When business people think about “IT strategy,” they tend to focus on hardware and technical details like gigabytes and core speeds. Or, their minds turn to the expenses associated with enterprise-level cloud solutions and backup schemes.
These are all very reasonable associations, but they focus on the details rather than the bigger things that are more important. The heart of a strong business IT strategy has to do with what you can create, automate, or accomplish. Everything else is just a matter of filling in the blanks and pieces.
To make sure you’re implementing the right kind of IT strategy, ask yourself three questions that pertain to your approach to technology…
#1 What Do You Need to Do?
As we are fond of reminding clients and blog readers, good IT is a function of good business planning. When you know what you’re trying to do it gets a lot easier to choose the right devices, apps, and services for the job.
Look into the future and ask yourself where you want your business to be in a few months and then a few years. Once you have some measurable goals in place you can work backwards (along with your outsourced IT partner) to find the right resources to meet those targets. Without that kind of focus you could find yourself investing in technology without the right information or perspective, which is how companies waste time, money, and opportunities.
#2 What Does the Cost-to-Benefit Analysis Look Like?
It goes without saying that we can’t always buy all the tech we would like to have for ourselves and our employees. Financial constraints and other business realities mean that tough decisions have to be made. Once again, these are the factors that should be considered with an eye towards maximizing returns, not following the latest fad or inspiration.
Too many business owners and executives feel as if they have IT budgets that are thrust upon them, rather than expenses that have been planned with an eye towards earning a positive return on investment. You should decide what you can spend. Then, it’s up to your IT provider to help you find solutions that are both affordable and effective using the guidelines you’ve provided.
#3 Is Your Tech Reliable?
The corollary to the first two points is that you should always look for technology that is reliable. The last thing you want is to experience unplanned downtime, productivity losses, and customer service issues because devices or software packages aren’t working as envisioned.
As a rule of thumb this means spending a little bit extra to work with reliable manufacturers and providers. However, getting reliable tech can also sometimes mean holding off on the latest hot purchase until subsequent patches and firmware updates have made a device or app more stable. Make sure your outsourced IT team knows you value reliability and they can help you choose the right tools for the job.
Finding the Tech Answers You Need
If you are one of the tens of thousands of business owners or executives in Southern California who feels like IT is more of an expense than an opportunity, it’s time to meet with our team. We can help you sort out the tools, budgets, and strategies you need to succeed.