Business owners and executives learn very quickly that planning ahead is important. The farther and more accurately you can project into the future, the easier it is to determine things like budgets and strategies. That allows you to take advantage of opportunities and avoid being caught by surprise.
When it comes to expanding and implementing technology, though, things change quickly. What seems like a good idea or investment today might become outdated in a matter of months. How, then, can entrepreneurs and business leaders prepare for the future? How far ahead should they plan?
In our business, we approach every situation differently because we know every one of the companies we work with is unique. In today’s post, though, we want to give you some general guidelines to think about when planning for future IT investments, upgrades, and plans…
Your Tech Strategy Should Mirror Your Business Outlook
In some ways, planning for new technology implementation has nothing to do with hardware or software. Instead, it has everything to do with your business. If you work in the kind of industry where you can look ahead confidently for years, then your general approach to taking on new apps, workstations, and devices should mirror the other plans you have.
If you know you’ll be expanding for the next few years, for example, then you can proejct that your tech needs are going to grow in tandem. The farther out you can plan for your business, the easier it gets to manage the IT aspects of your strategy.
Specific Purchases and Upgrades Shouldn’t Be Locked In
While you want your overall business technology strategy to extend as far as possible into the future, the more tactical aspects of your plan – what you will buy and use in your company – should be more short-term. That’s because things change very rapidly. The new software you are going to invest in, or mobile device you want to use for your team, could be replaced by something better. Or, another vendor could come along with a cost-effective option that is an easier match to the tools you already have.
You can’t put off new tech investments forever, of course, and there is value in having a consistent approach. Still, we don’t recommend you commit to specific purchases in advance of the time when you’ll need them.
Setting IT Budgets That Balance These Two Concerns
These two principles make sense to most business owners and executives, but they don’t exactly give a clear directive when it comes to setting IT budgets. The key, of course, is to balance the concerns.
One way to solve things is to simply look ahead at your overall business goals and then compare your anticipated needs with what you’ve done in the past. Then you can figure out whether you are likely to spend a little less or more on technology in the coming months and years. You might even leave yourself a small reserve, if possible, to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.
An even better idea, however, is to engage an outsourced IT vendor you can trust, and discuss these issues with an expert. They can help you get to the bottom of your strategy and find a budget level that covers your anticipated tech needs for the short-term and bigger goals for the long-term.
Ready for a Higher Standard in Outsourced IT Care?
There are a lot of IT vendors out there, but very few real outsourced technology partners who can help your business grow and become more profitable. If you want five-star support, maintenance, and business advice on your hardware and software, contact the experts at Fantastic IT in Southern California today!