Technology. Love it or hate it, it’s a necessary part of business today. Some business owners feel investing in technology is a waste of funds. Others think technology works well for other business owners, but can’t make it work for them. Here’s a list of the top 10 mistakes business owners make that leads to the cost of inefficient IT adding up. Read it and avoid the same pitfalls.
1. Is IT a part of your strategic business plan? If not, why not?
If not, your company will be unnecessarily challenged in meeting strategic goals.Technology is complicated, confusing and intimidating, but also closely tied to the success of an ever increasing number of businesses in today’s marketplace. All you need is a good IT Advisor to work with you, make recommendations based on your goals, and deploy those recommendations on time and on budget. Don’t think it’s important? Well let’s review that for a moment.
If you haven’t thought about just how important a regular IT audit & review is for your company, you’re leaving too much up to chance. IT is an integral part of your business. Give it the appropriate focus, budget and consideration and see how it can add value to the overall strategic plan.2. Does your technology match your business plan or did you try to make your business plan fit with whatever technology you had?
If your growth strategy requires a team of independently operating sales reps, make sure your IT supports that in the most cost and time efficient way possible. If your work flow is more of a process that must go from person A to person B to person C, then your IT design should match your work flow. If it doesn’t, it’s costing you time and money.
Don’t make the mistake of making your business strategy fit into your existing IT set up. That could be a devastating move for your business. With the help of a trusted IT Advisor, you can find and implement solutions that support your business needs, add value to your company and simplify daily operations for your entire team.
3. Is Your Technology Secure?
And just plain ol’ we hack for the fun of it hackers Your technology should be secure. Many businesses under invest in this area and too many come to regret it. One unfortunate incident can prove to severely outweigh the cost of investing in appropriate security.4. Are You Under Utilizing Technology In Your Business?
Have you purchased the right amount of technology or power for your needs? Are your processors slowing down your team? Is your server scalable? Do you continue to invest in an antiquated model when the cost/benefit ratio for a new system makes fiscal sense. Technology is an investment and can give your company a considerable competitive edge. Don’t overspend on unnecessary technology just because you are enamoured with “toys” – yes, this is the case with some rare folks. But do strike the correct balance that will give your business the IT power it needs to excel forward.
5. You bought what? How are you planning on using that technology?
You might be surprised to learn that there are cases of business owners purchasing technology and then never using it. It usually results from an impulse buy or a “sale” purchase. If your technology purchase was not part of strategic business plan, it may not fit in. If your technology purchase was the result of a sale, it may be the wrong technology. Even if it is the right piece of equipment or software, simply purchasing it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have thought enough about how to:
Don’t be frivolous with IT purchases. Work with your IT Consultant to make planned purchases and implementations.6. Don’t Get “Sold”
If you go out shopping for IT, or give most IT “departments” a budget, I assure you they will find something to spend it on. It may not be what your business needs, but they already have a “new”, “exciting” or “cutting edge” solution that they have been drooling over and dying to work with. Is it what best suits your needs? Maybe. Maybe not. Will it be the simplest most effective solution for your needs, and easy enough for all you employees to use? Are you sure about that?
It comes down to this: You don’t want business processes to fit in to your technology. You want the right technology to support your business processes in the most efficient way possible. An independent IT Consultant who won’t gain financially from a purchase recommendation is a wise choice here. Such an IT Advisor won’t “sell” you anything, but will help you navigate your options and purchase the IT you need.
7. Failing To Outsource
There comes a time in every new business when the cost benefit of managing your IT yourself diminishes to the point of no return. At that time, outsourcing might just be the sensible option. In mid size companies, outsourcing or having an IT firm on call as needed helps balance costs and necessary IT support. In a large company, outsourcing can significantly reduce the IT budget with Service Level Agreements.
Service Level Agreements are suitable for many companies, giving them a fixed cost for enough IT service to efficiently run their business. The best part is that Service Level Agreements cost a fraction of a full time IT employee. Be sure to explore this option thoroughly. Unless technology is your core service or product, your needs may best be served by an independent IT firm and a good Service Level Agreement.
8. Failing To Plan for the Worst
Disaster recovery is a term often used for cleaning up after a hurricane, tsunami or data loss. Albeit in different ways, all incidences are considered a disaster for those involved.