Put Your IT Systems to Work with a Business Technology Strategy

By Stephanie Hurd

Computers, Printers, Phone Systems, Oh My!

You know your business depends on technology for day-to-day operations, but do you know the impact it has on things like employee retention, customer experience, and overall growth potential?

Do you know how much you stand to lose if your technology systems fail – or worse yet – would your business even survive a major outage for any length of time?

Technology is a major factor in your ability to grow your business and must be planned for strategically.

Fixing Computers When They Break Is Not an IT Strategy

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Fixing is reactive and doesn’t allow you to proactively plan for your technology investments. A more strategic approach helps to ensure you’re making investments in technology that contribute to the success of your business.

  • Technology, like any tool, is only as good as its fit for the job. Fixing your chainsaw isn’t the best investment if what you really need is a nail gun. A sound IT strategy helps to determine when changes in your business and/or job functions dictate changes in your IT tools.
  • Fixing only allows you to maintain the status quo. Is your business the same as it was three years ago when you purchased that sluggish computer? If not, your investment may be better spent on new equipment better aligned with your business needs today and not three years ago.
  • Fixing doesn’t allow for lifecycle management. With an average lifespan of 3-5 years, computers and servers should be replaced as they approach end-of-life. A comprehensive IT strategy will track anticipated replacement dates and assist you in making educated decisions on investing in repair vs. replacement.

A Comprehensive IT Strategy Includes Everything, Even the Kitchen Sink.

Maybe not the kitchen sink itself – but potentially an overflow sensor. Every device that connects to your network should be both tactically and strategically addressed in your IT strategic plan.

Your Plan Should Address These Questions:

What devices connect to the network and what is their life expectancy?

Technology Strategy Diagram of IT Components

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This includes the obvious devices like computers, servers, and printers; but should also include your firewalls, routers, switches, phone, and security systems. Internet of Things (IoT) devices like a wi-fi enabled hot water heater or smart fridge should also be identified, as these items can sometimes introduce network security risks that you’ll want to address in your security and compliance plans. In addition to a basic list of devices, your inventory should include the purchase date, anticipated end of life date, as well as any warranty and support agreements.

How does the business use each device, and what happens when it’s not working?

Computers, for example, may be critical to your business every single day while a printer may be important to the business, but only critical on days when invoices are run. Your IT strategy should include plans for acceptable levels of maintenance and support for all critical devices and infrastructure. Your business loses money every minute, and in some cases every second, that a critical device is …read more

Read more here:: B2CMarketingInsider

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