Imagine for a moment you are suddenly inspired to build a new home...
You have your objective in mind: four outside walls, a few doors and some windows and you're on your way.
Running to the building supply store, you pick up all of the building materials and start building your dream home.
The only problem? You forgot to get the tools.
This concept can be applied to running your business as well. Your company relies on “tools” that can be leveraged to meet organizational goals, and one of the most valuable tools today that can help you grow is your business technology.
As a business owner, you are constantly planning for the future, whether it be adding staff, offering new products or services, or changing up your business focus in order to differentiate and remain competitive.
But have you thought about including a strategic technology plan in your company's future? The right technology investments made now can pay off later, launching your business to a higher level of performance and achievement.
To determine the best path, it helps to sit down with a trusted adviser who offers a strong portfolio of IT consulting services. For starters, IT consultants work with many different suppliers and vendors, and so are in a good position to give you unbiased advice when it comes to software and hardware purchases.
An IT expert can also help you pinpoint specific technologies that work best in your industry, and analyze the cost/benefit potential of any IT investments you might be thinking of.
While the term "digital transformation" may seem like a buzzword, savvy companies both large and small are taking advantage of new technologies to accelerate their impact.
A good IT consultant with a sizable firm will have the breadth and depth of knowledge to help you select emerging technologies that you might not even be aware of, as they're in the trenches day in and day out.
Sometimes, just taking a look at all the basics can really move the dial! Here are four suggestions you can consider immediately:
- Buying a new computer can help save on energy costs and, more importantly, ensure that your employee has the right equipment to do their job. Even the best employee will not be able to turn out amazing work when their computers are sub-par. The type of machine and applications is very role-dependent, and knowing what is latest and greatest in your industry is important.
- Switching from your old phone system to cloud-based VoIP / Unified Communications (UC) can provide huge productivity boosts. UC can integrate email, instant messaging, voice and video which can be easily accessed from desktops, mobiles and tablets, making "work from anywhere" a reality.
- Conversely, many people don't realize the power and functionality their existing software can offer. For example, Microsoft Office 365 is an indispensable tool, but most organization don't take full advantage of it. Were you aware that Office 365 has a host of built-in security features?
- We can't close this out with out talking about cyber security. It's an absolute imperative you have the proper protection in place! Cyber security is now a complex beast, and nowhere is it more important to invest in the right technology - 60% of small companies that suffer a data breach go out of business within six months. Don't be one of them!
The long and short of it is, by planning in advance how to build your "technology house" you can help your business not only survive, but thrive.
Don't have in-house IT talent that have the time or talent to do a strategic IT plan?
Consider outsourcing to an IT consultant so that you can maintain focus on the areas where you can add the most value, and let the experts guide you in the right technology direction.