As all business owners know, you will never know if you’ve achieved them if you don’t set goals and targets. If you don’t have specific (or SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely) measures in place, this makes it harder again.
From an IT perspective, many aspects can be measured to review progress or identify ways to improve performance in your business. Here are our top tips:
What are your business objectives?
IT measures need to be framed in the context of your business goals. So, for example, if you have a growth strategy and are looking to enter new markets or develop new products, your IT objectives will need to support that, which may mean you need to invest in new systems or equipment for new staff or introduce different ways of working such as remote working which will, in turn, drive the IT objectives and measure you put in place.
If you are focusing on increasing profits or reducing costs, IT can help to streamline processes, perhaps by consolidating some systems or ensuring different systems can communicate with each other. Changing your IT approach to cloud services or leasing can also have a positive financial impact on your business.
When replacing computer software and hardware, it’s always a good idea to review not just whether the latest equipment can do things faster or more efficiently but whether you need to look at different approaches. For example, if more people are working remotely or from home or people have their own devices that they want to use (Bring Your Own Device), could this be a good time to consider different ways of working. And don’t forget about the running costs of IT Equipment – low-cost printers can seem like a good idea, but the cost for consumables such as inks is often high.
Review your contracts
Innovations such as VoIP mean using your existing internet connection for your business phone system and keeping the same numbers when you transfer across. Find out more about VoIP here.
With web and email hosting, reliability and performance are key but beware of hidden costs or extended tie ins.
To find out more about what to look for with web hosting, click here or for more information on our web and email hosting services, including our transparent pricing.
The purpose of IT support is to ensure that your IT systems help you achieve your business goals. However, when things go wrong, the speed of response is critical as downtime means your business is not progressing. Also, consider whether you get proactive or just reactive IT support – are recommendations being made that will help your business, do you get helpful insight into how the latest trends could apply to you and are regular preventative maintenance carried out to prolong your life equipment?
IT Dashboards can give you an ‘at a glance’ overview of the status of your IT systems. But dashboards can also be used to pool together other data, such as call centre or sales statistics or all your marketing insight across the CRM system, your website and social media.