- 15th July 2021
- Posted by: Mark Dodds
- Category: Business, Strategy
It’s safe to assume that your business has some form of plan. Sure, it may have changed a little over the last 18 months, but it’s there, and you’re aware of its existence.
What about your IT infrastructure? Is there a plan behind that? A strategy, even? Whether you’re running a multi-location empire with hundreds of devices or a shop with a single POS unit, an IT strategy should exist.
You’re not alone if you’re suddenly scratching your head. But if you don’t have an IT strategy or haven’t thought about yours for a good while, now is the time to get on with it.
Working alongside your business plan
The good news? If you’ve got a business plan, you’ve got the one thing that an IT strategy should sit alongside and by which it can be inspired.
The role of your IT strategy is to detail the ways your technology will accelerate progress towards your goals and objectives. It needs to take into account both short and long-term targets and be flexible enough to change whenever needed. If nothing else 2020 taught us how important it is to be able to adapt – quickly.
However, it’s important to remember that an IT strategy isn’t just about your technology. It’s about your business, its people, and how you can use the devices, platforms, and software at your disposal to grow.
Start with your current infrastructure
The best starting point is to take a look at what you already have. Ask yourself these questions:
- What works well?
- What doesn’t work so well?
- What requirements do your staff have?
- What bottlenecks are caused by IT?
It’s important to remember that as your business grows, your IT infrastructure will need to come along for the ride, and that might mean the need for new software, devices, networks, or even phone systems.
Have a chat with the team members. Find out what’s working for them and where their role is hampered by technology. People won’t always speak up until you approach them, and you might discover that hours are being wasted every week simply because you haven’t updated your infrastructure.
If you have an IT support partner, they should be able to help you identify the opportunities for upgrading hardware and software. In fact, they should be proactive in doing so; they should get there before you.
Once you’ve reviewed your existing infrastructure, you can build a roadmap which will help you budget better, know what’s going to be new (and when it’ll arrive), and avoid random, surprise costs and invoices.
Getting the right help
Creating an IT strategy is a bit overwhelming if you’re tasked with running the business. But this is why working with an IT support partner is such a smart move.
Now, more than ever, every single penny spent on a business needs to be justified. Every investment you make in IT needs to work hard for your business.
This is why it’s important to work with an IT partner who can help you build a set of metrics which reveal exactly how your infrastructure is working for you. By implementing regular strategic reviews, your partner will reveal how your existing set up is performing and where changes need to be made in order to maximise your ROI.
You’ll notice that we’ve used the word ‘partner’ throughout this blog post. That’s because you need a partner rather than a provider when it comes to IT support.
Picture an office building where a cleaner arrives every evening to clean up the mess made by staff during the day. That’s how most IT support providers work – they just clear up the mess left by everyone else.
A proper IT partner will work more like a facilities manager for your business. They’ll think ahead for you, schedule maintenance before anything becomes an issue, and proactively work to ensure your infrastructure is always ready for the next big thing.
Committing to the strategy
Your IT roadmap should tell you when roadblocks and delays might arrive in the future and exactly what investments need to be made to overcome them.
The best news? If you’re looking that far ahead financially from an IT perspective, you’ll quickly identify opportunities to bring certain investments forward and accelerate your growth.
It all comes back to the importance of that IT support partnership. So, if we’ve piqued your interest today and you’d like to give your IT strategy the attention it deserves, just get in touch with the Compex team.