Do You Have an IT Strategy?
Do you have an IT strategy, or are you just playing whack-a-mole?
When it comes to your IT, are you proactive or reactive?
Do you make your purchasing decisions in the context of an overall business strategy, or do you make them as and when problems arise?
Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that at least 80% you are doing the latter. And that means you’re playing the IT equivalent of whack-a-mole!
10 PERCENT OR LESS
According to a study by accounting firm HLB Mann Judd, only 1 in 5 of the 60,000 medium businesses has a formal business plan. With that being the case, I wonder how many small businesses have one.
1 in 10?
And given that most business owners understand their business far better than they do their IT, it’s reasonable to assume that properly formulated IT strategies and plans are going to be pretty thin on the ground.
That means that most of you haven’t given any real thought as to how technology can be leveraged to help shape your business. This is hardly ideal and certainly not what one would call best practice, especially in light of the revolution in technology.
SET AND FORGET
While many of you will be almost haphazardly buying software and hardware whenever you get the urge, a significant number will be “set-and-forgetters”. They’re the guys and girls who bought something some a few years ago and have done little to nothing beyond the superficial since then.
And that’s number 3 on my list of things that you should never do with your IT.
Well, the simple answer is that markets, competitors and most importantly, technology, are continuing to evolve at break neck speed. So, while you’re dithering, The Joneses, the ones you’re supposed to keep up with, are forging ahead.
ODD ONE OUT
There’s something a little odd or peculiar about business leaders failing to take a strategic approach to their IT purchasing. If I were talking about manufacturing equipment, staff, finance or marketing, to name but a few, you wouldn’t spend the money unless you had a business case to back it up and it was part of your overall business plan.
So why then would you spend many thousands of dollars annually on IT without having the same level of understanding of its benefits, purpose, and how it will help your organisation?
And yet here we are. Hundreds of thousands of businesses throwing money at something they don’t know much about and with no real plan. And that’s doubly wasteful. Not only are they frittering away their hard-earned cash, but they’re also failing to capitalize on other opportunities.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Your IT strategy does not need to be complicated, and it certainly doesn’t need much by way of technical detail. But it does need to align with your business and marketing goals. This is because technology is an enabler. And its purpose is to help your business run efficiently and to communicate effectively with its customers.
So make the time, sooner rather than later, to review my five principles of IT and make sure that you’re IT is addressing the many needs of your business.
If it’s not, it could be costing you tens of thousands of dollars in profit every year.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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