If you run your own business or are and employee , IT and software will be a key part of your daily business activities. IT is critical for businesses large and small, in the third sector for charities and also the public sector rely on IT and software for modern the modern digital citizen.
Public sector IT expenditure grows year-on-year. Many services are now digital only, and allow British citizens to interact with public sector services online. This is great news for IT providers. The failure rate of projects in the previous decade was pretty worrying, but has been addressed and each year a report is published Therefore purchase of IT, which includes consultancy services, hardware, software, and training, needs a careful risk-balanced approach.
My recommendations are to:
- Set an IT budget for hardware, software and training. Some businesses use a fixed annual budget, a percentage of turnover or set a ‘per employee’ amount per annum.
- Talk to business peers, asking them what they have recently purchased any why
- Identify some clear areas of business improvement, where the benefits can be quantified. g. To move to e-invoicing, how much does your business spend in a year on the paper, envelopes, postage, and admin time printing paper invoices. This effectively gives you an annual cost. When you receive quotes from IT suppliers, you can calculate how many months (or years) for the Return on Investment (ROI)
- Hold initial discussions with a number of suppliers, laying out your vision, plan or problem in an honest brainstorm meeting. At the end of the meeting, you (and they) will know if you could work together. Always obtain three quotations, and check their terms and conditions
- Plan out a number of ‘business change’ projects. Schedule them one at a time, and start small to large, trying to avoid large projects overlapping if possible. Measure the results and benefits, and do more if it works for you
The Major Projects Authority Annual Report 2013: