How to Avoid Common IT Investment Mistakes – IND Corp.
How to Avoid Common IT Investment Mistakes
Before you invest your time and money into a new IT system for your business, you can maximize your investment of time, talent and dollars by avoiding these common IT investment pitfalls.
No plan and no budget. Every business needs a technology roadmap to guide its investments, and to ensure that your IT systems support your business goals.
Your plan should include clearly defined business goals and what types of technologies will be needed to meet those goals. Talk to your employees about what roadblocks they face in their daily work and in reaching your goals. Evaluate how your company may change and grow in the future.
Next, develop a list of the specific IT systems that could be used to meet your goals. List their pros, cons, and total cost of ownership over a two, three or even five-year period. This is especially critical for any Cloud system because those monthly fees can really add up over time. It’s also critical to ensure that you understand how a new system will integrate with your current IT systems.
Finally, take the time for product demonstrations – and to use the product if you can, even for a short while – as well as speak with references.
Newest is not always the best. Everyone loves those new shiny gizmo’s, right? There are so many new options on the market right now—with a continually expanding list of Cloud, mobile, and on-site solutions.
It’s vital that you avoid the temptation to go after the newest technology rather than the technology that best fits your company’s needs. New technologies, while fun and interesting, are also untested and are much more prone to security issues than established, main-market systems.
Using old systems for too long. It’s a common misconception that using the technology that you already have costs less than investing in modern, main-market technology, even if your existing IT systems are 5+ years old.
Why is this a misconception? Think about the time your employees waste using old computers or antiquated systems: the older the computer, the long it takes your employee to use it. Every task takes longer, from starting the computer to using programs on it. Old computers also are more prone to hardware failures, causing unplanned downtime. All of that wasted time – and your money – is compounded by the number of employees who are forced to work on old systems.
Here’s another way to think about it: Consider the average cost of your employees in relation to the cost of getting a new computer every three years for them. Don’t limit your employee’s productivity – and your profitability – with old IT systems.
Your team doesn’t need formal IT training or support. Even the most IT-savvy crew needs training and support when new systems are put into place. Why risk your IT investment and hope that when questions arise and something goes wrong, your employees will know what to do?
Employee training should be part of any new IT implementation, and timely support from experienced IT professionals is key to keeping your employees productive and your business profitable.
Most businesses with more than 10 employees are best served by a fixed-cost IT support and consulting service. A good fixed-cost IT support firm acts like an insurance plan for your business – no matter how much time is needed to take care of your IT assets and employees, it’s all included in the fixed monthly fee.
A good IT partner will be able to help you with selecting and implementing the IT systems that are the best fit for your business, and will also perform pro-active maintenance for your systems to ensure they run as smooth as possible for years to come, maximizing your ROI – and your bottom line.