It’s been a challenging year for business. No matter what industry you’re in, operating expenses have gone up, overheads have increased, and it costs more just to open your doors. It’s entirely reasonable to be looking at ways to streamline your budget in these economic times, and it’s easy to think of IT as an essential but somewhat irritating expense.
There’s a better way to approach your IT that turns it from an expense into an investment. It’s not just core to the safe operation of your business; when utilised effectively, it can become a competitive advantage, making operations more efficient, helping you scale and delivering a better service to your customers.
Here are three ways to ensure your IT expense becomes a valuable investment:
1. Get real about risk
When dealing with customers’ private data, you can’t afford to skimp on protecting their personal information. It may seem like a cost to the business, but the impact of a data leak with the wrong people accessing customer information – or even a blackout or power surge wiping your computers without a backup in place – can result in a negative impact on customers and significant downtime for your business.
When you seriously think about what could happen, protecting your customer data becomes a practical necessity and something your business can use as a selling point.
When you also consider the cost of potential downtime due to lost data, it’s clear that the solution is to maintain an excellent IT strategy to mitigate these risks.
If your current provider has yet to speak to you about threats or taken an in-depth look to identify vulnerabilities in your systems, your business could be at risk.
At Calvert, we follow a comprehensive process based around uncovering the ‘unknown unknowns’ by asking in-depth questions to get to the important parts. By understanding your business thoroughly, we can design a solution to help you get real about your risk so you’re not the one left asking why your provider didn’t warn you.
2. Let your business plans lead your technology plans
A great IT solution will support and enhance your business, not the other way around. IT plans can generate greater efficiency and productivity and can even mean the difference between reaching capacity and being able to scale. The systems in place can also determine the difference between an exceptional and mediocre customer experience; or a proactive, flexible workplace environment instead of outdated practices for staff. The impacts are limitless, and it’s up to you how far you want to take them.
With your current IT system, your IT provider should have considered your business and what it needs and asked you about your vision for the future—then based your technology around this. There’s no one-size-fits-all in IT systems for business.
Calvert designs a technology plan to suit your business. With fast moving IT enhancements, we take the time to understand your business and look ahead to discover what structures you’ll need to reach your business goals before we recommend any solutions. And because we speak to local companies from multiple industries, you can utilise our depth and breadth of experience to guide you.
3. Ensure your staff are trained to use the tools
A crucial aspect of your IT system is ensuring you and your staff know how to use it to the best of its ability. Installing the best software becomes an expensive exercise if staff don’t know how to use it and end up finding ways to get around it.
Staff training is included in Calvert’s important three-pronged approach to your IT system – people, processes and technology. We will ensure your staff are trained correctly and are familiar with how to use the technology so your IT system can work efficiently and support your business.
Changing your attitude towards your IT could save you a lot of heartache, money and worry. Before you downgrade your IT system this year, speak to us for a complimentary, no-obligation discovery consultation, and see how Calvert Technologies can assist your business.