Investing in IT systems is pretty much a given for modern businesses. However, it’s not as simple as looking in a catalog and choosing something that looks nice – you need to take a slow and steady approach before you line up a system that matches your direct business needs. Let’s take a look at some of the critical questions you should ask yourself before spending a cent on new IT.
Is it necessary?
We live in a world where there are a bewildering amount of technologies to invest in if we wanted to. But this enormous amount of choice can often lead to bad decisions. It’s important to remind yourself that technology is there for one reason only – to make things easier for our business.
So, unless you can identify clear improvements in productivity, efficiency, growth or any other business-critical reason, the likelihood is a new IT system will not be worth the time or money.
Is it easy?
As we mentioned above, technology should make your life easier. So, while you might, in theory, be able to invest in something that should give you massive productivity gains or build consumer trust, the tech has to be simple enough for people to use it. Over complicated systems that promise the earth but take an age to set up, use, maintain, and update will often lead to loss of time, not productivity improvements.
Who is going to run it?
It’s all well and good saying you will invest in IT equipment – but who will look after it for you? Unless you are an IT security expert as well as a successful entrepreneur, you will need help. DRaaS for businesses and tech-heavy workplaces are an option, of course.
And, you should also consider building up an in-house IT team to look after your systems. Ultimately, the choice is down to you, but it’s one that you need to cost, consider, and measure to ensure you make the right choice for your company.
What are the risks?
Never, ever, embrace a new IT system without knowing about the risks involved. The threats from cyber criminals and hackers have never been higher than they are today, and your business will be in danger. It is vital that you have the right knowledge of those risks if you want to avoid severe disruption and a lot of damage being caused to your company.
And, while hiring a third party IT service to deal with security can help, it’s also important to understand that you need to invest in training – for yourself, and your employees.
How will this benefit the business?
There are many ways that tech systems can help your business. But you must have an idea and focus on what those benefits will be. It is vital for you and your board to discuss the reasons why investment is necessary, and how it will help you compete, grow, and take on the new tech.
Frank conversations are required, and unless you have valid reasons that match your business needs, it’s always best to hold off on making a decision until everyone is on board.