If you’re a small business that has managed to survive the initial few years, the best thing you can do now is to plan for the next stage of your business cycle.
When you think about planning ahead what do you usually think of? Finances? HR? Processes?
But how often do you think of the technology investments that you can make that will help your business meet its’ needs as it scales up?
To match your growth and technology goals, you can begin by looking at your overall business strategy.
Where do you plan to be in the next 3 – 5 years?
Where do you plan to be in the next 10 years?
How will technology play a role in this growth?
By planning your technology requirements for the next stage of your growth, you will be better able to utilise the technology to its full capacity and possibly be in a better financial position in the long run.
Create A Technology Roadmap
A roadmap is a strategic plan that describes the steps your business will take to achieve the stated outcomes and goals. It clearly outlines links among tasks that will need to be taken to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.
An effective roadmap also includes needs to take to achieve stated outcomes and goals. It clearly outlines links among tasks and priorities for action in the near, medium and long term. To create a technology roadmap, you should consider what you wish to achieve as a business in the future and then plan what types of technology you will invest in.
Consider Your Needs
In planning your technological roadmap, something that businesses often forget is that they don’t always need the biggest and fanciest pieces of technology.
So at Correct Solutions, we always advise that before taking on a serious investment, it’s best to consider if it fits in with your current and longer term business goals.
When you decide to invest in software or cloud based services, it is usually possible to upscale as it is required. Therefore, with cloud systems, it’s not usually necessary to upgrade until you actually need the higher service.
Similarly, with hardware, if your required capabilities will increase in the near future, you can plan ahead and purchase one grade higher in anticipation.
Ask yourself (and your trusted IT advisor) if the large-scale investment is the most efficient way to achieve your goals. Many IT initiatives have the potential to fail in meeting business objectives due to lack of planning and strategic direction.
Uniformity in Hardware
As your business begins to grow, so too will your staff size. When you purchase hardware for your staff, it is always cost effective to purchase in bulk.
Therefore, it is helpful to have some level of uniformity in your hardware.
Not only will it potentially save money by allowing you to make orders in bulk, but it will also help you in terms of compatibility across various systems.
Of course, once you decide to go ahead with a project that aligns with your company’s future strategy, you need to then begin the whole process of decision making. You’ll need to designate a person within your organisation who best understands your business goals and plans to meet with your IT advisor so that together they can analyse the costs and benefits of various initiatives and then begin creating the technology roadmap.
While there is no bullet-proof way to guarantee that your IT investments will pay off, the best thing you can do as a growing business is to match your technology investments to your growth plans.
In our next blog, we’ll give you 5 tips to starting your technology roadmap/