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Around 42% of small business owners note that they don't use technology to its full capacity while 13% say they fail to use technology at all. The digital train has arrived at the station and it's time to hop on board!
The failure to utilize technology better is a missed opportunity for any small business owner. The main reason behind this is that owners either don't have time to focus on tech or don't have the skills to maintain it.
With an IT strategy in place, reaching your business goals is easier. Read on to learn the six major components of a good IT strategy.
To create an IT strategy, you'll need to define business and IT goals as they act as the foundation of the strategy. When you outline what it is that you want to accomplish, you can create a plan of action that allows you to do just that.
Start by working on a list of your business needs and how those needs can relate to technology. A few of the most common goals include minimizing vendors, individual systems, and technology integration requirements.
Your IT initiatives should do the following:
If the current technologies you own have proven to be bad investments, consider acquiring new tools as part of your strategy.
When you are using IT to reach goals, you have to look at the issues your current IT assets and capabilities are causing.
To get a good idea of what needs improving, evaluate your IT investments and break down each technological asset. You'll need to calculate your return on investment (ROI) for technology that you own.
Check how much you are currently spending on IT and decide if there is a more efficient way to spend your budget. Sacrificing your technology budget for another part of the business might be doing more harm than good.
If your technologies aren't working well together, get in touch with an IT expert to see if there are ways to consolidate your tech while improving it.
This is one of the more important components of a business IT strategy because it involves evaluating your current assets to identify pros and cons.
Now that you've evaluated your technology, you can decide if you are using it to its full potential. Ignoring the effective capabilities of technology is a waste as most assets can streamline, automate, and even bypass current business process steps.
The goal should be to find a way to maximize the use of your current technology through business processes. If your company has yet to update your processes based on technology, it might be causing inefficiencies.
You should have a team or IT person who can be held accountable for these systems. Outsourcing IT is the best option as someone in-house might have tasks elsewhere that require more of their time.
Hiring IT support can help your business reach its full potential when it comes to technology. This is especially important to consider if you have capable technology in the hands of employees who are not capable of managing it.
The fourth of the IT strategy components is identifying the gap between where you are with your current IT and where you want to be.
Once you determine your technological capabilities and how your staff is managing them, you can compare your findings to the goal you set in step one. Unless you are working with pros, you'll likely find gaps on both ends.
After identifying the gap, you can look for technology that supports your goals. Some of the most common tools for businesses include the following needs:
When you hire an IT company for your Ohio business, they can help match your goals to a piece of technology all within your budget.
The next part of your IT strategy will be to implement the changes that you need to see. By this point, you should have all of the information you need to know exactly what technology assets your business does and does not need.
When you hire IT experts, the implementation process is simplified. Not only will they install new tools for you, but they will have the expertise necessary to show you how it works.
Some IT companies offer training programs so that management won't have to teach staff about the new technology themselves. Plus, you'll have someone on call for any problems or for routine maintenance to keep your new assets up and running.
For businesses, it is recommended to roll out new changes every few weeks. A lot of new technological changes at once can cause your employees confusion and reduce productivity.
Although implementation might seem like the logical last step of an IT strategy, there is still work to be done once you implement new changes. Every action taken from your IT strategy will require performance monitoring.
This can help prove if your assets are as effective as you want them to be. It's not uncommon for everything to work in your favor, but sometimes a piece of technology will fail to meet your expectations.
With careful planning and the right IT team, you can avoid this issue. Meet with your IT team regularly to ensure the new solutions are addressing the necessary pain points.
Issues will arise so work with IT to create a risk management strategy and design a disaster plan for worst-case scenarios.
Without an It strategy in place, your business will blindly use technology that isn't quite working the way it should. When you build an IT strategy based on the components above, you'll have everything you need to benefit from technology.
To help implement changes and be there for when IT support is needed, it is best to invest in IT consulting and other services. When you outsource these jobs to the pros, you'll have an increase in productivity among your in-house staff.
To transform your business through smart and efficient IT solutions, contact us today.
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Next Level Technologies was founded to provide a better alternative to traditional computer repair and ‘break/fix’ services. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since 2009, the company has been helping it’s clients transform their organizations through smart, efficient, and surprisingly cost-effective IT solutions.