At 365, we have the opportunity to meet with many new and prospective clients. Something almost all of them have in common? Little to no sign of strategic technology planning. Instead, technology is managed on a reactive basis in response to immediate demands. Hardware is replaced as it breaks, and software is added as needed. In many cases, responsibility for managing these decisions is delegated to an office manager or administrator, removing executive involvement.
As you can guess, this ad hoc approach has a number of draw backs:
- As the business grows, the technology infrastructure to support it is insufficient. Many companies make decisions on their technology ‘in the moment’, without considering how they will impact the business as it grows. For example, we encounter many companies that have grown to a size where a server now makes sense, only to discover the ‘Home’ versions of the operating systems on their computers don’t support a client-server environment. The result is a costly upgrade of multiple operating systems, which could have been avoided if earlier purchase decisions had been made with growth in mind.
- Higher capital costs. Having a hardware replacement schedule ensures that you know when equipment is coming off warranty, and which servers/workstations are scheduled for replacement in a given year. This ensures that assets are replaced in a logical fashion, maximizes the return on your investment, and lowers overall capital spending on equipment. Further, being able to plan for the retirement of aging equipment improves uptime and productivity, as you can phase out old hardware before it actually dies.
- Technology budgeting is difficult / inaccurate. Without a plan, or technology roadmap, technology costs become unpredictable. Unforeseen technology breakdowns or new purchase requirements drive costs and create high variability from year to year.
- Unintended complexity and redundancy. Without a plan, technology decisions get made without consideration of the overall environment. The result can be a mish mash of systems which may overlap in functionality, or not properly integrate.
The importance of technology planning – it’s why every one of our 365Care+ outsourced technology support packages includes our myCIO (Chief Information Officer) service. Once per quarter, a 365 executive will meet with the key stakeholders in your organization to conduct a strategic technology review. In addition, our myCIOs are available for phone call and in-person meetings to advise on strategic technology decisions.
If you would like more information on creating a strategic technology plan for your business, give us a call or send us a note – we’d love to help!