How did you implement your IT strategy into your business model?
Did you buy a few computers because you needed them, and invest in a few programs because they made sense for building your practice? That’s where most people start. They fall into a way of doing business rather than thinking and planning it out.
And that works for a while. It’s a great place to start.
But eventually, it’s time to replace technology and upgrade your tools. You realize a program you’re using doesn’t provide you with the data you’re looking for.
You want to grow, and your current IT plan is getting in your way.
Right now, you have two choices.
1. You can take the bandage approach, where you fix holes and invest in new programs because of one or two promises. You continue to build in a hodgepodge way to make everything work.
2. You take a step back and create an IT strategy that works for how and where you want to grow.
It seems like an easy choice on paper. Yet in practice, it’s much more difficult. That’s how you got where you are today. When someone from your team needs a new tool, or even a new program to do their job efficiently, it’s quite easy to sign on the dotted line.
It takes time, energy, and money to push it to review to see how it falls into your strategy. Yet that’s where you should begin, right now.
The first place to start is by looking at costs
The larger your team, the greater the chance you have of duplication and overlapping data.
It usually starts with a team member who needs a tool or an app to complete a project. You approve it - why not? It’s only a handful of dollars. But that approach snakes through an office quickly, with people choosing programs because it’s what they’re most familiar with, not how it fits into your strategy.
What happens when this team member leaves? The approach can start all over again with new preferences.
Every one of these steps could be costing you money. Even five or ten dollars a month for multiple services can quickly add up. Yet you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s time to look at your entire IT cost structure, determine what you’re paying for, and start looking at the overlap. Don’t forget to add in costs for IT employees you may have on staff, third-party vendors, or monthly contracts to help you control the IT side of your business.
Look for holes and weaknesses
With your cost structure in front of you, you can start mapping out how your IT structure is set up. What tools do you use? What vendors are you paying for? How does it all work to give you results?
If you’ve never mapped out your strategy before, it can be an eye-opening experience.
You can also use this to determine costs you may be paying each month, but aren’t doing you any good. That monthly servicing contract may not have been a wise decision.
If it isn’t working for you, cancel it, get rid of it, and find a better approach.
Choose the right path for your needs
Now more than ever, you have options. Choose what’s right for your practice as you move forward. Bringing on employees to help you build your IT strategy can help you manage your structure over time, but it’s never an immediate (or easy) solution. Hiring fractional IT services can provide you with instant results, yet it relies on contracts and a knowledge base to ensure you understand what you’re signing up for.
Both paths can be beneficial in helping you further define your IT strategy. Both are proven ways to ensure you stay ahead of the learning curve, and confirm your data stays safe in these challenging times.
What’s your strategy?
For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.