The Importance Of IT
How important is your technology to your business? Is it something that you take for granted? Do you just assume that your computer will fire up when you get to your desk and turn it on of a morning? Is your technology working for you? Or against you?
Running a small business means that you need to be thinking about aspects that may not be your areas of expertise – especially for smaller businesses and those just starting out you need to juggle the core of what your business is about alongside the red tape, the accounts, the marketing, your emails, your website and your branding. But nothing will work if you don’t have your IT working.
There are a lot of business people who know a little about a lot of different things, but unless you are running a technology company or you are big enough to have your own IT department, there will come a time when you are ready to fling your computer/printer/telephone system out of the window. So how do you prevent technology getting the better of you and instead working better for you?
Your Business IT Strategy:
What Have You Got? Even if you are just starting out in business the chances are that you will already have some type of computer, possibly a printer, and a phone. If you are looking at growing your business when was the last time that you did a thorough inventory of your current technology? It is worth while you knowing what you already have and updating this information as you add to or get rid of both your hardware and your software.
What Do You Need? We don’t mean just because there is a new iPhone on the market…we mean what does your business need to operate smoothly and efficiently? It may be that once you have taken stock of all of your current business IT you feel that you don’t need anything more. But how much longer can you keep going with that painfully slow computer? Can you really keep your cool as your scanner chews up yet another important document? Do you need to still be carrying around a physical briefcase full of diaries, notebooks and documents or would it make life easier to have everything on your iPad?
What Will You Need? Technology is changing and evolving as often as we are breathing. No you can’t anticipate exactly what the future holds, but you will at least have an idea of where you want your business to be say in a year, or two, or five years down the road. What technology will help you towards your goals? Can your current set up cope, can it be upgraded? The buzz words at the moment are “cloud” and “mobile” – do you have security procedures to protect your data online? Is your website easy to view on a mobile phone? Do you have a policy for all members of your business regarding their laptops, tablets, social media activities?
What If It Fails? And it will – what if you lose internet? What if your emails go down, or your telephone systems? What if there is a power cut or your offices get flooded? What if your website gets hacked or there is an online campaign against your company whether justified or not? Do you have a disaster recovery plan for your business?
Who Can I Trust? There will come a time when you need to call for help with your businesses technology needs – this is an area of your business that you cannot do withoutÂ so who can you trust with looking after this integral aspect of your working life? Our best advice for this is to ask around – who do other companies use? Who has the working experience and knowledge to substantiate their marketing claims? We wrote an article way back that you may also find helpful here.
For some people technology can be a bit of a headache – but if you don’t give your businesses IT needs some serious thought it could become a total disaster.