ways for efficient decision making processes. Keeping in mind our common goal, we are able to swiftly respond to customer needs and stay ahead in the highly competitive market," Mr Chu adds.
Established in 1985, Microware is one of the largest one-stop IT solutions providers in Hong Kong that offers best-of-breed products and services to small and medium-sized enterprises, multinationals, government agencies, and educational institutions.
"Our track record has fuelled our continuous evolution and gives us a dominant presence in the local IT market. However, without our teams of dedicated talents, we would not have seen such sustainable growth during the last two decades," Mr Chu says.
He adds that one key attribute of any successful organisations is treating its employees as the most important asset. "Most of our staff are qualified professionals and have accredited qualifications in software and system solutions. However, we value our staff not only because of their technical expertise, but also their business experience, attitude, initiatives and personalities," he remarks.
"It is fairly difficult to find a steady supply of suitable IT people, especially after the dotcom bubble has burst. We value our technical strengths and believe that good relationships with customers are the keys to our success."
He notes that employees should therefore expect to be in regular contact with customers in order to understand their specifications and needs, which will also ensure the delivery of high quality services. "That is why we stress the importance of strong communication and presentation skills when taking on new blood."
Microware provides on-the-job training and operates an effective incentive system to retain valuable staff, reward performance and increase satisfaction at work.
Because of the ever-changing nature of information technology, according to Mr Chu, it is crucial for employees and prospective candidates to be well equipped with the most up-to-date knowledge. "Our culture is to pursue aggressive growth, so candidates looking for career opportunities with us should also possess a real passion for the profession," he concludes.