Modern organisations are facing increased pressure on all fronts – from trying to do more with less, to remaining competitive in a cutthroat global market to navigating more regulation and requirements than ever before. In this frenzied environment, it’s easy to overlook key functions that can enhance your organisation’s performance – especially your ICT services. After all, unlike other areas of operations, your ICT services don’t often demand your immediate attention until something goes wrong.
Which is why it’s worthwhile to take the time and plan out your ICT services at least 12 months in advance. This ensures that everything from your anti-virus to your firewall protections stay current, which keeps you, your data and your customers protected. A comprehensive technology plan for the next year can also make sure you are utilizing your warranty and support packages effectively and renewing them when needed.
With the end of fiscal year approaching, it’s worthwhile to spend a few weeks setting up your technology plan in order to ensure you have the best beginning possible to the new year. A strong start can help you build momentum and ensure that you have the resources you need to tackle any challenge.
The first step in planning for the new year is to review the current one, which is definitely easier at the end of the fiscal year. You can identify which goals you met and for those you didn’t, you can begin to determine what the limiting factors were. These goals are the starting point for developing revised goals for the coming year. If you need to change strategies, now is the time to do it and your goals should reflect that. Think of this exercise as a technology needs assessment; ask yourself what your current resources are and what ones you are lacking in order to accomplish what you’d like to accomplish.
Your technology plan and goals should be aligned with your organisation’s strategic plan. The bottom line is that technology surrounds us and even the most basic operational functions rely on technology. The solutions you select should have the capabilities you need in order to meet your overarching business objectives. It that’s not the case, it’s time to take a look at what other tools are available.
Once you’ve got your business goals defined, take a look at your budget and make sure that you are allocating enough for your technology costs. While it may be tempting to cut corners here, the costs of a data breach or trying to mitigate a problem without adequate support can be exponentially higher than the upfront costs of proven solutions with a reputable support team.
With the start of the new year approaching, it may also be a good time to take a look at your current partnerships, especially in regard to your ICT needs. If you have many partners that provide different services, you could be paying far more than you need to and may consider selecting a partner that can provide all of the tools and services you need. Additionally, think about how well your current partners are able to meet you ongoing support needs. If you’re not receiving top-notch service from knowledgeable experts, does your business even stand a chance at operating at its best? You deserve partners that make it easier for you to accomplish your goals.