In Gartner’s “2019 CIO Agenda: Secure the Foundation for Digital Business,” 49 percent of CIOs said their business strategies are changing to incorporate the benefits and possibilities of technology. Half of your competitors are positioning themselves for growth by making strategic investments in their technology aligning it with their business strategy, shouldn’t you be doing the same?
When business leaders begin planning for their businesses, one of the key steps is defining their goals and the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will let them know they are on track. The same applies when conducting IT planning. You must know where you want your business to go, what changes are upcoming and, ultimately, how your technology can help you achieve your goals. That is, you need to align your technology with your business strategy.
Elements to Include in Your Growth Plan
Your growth plan relies on strategic implementation of technology. Truly, any business goal you have should have you thinking strategically about how technology can support that goal. To be sure that you’re positioned for growth, be sure to include these 6 elements in your IT plan.
1. Your goals. Look at your goals individually and consider what technology could best help you achieve them. Get rid of old technology that’s no longer needed, working or under warranty. Like a factory, you don’t want too much or too little on-hand when you need it. Breaking down your goals will ensure you consider the best way to use technology to achieve each one. Check out our top 3 goals for 2019 here.
2. Workstation refresh plan. We recommend replacing your laptops and other devices every five years. But don’t wait until five years are up to replace them all at the same time or replace them one at a time as they die. Doing so is expensive and, if you wait to do it all at once, disruptive and crippling to your business as it replaces hardware. It’s better if you replace 20 percent of your organization’s workstations each year. That way, by the end of every five years, your employees all have new workstations.
3. Software upgrades. One of the most common problems business leaders confront is out-of-date, unsupported software solutions. For instance, the upcoming end-of-life for many Microsoft products will necessitate upgrading to continue receiving patches and support. New solutions also bring new productivity enhancements. An insurance company we are familiar with was able to process double the claims requests with the same number of staff simply by changing their paper-based process to one that leverages image technology.
4. Strategic technology solution acquisition. It may seem obvious but replacing old software solutions with new ones that fit your strategic plan is key to keeping your employees happy and growing your business. One of our clients, Madison Development Corporation, noted that employees who can work from home when sick without using PTO are happier employees. See what else they said about us here.
5. Security and mobility tools. Information security is key for any organization. Hackers love small businesses that fail to protect their information. Further, as more employees work remotely, you need to ensure that security extends to personal devices that access your network from a distance.
6. Process improvement. Identify ways to streamline your business technology. Consider improving internal processes around IT. This means you need to document, automate where possible and ensure that your team receives adequate training.
These elements will flesh out your growth plan with the real technology considerations that you’ll face as you expand your organization.
The 7th Consideration – Who You’re Working With
We recommend working with an experienced, professional managed IT service provider like Applied Tech to ensure you have a strategic plan that includes business is adequately outfitted for growth. We work with you to match your business plan with the right solutions for your business and throttle according to your budget needs.
Unfortunately, not all IT providers are as attentive to their clients’ needs as they should be. Often, their recommendations are hinged on the expertise they have on staff. For example, they might not recommend moving to the cloud to reduce your server expenses because they lack the on-staff expertise to migrate your data to the cloud. Some IT providers are just making money when your technology breaks, instead of putting you on a preventative, proactive service plan. That leaves your organization more vulnerable and means that just about any “what-if” scenario can thwart your goals.
With Applied Tech, you not only receive expert IT strategy, service and support, you also gain a long-term partnership focused on helping you meet your business goals. Whether it’s building an IT plan for the first time, aligning your technology with your business plan or providing day-to-day support for your technology, Applied Tech helps you understand your goals, pain points and how to get from where you are to where you want to be.
Applied Tech’s ROADmap managed service model allows you to reduce the costs of maintaining your existing systems and applications, so you can focus on technology investments that truly support your business goals.
Contact us online below or by phone at 608.729.1300.