Are you spending too much of your valuable time and money on technology with no idea on what value your business is getting out of it? Do you have plans to make better use of technology in your business, but just don’t know where to start or how to make sure you are getting value for money?
The rules that apply for managing your business also apply for managing your technology (IT). You should have an IT Strategy that tells you how you plan to use technology to meet the goals of your business. Without an IT Strategy, including a plan for how you will implement it, you cannot tell how well you are doing or what the most important thing is for you to do next. Your IT Strategy should also highlight your IT goals, and all good goals should be measurable. I hear you saying, all this is well and good, and major corporations can afford to hire the people and purchase the tools that can make this happen, but what can I do as a small business owner so that I am not left behind?
The tools to monitor and measure your IT environment are now available at a cost effective price for small business. In fact, most processes once only the domain of major corporations are now available to small business. Almost any area of IT can be outsourced at a price accessible by small businesses. The key is to know where to look. I would suggest looking for another small business like yourself that has invested in the required infrastructure to provide the required IT services. They should then have a vested interest in you success and will understand the pressures that you are under.
But where do you start? If you are not sure where to start then I suggest you call in some help. It is not necessary to hire someone full time. Keep it simple and just hire someone to help you with the getting started and steering you in the right direction. With the corporate environment of recent years I am sure you will be able to find someone out there willing to provide the desired services at a reasonable rate.
The important thing is not to keep putting it off. IT used correctly could be helping your competitors jump ahead. IT not used correctly could be costing you for little gain. Start with a simple IT strategy now that fits with you business plans and allow it grow as you business dictates.