3 Red Flags That IT Isn’t Working for Your Business
Whether your company is small or large, there’s little doubt that technology plays a critical role in driving efficiencies and supporting your business.
But is IT really working for you?
The alignment of your technology with your business is critical. It should work the way your users do, and help to facilitate and automate operations, streamline secure access from multiple end points, bolster your company’s growth, and keep your competitive edge sharp.
The bottom line is that technology should do more than just “work.” It should work for you.
The following red flags may be signals that your IT environment is working – but really isn’t helping your business.
1. Your IT budget line item makes you cringe
IT tends to have a perception issue when it comes to the value of its contributions. In fact, a majority of businesses in a ZDNet survey viewed their IT as focused on the basics (keeping the lights on rather than reaching more customers or growing the business).1
When it comes to securing IT budget dollars, demonstrating IT value can be difficult and a regular challenge for IT leaders in a world that continues to suppress IT spending – many times to the detriment of the business in terms of system performance and risk.
Cutting corners, though, as a result of budget constraints can cause problems. Skipping regular maintenance and updates, for instance can lead to security issues, or even downtime that can impact productivity and revenues. Resulting emergency fixes have the potential to eat up – and even exceed – an existing IT budget quickly. Another potential cost land mine? Aging hardware and software, which, according to the previously referenced Spiceworks budget report are driving increased spending on IT refreshes versus new projects this year.
Doing more with less is a balancing act in the IT environment. But having an understanding of the impacts as well as the opportunities involved can help you put your IT budget line item into perspective, and enable you to work proactively with your IT team to identify and prioritize IT tasks and projects in order to align your IT environment more effectively with your business.
2. You dread getting emails from your IT manager (because it means something’s wrong)
As we mentioned, tightening the belt on IT spending can have unexpected impacts on system performance, productivity, and even system security. A break-fix methodology makes budget planning unpredictable, causing financial strain and diverting budget dollars from mission-critical IT items such as refreshes and projects that are focused on growing the business.
If you’re running a small or mid-sized business with limited staff and budget dollars, supplementing your on-site IT environment – or outsourcing completely – with predictable and fixed-cost managed services and IT support programs may be viable alternatives that can help stabilize your IT costs. IT managed services such as proactive network monitoring can preempt downtime and performance issues, and allow you to save precious budget dollars for innovative technology projects that can differentiate your business from your competitors.
3. You haven’t had any strategic conversations with your IT department recently about how technologies like cloud can drive business forward
If yours is like many IT organizations, it’s all your existing IT staff can do to keep the lights on and stay on top of user help requests. Proactive and strategic planning, and even basics like maintenance easily fall to lower priorities for busy IT teams.
In addition, with today’s increasingly complex IT infrastructures, companies need IT expertise that covers a range of technologies and skills. If yours is a small company, you may not need – nor can afford – to retain a large full-time IT staff. Still, your requirements for technology are as critical as those of larger organizations.
A trusted IT services company often can provide the strategic guidance you need to put you on the path to a more streamlined and proactive IT environment that works for your business. IT companies have the advantage of working across many different industry verticals and client issues, ultimately contributing to a wealth of expertise. These companies typically have a ready bank of expertise across the spectrum of technologies, and can help you learn about and assess new technologies and delivery models in terms of the value to your specific business, compatibility with your existing IT infrastructure, and options for managed or cloud solutions that can help you do more with fewer resources.
Technology should support your business, not create obstacles or fear. It’s time to put your IT environment to work for you.
With more than two decades of experience, the iCorps IT consulting team is dedicated to delivering excellence to our customers by staying ahead of market trends and understanding new technologies that could impact their business. iCorps delivers superior IT outsourcing, IT support and technology solutions implemented by the best consultants in the Boston, Philadelphia and New York (NY) areas.