The cost of not investing in your IThttps://timewade.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/pexels-cottonbro-3943716.jpg1280853TimewadeTimewadehttps://timewade.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/pexels-cottonbro-3943716.jpg
Back in May 2019, Operations Director Jordan Westcott’s blog addressed the importance of investing in technology. Two years on, with a dramatic increase in home and hybrid working caused by the pandemic and a steep rise in cyber security threats, we revisit Jordan’s blog and consider why investing in technology continues to be vital to business success.
Are you one of those businesses reluctant to spend money on technology beyond keeping it ticking over?
You have an accounts department, a sales department, marketing and the like, all with relevant strategies and budgets to help them achieve their targets. IT, in comparison, is often seen as something that you just pay for when it breaks.
And that can be a big problem.
Too often, IT is viewed purely as a cost and it shouldn’t be. It often takes a major technical ‘glitch’ or failure for many companies to finally realise that they have been ‘making do’ with their technology for too long, and that they need a genuine strategic approach to technology to support their day-to-day IT needs as well as to drive performance and growth.
The danger in this approach is that by waiting until the damage is done, time, and money, are needed to put things right. Time and money, which no business wants to unnecessarily waste.
Consider this: when you spend time and money in reaction to an issue that’s live, you are far less likely to get the best value or quality results, compared to considering your options and best approach in advance.
Technology is integral to the success of any organisation and a key driver for growth. We believe it should therefore be viewed as a key department of your business.
So, how do you put your business on a proactive footing when it comes to making best use of technology, rather than always making do with day-to-day firefighting?
The benefits of adopting a strategy approach
When the pandemic hit, businesses with a strategic approach to technology were, according to research, the most successful. They were able to react faster to set up remote teams and deliver ‘business as normal’ to their customers and clients.
Over the last year, many businesses have been working from home full-time and are now considering hybrid working options. Because of this, more businesses are realising that their IT function, and how technology is used across their organisation, are essential components of their business with a big impact on productivity and efficiency.
As businesses plan for the next stage of lockdown lifting, here are six reasons why recognising IT as a fundamental part of your organisation, with its own strategy and investment, will reap its own rewards.
Technology surrounds us. From ordering to delivery, procurement, accounts, HR and both internal and external communications, technology is getting more sophisticated, more embedded and, ultimately, more complicated.
Industry-specific software, hardware, infrastructure often require expert knowledge to set up, operate and, most importantly, maintain. A strategic approach means you effectively research, engage and procure the very best mix of technology for your organisation’s current and future needs, avoiding a knee-jerk and last minute approach to what you invest in.
Stay ahead of the curve
You might not have a strategic approach to technology but you can be sure that some of your competitors will!
If you’re still struggling with a patchwork approach to IT in your business, how do you think you will perform against those with a robust technology strategy, suited to that business, with strong cyber security measures and technology that makes it easier for employees to do their work?
It’s obvious but worth stating: those that don’t invest fall behind.
Guarding your reputation
Technology must be resilient. We live in an instant society and customers and clients expect results and responses quickly. When your IT is not nurtured it can have knock-on effects for the whole business.
Regular maintenance and updating will ensure your tech is resilient and your reputation remains intact. Consider who is affected when a key element of your IT grinds to a halt – employees, customers, partner organisations, suppliers, along with key activities like payroll, invoicing, ordering, marketing. Businesses have collapsed off the back of cyber attacks. Don’t be one of them.
Knowledge is power
Many technology failures can easily be avoided. For example, at Timewade we set up real-time monitoring for clients ensuring instant data so we can spot risks before they become problems to business. Plus, we combine that with our own ongoing learning – tracking industry news, research and insight, so we have at our fingertips the latest knowledge on an array of IT and technology issues from software and systems to hardware and cloud.
Effective data management
Organisations are storing more and more sensitive data which needs to be kept securely, safely backed up and protected from external threats and company leakage. Losing crucial files or risking a security breach can put your organisation’s safety, performance and finances in jeopardy. Fines for breaching the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are considerable, let alone the reputational damage to your organisation. An IT department has the technical expertise to ensure your security is robust and prioritised. Combined with a forward-looking technology strategy, your business will be well placed to avoid risks and maximise performance and profitability.
Technology to drive growth
Smart businesses recognise technology as a key driver of performance, building it into their ongoing business plan and considering the opportunities for technology, be that to boost productivity and efficiency or offer something new to customers or make life easier for employees or suppliers.
By viewing IT not as a problem that needs to be solved, but as an opportunity that needs to be grasped, a senior management team armed with the right knowledge and data can make truly strategic decisions that put technology where it should be – as a key driver of the success of your business.
At Timewade, we give our clients both strategy and support, because we passionately believe this is the best way to minimise problems and maximise opportunities. But how does your business use technology? Do you have a technology strategy? Is it proving effective?
To start thinking about your technology strategy you can make use of our free ‘Technology Strategy planning tool here. To discuss your organisation’s strategy please contact the Timewade team.