Now is a good time for a tech re-think
Well, this isn’t the start to 2021 we were hoping for, is it? Your plans, budget, staffing levels and order book are probably looking quite different to what you expected.
So, we think now is a great time to take a long, hard look at your business IT and ask yourself a few key questions.
We’d like to help you with that conversation….
Question 1. Does your company have an IT Strategy?
The likelihood is, even if you do have one, it’s going to need reworking as your staff, customer and process needs could be different this year to what you had originally planned.
Today, technology plays a major role in almost any type and size of company – whether you’re selling online, or just using everyday web-based tools like email. So when your company grows, or contracts, you need to make sure your IT system’s capability, security and efficiency flexes with it. But don’t forget – you still need to future proof your IT systems to support the business you want to have, not just the reality of the here and now.
First, identify what your problems areas are.
Don’t make the classic mistake of deciding on a solution before you’ve explored the problem you need to solve.
Decide on the approach you’re going to take
Are you looking for a standard off-the-shelf package, or do you need to develop your own custom software? Decide which areas of your IT system need to be kept in-house, and which non-core areas could be outsourced.
Come up with a roadmap
Take a look at your current set-up and decide which parts you want to improve, which are fine for the time being, and which ones you want to get rid of.
Create a business case and budget (see Question 2).
You need to justify each stage of your roadmap in business terms.
Think about your full range of needs:
- Performance, capacity, availability
- Ongoing support
As you can probably tell by now, developing and executing an IT strategy takes a lot of specialist knowledge and experience. So getting help from outside experts – yes, like Dr Logic can make all the difference. A good IT Consultant will help whether you’re developing your IT strategy from scratch or need guidance with a re-write so it’s fit for purpose for the commercial landscape you find yourself in now.
Question 2. Is your IT Budget still fit for purpose?
Keeping your business running, your suppliers paid and your customers and employees connected requires business critical IT. And if you haven’t budgeted properly, there’s a risk you won’t be able to get what you need. Which could mean sticking with inefficient and/or failing IT systems that slow you down. Or not being able to afford the tech that could really transform your business in these challenging times.
An IT budget is about asking yourself what technology you need, what you can afford, and how you can invest in a sustained and strategic way.
Take a look at what you already have
Make an audit of what you have – you’ll identify gaps and avoid duplications.
Ask your employees what they need.
Don’t underestimate the knowledge your staff, working on the coal face, have about the tech they use everyday. They may have some great improvement ideas but have never been asked before.
Budget for the future
It’s an obvious point, but one that’s easy to forget. You may have to scale back IT spend this year if your order book has contracted, but don’t shoot yourself in the foot so that when things pick up again (and they will) you find you don’t have the tech in place to scale back up again.
Look for ways to spend smarter
Even if your budget hasn’t grown, you may find that you can now get more bang for your buck. Business technology is constantly changing, so there could be new products, services and solutions out there that help you to work better, while making your money go further.
Calculate your costs carefully
When it comes to IT, it’s easy to underestimate costs, so you get a nasty shock down the line. Don’t forget software subscriptions, cloud storage, web hosting and domain name registration.
Ask the experts
It’s often a good idea to involve a trusted IT supplier or support company in the budgeting process. They’ll be able to take a really informed and expert look at your tech needs over the coming year, help you to calculate your costs, and suggest ways to spend your money better – like whether your business should invest in Mac or PC‘s for example.
We’ve written a more detailed Blog on building an IT Budget. Check it out.
Question 3. Do you know what tech improvements are out there?
This is one of the main areas where calling in the experts to help will really pay dividends. An IT Support company deals with hundreds of client companies over its lifetime and so is exposed to the latest tech innovations everyday.
Unless you eat, sleep and breathe tech like an IT Support company, it’s highly unlikely you’re going to know the latest systems or software available for business IT. Speak to an expert – you’ll be surprised how a relatively small budget can be leveraged to provide transformational IT for your business.
Here’s a few ideas now that will immediately improve efficiency and security.
100% Cloud working
Moving your business to the cloud, for example, can be a great way to cut your legacy IT costs, while making remote working that much easier and more efficient.
Remote ID & Device management
So many benefits. Where do we start?
- Remote patching of software and OS updates.
- Giving the right people inside your company access to the right information.
- Stopping the wrong people having access to your information.
- Protecting your valuable hardware and device portfolio.
- Seamless onboarding of new starters and removal of permissions for leavers.
Any kind of malware can wreak havoc: just one infected computer can open up your whole network, putting your data, employees and even your clients and customers at risk. Make sure your IT company are providing regular patches to keep your current software up to date. And check if they’re using the best available on the market.
Connectivity is the digital lifeblood of your business
As more and more companies move to cloud-based services, having a fast, robust internet connection is more important than ever.
Take teamwork to the next level
Today’s file sharing services allow you to do much more than simply sending something to a colleague to get their thoughts. It’s become increasingly vital for both productivity and collaboration, as more and more employees work remotely – possibly permanently.
There are so many improvements you can make for your business which won’t cost the earth but collectively, or singularly, could transform your productivity. We’re always happy to talk tech so get in contact if you’d like our help to future proof your business.
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Like what you’ve read and would like to know what else we know? Then get in touch.