The need for an IT strategy

Love it or hate it, it's a fact - businesses depend on computers, software, connectivity and adequate training to get the best out of the systems that underpin the day to day running of companies.

Particularly when companies grow, they are at their most vulnerable with IT as typically, more is added without thought of the problems that are likely to arise. Software and additional computers are added and systems grow organically - until something goes wrong and then, your business can grind to a halt very quickly indeed because you have been focussing on growing your business and depended too much on the fact that everything was working fine.

It's easy to forget that we use IT to manage our customers, their expectations and order fulfilment. When we think about IT - (and let's face it most of the time we don't because things are working fine) the first image that might come to mind is computers but in reality, that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Let's expand on that for a moment! What are the things we actually use and how do we share and store information?

  • Stand alone Computers and Laptops
  • Networks - client server or peer to peer
  • Cloud computing
  • Software Licencing
  • Managing a network
  • Data security and protection
  • Offsite backups and restore procedures
  • Mobile Phones and PDAs
  • Email
  • Order fulfilment
  • Customer communication
  • Shared applications
  • Broadband connectivity

The list of areas can go on - but what happens when something goes wrong?

Technology is pretty reliable nowadays - People are generally the problem! Why do you pay for a service or maintenance support contract when things are working fine? Well, usually, it is because you have such a contract in place that things are working fine and when something goes wrong, help should only be a phone call away rather than you needing to get your sleeves rolled up to deal with something that is not your job and is taking you away from what you really need to be doing.

People need to be guided with IT so a vitally important part of your strategy is having recognised Policies in place. Ideally as a minimum, you should have policies that cover:

  • IT usage
  • Email usage and data security
  • Internet usage
  • Backup and restore
  • Training
  • Security - taking work offsite
  • Home working - remote connectivity
  • Upgrade and replacement

Without policies in place, you as the employer are responsible for things that go wrong in your company. You can't blame an employee for taking any initiative when there is no guidance or control in place.

Things can escalate out of control even more when you have had a well developed and marketed website put in place. When success comes (and there is no time limit put on this) how will your systems and people cope? Should you have integtated your sales processes directly into your IT system i.e. Accounts or CRM? Have you now created double or triple the workload for your staff due to a lack of foresight?

If you need to know more, please contact us to discuss your requirements - before things get out of hand.