Alright it is the beginning of a new year. Everyone is talking goals and making plans for how they are going to succeed in the new year. Many businesses are working on KPI’s which will be the benchmarks they look to for success in the new year. You should be talking about strategic planning for technology as well. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when making your technology plan.
Let’s start by taking stock of where things are at right now. Is everything working like you hope? Is there anything urgent that is currently broken or needs to be addressed? Do the current solutions you have in place meet your needs? Could additional integrations facilitate a better workflow and save you time? Are your users able to work from home effectively? Can you easily get access to your data from anywhere?
These types of questions can spur discussion and help you to find areas of focus for the new year. If there are gaps in the current solution that you want to address put them on the agenda to start discussing potential solutions.
Another thing that can help in your planning is to look back at this last year. Were there any recurring problems that need to be solved? Did you see any patterns in the trouble tickets that were worked on? i.t.NOW meets regularly with its clients and reviews past incidents specifically looking for trends. This allows us to quash reoccurring issues and put our clients on a path to continuous improvement.
If your current solution doesn’t give you reporting where you can easily have visibility into past issues and trends, that might be something worth addressing in the new year. It’s a key step to putting a path to continuous improvement in place.
When doing strategic planning for technology, it’s also a good idea to consider what technology needs you will have coming up in the new year. Do you have plans for expansion of the business? New locations? Will folks be working from home that have not been? Do you have solutions in place for them?
Are there major software upgrades that need to happen in the next year? Do you have hardware that is out of date and needs to be refreshed? Are there any operating systems you’re currently using that will be going end of life and need to be upgraded? If this is the case, how will that effect your current software stack?
If you’ve identified more needs for flexibility to work from home, how will you address those needs? Will that necessitate moving some of the applications you currently use for your business to a cloud-based version? Is there a business case for making that kind of move? Do you need to look at custom cloud hosting options?
Taking a few minutes to discuss the upcoming technology needs is important. Planning can help you save money. It can also make for much smoother technology transitions, which saves you from downtime and lost productivity.
Plan of Action
Once you’ve taken the time to review your current situation, look at the past, and look forward, you’re ready to decide on a plan of action. This should incorporate any problems that need solved, plans to improve efficiency of existing systems, upcoming business needs, and proactive upgrade planning.
Once you have a basic plan and timeline sketched out you can put together a budget for IT that is reasonable and include it in your business finances. Taking the time to plan and allocate the necessary funds will save you both time and money and allow you to have a better technology experience.
Keep it Simple
Strategic planning for technology can be overwhelming. This is particularly true if you’re not an IT engineer, or if you don’t have one on staff. The key is to keep it simple. Identify the key problems and objectives you’re trying to solve and focus on those. Take things a step at a time.
If you get stuck there are always folks like the pros at i.t.NOW that stand ready to help. We can look at your current environment and talk about your business needs in plain English. Sometimes a quick discussion of your needs and an expert that asks the right questions can help you get on the right track. Call us today for help with your 2021 technology plan!