Technology in the business world has undoubtedly come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of decades. As the quality of IT has increased, systems going down and PCs crashing are now much less frequent occurrences. As the workforce continues to grow more tech savvy the need for basic IT Support has and will continue to diminish.
There is now a reduced need for support for end users and a greater need for a strategy to underpin business technology decisions, ensuring that the business IT infrastructure supports and streamlines business processes – and helps drive the business to achieve growth.
The changing role of IT in business
IT now impacts our work in ways that we never would have imagined in the past.
- Many business functions that were once manual and laborious, have been simplified and automated by IT – (e.g. stock control, accounting, staff holiday management, expenses).
- As well as streamlining existing processes, technology in business has also enabled options that were difficult or impossible before (remote working, video conferencing, real time collaboration).
- Technology can also enable growth by helping businesses to tap into new revenue streams and better target existing ones.
- Businesses can ensure they are ready for any disaster situation by utilising the right solutions to ensure continuity.
One thing is clear – the choices businesses make regarding the technology solutions they implement is fundamental to their success or failure.
The importance of a technology partner who understands your business
The problem many businesses are now encountering is that their existing internal or external IT resource may well be adequate at responding to and fixing immediate IT issues – but they do not possess the strategic foresight required to build a technology infrastructure that is tailored to the business, and helps the company to overcome unique challenges and achieve its goals.
Many business leaders don’t actually recognise the need for strategy behind their technology. They want someone available to fix problems when they occasionally crop up, but it doesn’t make sense to pay someone a salary for this when they will only rarely be needed. By outsourcing to a purely reactive IT support company they are missing out on the additional business value that can be provided by a true IT partner (one who offers reactive support, but also proactive monitoring, IT strategy and technology consulting).
When business leaders do recognise the need for a strategic approach to technology, it is usually a traditional IT person who is given the task – and all too often they fail to provide value because they only understand technology – not business.
The danger of neglecting technology management
Businesses that don’t change and embrace a strategic approach to their technology risk falling behind their competitors. Businesses using technology effectively to overcome their challenges will be more efficient, able to get more done with less, and be more flexible to future change – eventually becoming market leaders.
Always be improving
You should always be looking for ways to improve productivity in your business. Taking advantage of the latest technology is one way of doing so as it can speed up everyday tasks, reduce repetition and make processes more automated. Download our swipe file for 25 things you can implement today to improve productivity (includes a mixture of tech and non-tech improvements.