5 IT Considerations for Growth Oriented CEOs
As technology continues to evolve, many businesses find it difficult to balance between budget and growing IT infrastructure. From the surface, IT might seem like a growing expense, but that is not quite the whole truth. A solid IT infrastructure gives a business a foundation on which it can grow fast without losing efficiency. In fact, if the right technology equipment and partnership are in place, they can become essential tools that enable growth and allow businesses to achieve their goals rapidly.
However, as a business owner myself, I understand that this is easier said than done. There are a lot of challenges in choosing and setting up the right technology for your business. The HR, accounting, marketing and sales department all have unique needs and will thereby need different software and hardware in place…but how do you decide which is the right one? And how do you ensure that you have the right vendors and business software that enable your team to achieve their targets and goals?
Before you go in too deep overthinking, take a step back. There are some key considerations to keep in mind as you think about growth and what will help you achieve that:
1) Evaluate your current tech
Before you decide to get new equipment or software, it is important to take inventory of what you have and identify what works well and what does not. Having a baseline beforehand helps you gain better clarity about what your business needs and what is missing from your current infrastructure. You will find that as your technology becomes more and more ineffective in terms of speed and reliability, the more it hurts your business.
The lost productivity definitely impacts your bottom line, but it also keeps you from growing. Where are the current gaps, and what needs the most improvement? Are certain departments running slower than others because they do not have the right tech to help them? These are just some of the questions you should consider.
2) Think about the end-user
There is no doubt that the right IT infrastructure can be a considerable aid in improving business processes/operations. With the right software solutions in place, a lot of growth can occur…but only if your staff are happy with them and are effectively trained. Ineffective technology decreases employee satisfaction and engagement.
Working with someone knowledgable about software is incredibly helpful because they know how to identify the right solution for your business. As an example, one of Ferrara IT’s key offerings is helping companies determine the optimal business workflow and necessary integrations to get the most from their software spend. This industry experience means that we can help businesses spot what is missing from their current structure and implement the right solution on the first try. Rather than experiment on your own and bring on costly software that might not work right, it is significantly more efficient to have someone implement the correct solution on the first try.
3) Outsourced CTO can bring unique insights
Current stats by Deloitte reinforce this statement, as they found that most businesses have outsourced at least 31% of their IT services, and foresee doing so for years to come. But in order for outsourcing to be effective, there must be a plan in place. By hiring an outsourced CTO and coupling this with ongoing strategic planning and oversight, you will find that your business is poised for growth. Instead of spending time looking for someone to fill that position, outsourcing allows you to continue at your current pace without losing stride.
Plus, having someone on the outside helps you see your business from another perspective, and they will help you understand what is needed in terms of IT to keep your business growing. This level of ongoing strategic planning and oversight brings further value to your business while helping you scale.
4) Think about disaster recovery and business continuity
Disaster recovery and business continuity are a form of protection for your business. You want to ensure that your business, probably one of your most important assets, is protected against unexpected disasters. We have seen businesses lose all access to information at the drop of a hat, and it’s not pretty.
As a CEO, you should be aware of the financial impact an IT failure could have on your business and be able to answer the following questions:
- How much will each hour of downtime cost the business?
- How much data can the business afford to lose (minutes, hours or days)?
- If your server fails, how long will it take to get a replacement and be fully operational again?
Having a business continuity plan is critical, but your investment should be in line with the risks you face (i.e. the financial impact of downtime). If being down for 24 hours is detrimental to your business, then your business continuity plan should mitigate that risk. Having the right disaster recovery and business continuity solutions in place allows your business to stay on its growth trajectory even when the unexpected happens.
5) Find the right Managed IT Services Provider (MSP)
Part of the strategic planning mentioned in the earlier step must include considerations for how IT will be managed in the future. Once you have the IT solutions you need, how do you intend to manage them?
It is difficult to keep track of all these moving parts while running your overall business, so try not to spread yourself thin. Instead, hire the right Managed IT Services Provider to free you from worrying about managing IT. Work with a partner that understands not only the technology you have in place, but also what your business goals are. They can also identify new avenues of growth from a tech perspective – and help you get the most out of that relationship.
If your business is looking to quickly grow and scale, give us a call to see how we can work hand in hand to achieve your technology and business goals. To learn more, please contact us.
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If you found the information in this blog post helpful and you’d like to know more, we’d be happy to hear from you. Find out how Ferrara IT can help your business.
About the Author
Frank Ferrara is the owner of Ferrara IT Services, LLC, a Philadelphia based Managed IT Services company. Frank and his team work with small and medium businesses in PA, NJ, NY and DE, by helping them protect their businesses and maximize their return on IT investment.