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Assessing Your IT Future

by Dave Moorman

Given the state of the economy in the past few years, many small and medium businesses (SMBs) have taken a “wait and see” approach to IT spending. While this attitude is understandable, it positions companies to become reactive rather than proactive.

The reality of IT is that things break; they fail; they become outdated. Companies that don’t have a solid IT plan to address at least the core replacement cycle risk lowering productivity and/or making unplanned IT expenditures that do not fit into their overall strategic business goals. Beyond basic needs, companies also need a strategic vision for using IT, not simply to enable their business (or worse, just prop it up), but rather to drive its future success.

If your company has a strategic IT vision and is implementing it, then I congratulate you. If not, I urge you to allocate time, early in 2014, for IT assessments and planning. Commit—right now—not to spend another unplanned dime on technology.

Whether you are a business owner or an IT executive, take concrete steps to make this happen. First, ask company personnel to submit a list of IT equipment and tools they think would invigorate their productivity in 2014. Ask them to persuade you with a compelling explanation of why they need these enhancements and how they can benefit the company’s success.

Then, sit down with executive management and other IT staff or your services provider and consider such important issues as:

  • Business processes (how can IT better help you do what you do)
  • Content management (how can IT improve the way you store, access and share documents and knowledge in your company)
  • Infrastructure requirements (what is the IT foundation on which the business runs and how does it need to evolve over time)
  • Security (what IT changes will enable you to better protect and defend the business and its intellectual assets from theft, damage or loss from inside or outside forces)
  • Workflow requirements (how can IT tie everything together so that work moves smoothly from one process to the next with appropriate oversight and management)

Armed with this information and other insights you will gain along the way, you and your associates can develop an IT plan and budget. Only then should you consider the 2014 purchase cycle.

For companies that have not previously developed and implemented a strategic IT plan, this can be a tall order, but it’s a crucial one. At DynaSis, we strongly urge our customers not to embark on any IT program without an up-to-date IT plan. If a firm is uncertain how to implement its plan without blowing the budget, we ask them to pinpoint the most important of three core benefits (reduce costs; minimize risk; increase productivity) IT can provide and to focus on plan items that will accomplish that goal, first.

For companies that don’t have a plan and don’t know where to start, we provide numerous assessment tools and techniques that can help them develop a plan and make these decisions. If you would like us to help you assess and plan your IT future give us a shout!

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