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Is Your Technology in Sync with Your Business Goals?
At the end of 2018, you probably spent quite a bit of time planning your 2019 overall business goals and strategy. But what about your IT goals? Did they make it onto your list of priorities for 2019?
Technology planning is often overlooked during the strategic planning process for small- and medium-sized businesses. Technology infrastructure is a large part of your business needs, yet many companies fail to include it during their planning phase. Your strategic IT planning should be a priority since having a well-integrated IT plan that aligns with your business needs can significantly impact your ROI. If you missed out on thinking it through at the end of 2018, there is still time to get things back on track.
Why Align Your Business Goals with Your IT Infrastructure?
While you were planning your 2019 strategy, you probably came up with marketing goals and sales quotas, but how much of that was intrinsically tied back in with your IT infrastructure?
You’re likely using technology to perform some or all your marketing, sales and service functions. Your CRM, time-tracking systems, design programs and email are just some of the tools businesses depend on. That means you must have a robust IT infrastructure that can reliably manage these critical functions for your business. But, did you think about that when you were deciding on introducing updated or new technology to your business?
For example, imagine your business wants to upgrade to the newest version of your CRM. When you look at the packages, the new version is completely free and will give you more functionality, power and ease-of-access. But, before you dive into it, you need to meet with your IT team to ensure that your current infrastructure can handle the update. A free upgrade can end up being very expensive if you jump into it without first discussing it with your technology professionals.
It’s Not Too Late
Maybe you finalized your IT plan at the end of last year, but if you have that nagging suspicion you’ve missed something, it’s not too late to meet with your IT professionals and review your goals before the end of the first quarter.
Even if 2019’s budget has little wiggle room to make any major changes, meeting with your IT professionals to discuss how your technology will support your business goals gives you the opportunity to make essential course corrections before it’s too late.
Here are a few tips for ensuring your technology is ready to take on your 2019 business plans:
Upgrading software or hardware
A competent IT professional will know if your infrastructure can handle any upgrades or additions you have in store.
- Ensure you have enough backup space to store additional data.
- Locate or develop training materials and a timeline to guide staff through new software or hardware.
- Prepare and communicate the timeline for the changes to facilitate minimal disruption.
Adding or reducing staff members isn’t as simple as adding a few laptops.
- Confirm that your internet bandwidth is large enough for current and planned staff expansion.
- Review the number of software licenses for line-of-business software.
- Prepare security policies for data access and use along with technology training for new hires.
- Install mobile device management systems on hardware to remotely remove company data from exiting employees’ devices.
New regulations might require a change in how your technology is managed.
- Identify the required hardware or software to remain compliant with new regulations.
- Inform your team on new security and data policies.
- Prepare the necessary documents required in the event of an audit.
Your IT professionals should have discussed these situations with you and provided valuable input while reviewing your business goals. IT professionals know the prices of technologies, industry movements and upcoming changes that may impact your line-of-business applications and specific business needs.
If you have a sneaking suspicion that you’re not getting the best guidance from your technology professionals, give us a call at 800-669-8513.
Don’t settle for service your customers wouldn’t accept from you. On-Site Computers can deliver the response and level of services needed to keep your company ready and prepared for future growth. Contact us online today to discuss your current needs.
Mike Bowe | Published on February 13, 2019