Investing in the right IT
Posted on March 20, 2018 by Louise Howland
Technology moves at an amazing rate; it is easy to forget that twenty years ago, most of us were only just getting grips with having an email address. This year the internet will be 27 years old, Google will be 20 years old, the iPhone will be 11 years old, and Amazon’s Alexa is just 4 years old, but they have changed the way we all live. Alongside these ‘game changers,’ there is some less successful technology which launched to great fanfare, but have never reached their full potential, such as Google Glasses, the Windows Phone, QR codes and who can forget Betamax! Technology can be hit and miss and it can be hard to know what the next big thing is and what will flop. For organisations, it is important that any investment they make in technology is the right investment and will benefit their business.
There is so much great technology out there to help organisations, but SME’s can’t always afford to get all the latest platforms, services, and devices. There are the fundamentals which most organisations need day-to-day to function; these tend to include business management applications, like CRM, and email and office applications like Microsoft office 365. Most will have servers, PC’s or laptops, and some may have other devices like tablets and mobile phones (although some organisations rely on BYOD – bring your own device and employees using their personal devices.) But there are countless other technologies that organisations need to determine whether they should be spending their money on these.
To invest or not to invest
There are so many different types of tools that many organisations could benefit from using, including marketing automation, HR management, ERP, integration applications, customer self-service (to help customers get most of their questions and concerns addressed quickly online) Web Conferencing and Webinar Applications, unified communications, BI and analytics , project management software, mobile apps, content management systems (like WordPress) E-commerce platforms to allow for online shopping, Virtualization software and artificial intelligence. It is a minefield and really hard to know what your organisation should be considering.
How should organisations spend money on IT
The simple answer is only buying what you need and sticking to technology that is proven and here to stay. This obviously is easier said than done. Our advice is to task your IT manager, IT department or external IT provider to provide regular updates on the latest technology with strategic advice on what the impact and cost would be of investing in that any technology.
Using an external IT provider
If you are using an external IT provider it is important to know how they are motivated. Are they aligned with certain vendors and therefore will only promote those products regardless of if they are the best for your organisation? Are the account managers driven by the commission on sales? How are they keeping themselves up to date, and are they cutting edge, or bleeding edge? Your IT provider should keep you up to date with changes in the technological landscape, provide strategic support and advice on products and services and help you to make great IT decisions and navigate your options, ensuring that IT enhances your organisation’s efficiency.
At ramsac no-one is able to earn any form of commission, so our only motivation is to offer the right solution. We not only provide strategic support and advice but we will manage the procurement of new technology and assist with your budget planning and technology roadmap.