January 1, 2014. You wrote down your resolutions. 1. Lose weight. 2. Exercise more. 3. Don’t stress over small stuff. 4. Bring your lunch to work. 5. Save more money. You probably didn’t think about your company.
What are your resolutions this year to help your company grow and succeed? One of your company resolutions should be to have a tech plan in place. The investment of time and money now will more than pay off.
[pullquote]Have an IT budget, bring in experts, and put expansion plans in place[/pullquote]
Have an IT budget. Your business relies on technology to function; they’re the tools needed to keep your business running. They need to be maintained and updated. You wouldn’t drive your car for 10 years and never change the oil. You wouldn’t buy one office chair and sit in it for the next 40 years. Budget in IT costs for every month.
The benefit is that the IT costs aren’t just random or unexpected. The numbers can be predictable and you can plan and project what they’ll be in the future. If you work with IT experts, they can help you figure out what you need to budget for based on what you currently have.
And bringing in experts can be important. If you look at that desk chair that you bought 5 years ago, you can see the armrests are worn and scratched. You can feel in the stiffness of your back that the chair isn’t as comfortable and supportive as it once was. But when you look at your computer or your server? It probably looks fine. And it will probably continue to look fine, because you can’t see the heat is causing it to become brittle, and you can’t see when the power supply will just die outright and your company will be brought to a halt for at least a day or two.
The costs don’t have to come all at once. Let’s say you have 20 computers in your organization. Every 3-5 years, you’ll likely need to refresh those. If you buy 4 computers every year, you’re not hit with a big upfront cost every 5 years.
And upgrades. Everybody likes a good upgrade. You get some windfall cash to get some fancy new software. It’ll make your company run faster, better, stronger. And you’ve installed software on your laptop at home; this should be a breeze. But wait, that fancy new software the vendor was happy to sell you was too much for your network. You lose productivity, sales, and have loads of unplanned costs. You try to upgrade your system yourself. It crashes. You go back to the vendor for help. They sell you something else your system can’t handle. The cycle continues and you’re bleeding money.
If you’ve figured out a plan for your IT, you’ve figured on expansion. You’ve built in the room for your company to grow, and you’ll know when you want to upgrade, you won’t end up spending money you don’t have to in order to fix mistakes you could have avoided.
Don’t think you have to make the plan yourself. You’ve got other things to work on. Let the experts do what they know how to do and help you figure out the best IT plan for your company.