If you run your own business or are an employee, IT and software will be a key part of your daily business activities. IT is critical for businesses large and small. Charities and organisations in the third sector also rely on IT and software too. The UK Government are utilizing IT and software for modern ‘digital citizen’ services.
‘Doing IT right’ is a good mantra to use in your business. Are you, your peers and your managers getting the most from the hardware, software, systems and data flowing through the business?
My recommendations is to set a budget for IT – hardware, software and don’t forget training too. Some businesses use a fixed annual budget, a percentage of turnover or set a ‘per employee’ training budget per annum.
Talk to your business peers, asking them what they have recently purchased and why. Networking events are a great place to talk these over, as they are away from the office and in a more relaxed informal setting.
Identify clear areas of business improvement and where the benefits can be easily quantified. An example objective is to move from paper invoices to electronic only. How much does your business spend in a year on the paper, envelopes, postage, and admin time printing paper invoices? All the statements that then follow and the time wasted chasing these all adds up. Together these costs provide an annual cost to the business. When you receive quotes from IT suppliers for potential solutions to satisfy this business improvement objective, you should be able to calculate the Return on Investment (ROI). The ROI will be the number of months or years to break-even the cost of the solution.
Consider also the intangible benefits that the solution may provide too. For example, there is now less chance of making mistakes in data entry or having to read poor hand-writing on paper forms.
Think about how IT could help in your business, and then calculate the ROI before going ahead.