If your goal is to achieve business growth over the next year you will likely be combining a variety of strategies to ensure this success. Your IT strategy should not be overlooked! During your business growth your operational processes, marketing techniques and team structure will change during this time. IT is frequently an area that is overlooked when planning for growth, so it is imperative that you have a strong IT strategy in place to help your business evolve.
Below are a few reasons how your IT strategy could be preventing your business growth:
Your systems are out of date and need upgrading to be inline with the latest technology.
Businesses often adopt an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach when it comes to IT. It can often be thought of as a hassle to upgrade software or replace old hardware, in reality though, if a system is several years old it is already reducing the effectiveness of your business.
Businesses shouldn’t wait for their IT systems to fall behind or break but have a plan in place to manage software upgrades and hardware replacements. Often businesses will notice that an upgraded IT system will pay for itself very quickly, teams become more effective and productive and your downtime will be kept to an absolute minimum.
Your business isn’t fully understood by your IT team.
Is your IT department, whether in-house or outsourced, fully aware of how your business runs and the exact requirements that are needed from the IT department and software/hardware. Your IT department should be an integral part of your business – they should be providing updates on the latest technology advances and innovations and how your business can take advantage of these keeping your business at the forefront of your industry – your IT strategy needs to be created with the involvement of this department.
Making your business processes fit the capabilities of your IT systems
Have you ever found that you have failed to deliver a significant business benefit because your IT systems can’t support your new way of undertaking things? You shouldn’t have to bend to fit your IT systems – your IT strategy should be supporting your business! Remember, the initial cost to develop a system may not have been expected but to support your business and achieve your goals these systems need to be in place to ensure you fulfil your potential for growth.
IT issues and costs are increasing
Increases in IT system issues and costs are usually because your IT infrastructure is failing. Systems will begin to go slow over a period of time as hardware and software becomes outdated. So, if you are planning growth it makes sense to consider an upgrade programme.
Duplicated effort between teams
As a business grows it is natural for IT systems to evolve and as they do it could be that you have several systems doing similar things. You could find that some of your teams are duplicating work load by inputting similar data, for example your marketing team and customer service teams could be maintaining two separate databases, your sales team and your accounts team could be inputting the same data – this can get very confusing so it’s best to have a system I’m place that works for each department without any duplication. Meaning your teams effectiveness will increase.
Staff are unclear about their responsibilities
Sometimes there can be confusion with staff and departments as to who is doing what by when and how, sometimes key tasks get missed because no-one is taking ownership of the responsibility. Having a good collaboration system in place can and will make a significant difference to your business growth.
Microsoft Teams can bring clarity and transparency to your business and allow teams/individuals to to see what actions need completing, along with clear deadlines, and responsibilities.
The above are just a few examples of IT issues that may be effecting your business growth – to ensure the best possible opportunity for you and your business to grow we recommend the following steps be in place, allowing you to move forward effectively:
- Review your IT strategy
- Consult your IT team or find the right managed IT company to work with
- Always track your journey and ensure the process is running smoothly with your IT supporting every team
- Ensure you have ‘best practice’ in place
- Review, review, review!!