You need IT to run your business effectively, efficiently and competitively. You already know that. You are also probably well aware that simply running a server and equipping your employees with a PC, smartphone and/or tablet is no longer enough in today's increasingly challenging digital world. Therefore, you are well aware that you need an IT strategy. In fact, you may even have one in place. But the crux of the matter is: do you use it?
Why do you need a Strategic IT Roadmap?
Smart small and medium sized business owners and managers know that their organization needs an IT strategy. Bigger businesses like Paychex know how important IT is and that is why they have a CIO position in place who manages to a strategic IT roadmap to drive that business forward. But shockingly few small and medium business owners are taking advantage of this crucial facet of business management. And the reason for that is while the good intentions are there, many SMBs suffer from a lack of understanding of how to successfully communicate the value of technology across their organization.
At the heart of your IT strategy is the need for an IT manager to communicate effectively, and in a lot of cases this is just not happening. In fact an IT strategy that is poorly communicated and therefore lying dormant is in some ways even worse than having no strategy - just think of the hundreds or thousands of dollars that have been wasted in its planning and execution. In addition to this, there are countless small enterprises who don't employ an IT manager in the first place. And without being dismissive, how many break/fix or regular IT support guys have you met in Rochester or Buffalo that would know how to develop such a plan and then implement a successful IT strategy that empowers business growth, helps contain costs, and streamlines processes? Not that many, we're willing to bet.
What is involved in a Strategic IT Plan?
So, in an ideal world, what should your business technology strategy be doing for you? At its very core, the perfect IT strategy should be drawing a clear line that connects your technology and the meeting of your company's goals. At Capstone IT we believe there are three vital aspects to this. Let’s take a closer look.
Running a business, at least a successful one, without any kind of plan is like trying to navigate the Atlantic Ocean in a rowing boat without a map or a compass. Dated reference? Okay, without GPS. The likelihood is that, when you decided to start your company, you didn't just show up at the bank and ask for a substantial business loan (and if you did you were probably laughed out of the building...) No, you presented a well thought out strategy that encompassed targets, projections, market research, costs and so forth. The same applies to your technology - winging it simply doesn't work. At least not if you want to stand a chance of surviving and prospering.
You know as well as we do that technology ain't cheap! And if you're blindly purchasing new computers, servers and other equipment and software without any clear goals in mind, you're pretty much throwing money down the drain. Your technology MUST meet your needs - simple as that. At Capstone IT we've met countless small and medium sized businesses in Rochester and Buffalo who have blown their budgets on unnecessary equipment and the wrong softwares just because it was being touted as 'the latest must have’' - or because an IT guy with no experience in business strategy recommended it.
Another issue faced by SMBs everywhere (not just in Western NY) is that to the uninitiated, technology can be a minefield of data, specs, part numbers and utterly confusing jargon. How do you know whether the new PCs or Macs you're forking out for actually meet the needs of your users or your enterprise? How do you know when you should be looking into a server upgrade? Do the benefits of changing over from your old analog phone system to a VoIP one apply to you? Does Office 365 finally allow for your remote sales people to connect to the company as one? This is when expert advice becomes truly invaluable, saving you time and money wasted on unnecessary equipment and software (and migraine remedies.).
How do you get started?
All business strategies, not just technology ones, need to start with a deep understanding of your organization's vision, mission, goals and values. Think of your strategies as a path to achieving those goals. Not only that but they need to be applied, communicated, shared and understood by all of your employees - not just the techie ones. An IT strategy also needs to evolve as your business grows and it must be measurable. All well and good you say, but how do you go about achieving all this? How do you even get started? After all, being on the inside can make it hard to see the forest for the trees, as the old saying goes.
Working with an IT strategy expert in Buffalo and Rochester NY
At Capstone IT we have proven success working with clients of all sizes throughout Western NY. We get to know their business inside and out which allows us to define goals, assess budgets, draw up an executive summary, design a strategic IT roadmap, and finally implement a flexible and future-proofed IT strategy that propels them towards future success.
Like it or not, technology is playing an ever increasing role in the spotlight, and even the smallest of businesses will find it more and more difficult to thrive, even survive, without it. The key to ensuring your IT consistently meets your needs and helps you meet your expectations is a business IT strategy. And the key to developing a successful IT strategy is to work with an expert who knows how to design, implement and communicate one.
At Capstone IT, clients leverage our services to focus 100% of their attention to growing their business while we focus on consistently advancing and supporting their systems to meet their growth goals and uptime requirements. Our clients include hundreds of small and mid-size businesses in Rochester, Buffalo and the surrounding Western NY area. Want more knowledge? Download our Free eBooks and get answers to the most common security and technology questions. You can also get in touch with one of our technical specialists by calling 585-546-4120 or visiting www.capstoneitinc.com.