Small and midsized organizations need all the help they can get to navigate and survive the cutthroat business environment. If 2018 was a good year for you, 2019 can be better if you take the time to make some resolutions as far as your IT department is concerned. After all, resolutions allow small businesses to ensure their company always stays one step ahead of the competition and stay progressive within their respective industries. Last year witnessed several key developments in the way companies utilized different technologies. Thus, in 2019, it is possible to tackle such developments head-on by bringing them into the day-to-day operations of your business. Check out the list of important IT strategies for your business this year:
Reduce your IT expenses
You must bring down IT costs if you wish to maximize your business profits. Believe it or not, but many SMBs waste money in various areas and build up cost inefficiencies over time. Take some time to evaluate your outgoings and incomings, and find out how much you’re spending on IT. Check whether you are purchasing services or products your business does not require or paying too high a cost for some.
Inquire about better offers from your supplier and negotiate low-cost deals. Otherwise, you can always look for a new supplier. Request employees to offer useful cost-cutting suggestions and reward them for the same. Also, figure out if your business is using the available technology at its full cost-saving potential.
Remember, you stand to save a lot on IT utilities like broadband and telecom services, so hunt for the best deals in the market. By the end of the year, you should see a healthy growth in your finances. To prevent overspending, set budgetary limits and maintain them. Implement quarterly cost reviews to avoid recurring cost inefficiencies.
Foster a strong culture of cybersecurity
Your business needs must be secure to survive in the long run, especially since breaches do serious harm to organizations. So, it’s a wise idea to start shoring up defenses. Sure, security tools, strategies, and software are instrumental in creating strong defenses. But you should not underestimate the significance of establishing a culture where every department and employee in your company feel fully responsible for maintaining cybersecurity.
With more SMBs moving to software-defined systems, new threats are making their presence known. While a few of them are tech-based, most involve some degree of human element. The majority of attacks center on behavioral and social engineering, like spoofing or phishing. Your best course of action against such attacks involves encouraging a strong culture of cybersecurity. Ensure your employees feel comfortable while participating in this trend.
Shed the excess weight
Get ready for a leaner company by eliminating areas of IT operation that underperform. It could be a reduction in the number of employees or a scaling back of their work hours. When you keep your IT staff under control, you toe the fine line between profitability and loss.
Start reviewing your IT resources and pinpointing areas that require improvement. Even though you’ve developed a rapport with some IT vendors, it doesn’t hurt to assess their prices and see whether you can reduce your cost structure by doing business with their competitors.
Bridge the gap between IT and business
IT departments and their business counterparts should not distance themselves from one another; they need to understand the needs and capabilities of one another to implement the most efficient and low-cost tools. Business must understand IT and vice versa. Only when IT understands what business is doing will it be able to provide improved support.
IT teams, especially, can benefit from this collaboration by determining the differences between needs and wants, which often inform investment. The stronger the relationship between IT and business, the fewer discrepancies there will be and both teams can forge a direct, clean path forward in IT investment.
Start going digital
Next up on the IT strategies bucket list is organization and digitization. SMBs can reduce considerable amounts of office clutter by uploading documents and files on a cloud service. Not only does this improve accountability, flexibility, and accessibility, but it also increases the likelihood of work-from-home opportunities for both business owners and employees.
When you adopt this type of forward-thinking structure in your business, you are bound to experience business growth. After all, it’s 2019 and your business should take the logical step forward by going paperless. This will not just save time, but you will save money and avert costly flubs as well.
Make value your focus, not technology
Most companies commit the blunder of treating IT as a cost center rather than a site of innovation. But instead of treating the department as overhead, they need to invest in IT and related infrastructure with the intention of deriving value. This means they should not only focus on how to get by with minimum investment but also derive maximum value from the investment.
For SMBs, especially, it is rather tempting to opt for the cheapest option when choosing new IT services or costs. But more often than not, the least expensive option hardly offers any bang for your buck. Usually, companies focus on cost-cutting at the expense of rework and waste. But they should focus more on cost removal and maximizing the value of each dollar spent.
Go ahead with IT innovation
Don’t stick with the same age-old IT systems unless you want your business to comprise of legacy and antiquated systems. Seek out emerging tech to stay on the leading edge and avoid unnecessary investments. Innovate thoughtfully and carefully, taking fewer risks along the way without giving systems a chance to stagnate or run out of control. Try leveraging new tech in new ways and avoid past mistakes.
Choose the right IT strategies
Many companies adopt unrealistic IT strategies only to end up failing after some time. But having a well-produced, regularly updated plan for your IT strategies enables your business to develop a long-term game plan — one that ensures your business is on the fast track to success.
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