One of the things we see is that some companies only think of their IT infrastructure as an expense. What they are missing is how their IT infrastructure can be part of their strategic advantage. Because when you make the right IT investments, you can increase productivity, reduce costs and keep your team happier.
Here are 4 steps to turn your IT infrastructure into a strategic advantage:
1) Look for leverage points to support business growth
Where are the bottlenecks in your business? From an operational standpoint, what could keep you from reaching your business goals for 2017? Once you understand these issues, you can look at how technology could create leverage points. For example, if growth using your current systems would require hiring a lot of new employees, how can you leverage technology to increase productivity?
This requires a very specific set of skills. So if you want some help finding those leverage points, consider CIO services — where an outside expert comes in to help map out processes and figure out how to best leverage technology.
2) Raise expectations of your IT team
Once you know how your IT infrastructure can support your business growth, you can turn those into goals for your IT team. You should hold them accountable for finding the right IT investments for your business. For example, if you are looking at a CRM system, don’t let your IT team simply present the top-of-the-line enterprise version that easily serves 10,000 employees. Your business could be fine with a solution that would allow you to comfortably grow to 250 employees. The key is to have your IT team recommend solutions that fit your business needs and goals.
3) Ensure you have the right technical skills
IT skills are not interchangeable. An IT professional who is good at providing helpdesk support may not have the right skills to upgrade your network. Having someone working outside of their core skills set can lead to unnecessary errors and downtime. In most cases, an outside expert can save you time and minimize potential downtime — saving you money in the long run.
4) Prioritize user uptime
User downtime is often not a high priority for IT teams, but it can be very expensive for a business. Knowledge workers often have little they can get done when their computer or internet connection is down. So, your IT team needs to focus on keeping users up and running. One good way to do this is to make it clear to the IT team that they will be measured on their performance of keeping users online. While this typically requires a mindset change for IT professionals, it is critical to keeping your whole team productive.
If you put some initial time into looking at how your IT infrastructure can support your business better in 2017, you can turn it into a strategic advantage.
Improving IT Infrastructure and Teams
Most businesses can benefit from having someone assess how their business systems and IT team can better support business goals. Skyriver IT helps businesses leverage technology to improve existing processes and ensure you have the right IT team supporting your business efficiently. If this would be of interest to you, then please contact us. We look forward to helping you build a better IT infrastructure and IT team to support your 2017 business goals.