During the course of IT consultancy, we encounter clients who are frustrated by the way their IT infrastructure has failed to deliver on their expectations. A succession of poor IT investments which have never yielded the kind of returns desired. They approach us looking for leadership to rectify their historical failures and revolutionise their relationship with technology. When analysing the reasons for their previous failures there are some consistent themes which crop up time and time again.
Failing to prioritise IT
This is the most common mistake SME leaders make. Being so focused on growing their business their attention is absorbed by marketing, sales and other tangible growth departments, but very few consider allocating resources towards IT. They almost exclusively see IT as a cost centre and fail to place value on the benefits a sound IT strategy can bring to facilitate more rapid growth while mitigating many risks.
There are no magic bullets: the fastest, latest or ‘best’ technology is not a guarantee of success
The next most common issue, which is in contrast to the first issue above of failing to prioritise. The opposite of chronic lack of investment is an expectation that throwing money at a problem will somehow magically fix it or improve it. Most SMEs recognise the key role that technology plays in the success of their business. But they can sometimes get carried away and invest without a strategic high level plan or goal. They are lured in by the latest IT trends without considering if it fits their needs well, or if they really need it at all. instead of the scattergun approach, a better solution is a long term, strategic and targeted plan, focusing on identified areas with deliverable solutions of benefit.
Get staff on board early and bring them with you all the way
Implementing new technology, systems, procedures or even new IT policies, it is your team that needs to use it or work within it each day. If your team are not on board with new changes or new systems with you, then your tech investment is unlikely to succeed. Consideration for all users and departments at the early stages of strategic planning is greatly beneficial. So, before you transition from local to the cloud, thin client to workstation, Windows to iOs, Apache to Nginx, or roll out new policies such as BYOD, ensure you have the buy-in from the staff who will be implementing and using it.
Failing to maximise on your investment by lack of training
The lure of new technology is like a shiny, new toy. Investing in something popular and then not using it to its maximum is commonplace. Make sure you make the most of your investment in IT by providing your staff with adequate training on how to use it.
IT can seem challenging to navigate when you have to do it all by yourself. It entails steep costs when taken care of in-house. Add to that the complex task of deciding what IT investment you will benefit the most from and then training your team to use it...all of this is pretty daunting when you have to do it all by yourself. A MSP has the experience and expertise needed to be your trusted partner and guide in these challenges, helping you make the most of your IT investment.
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