As mentioned in the first part of this series, things to consider when creating an IT strategy are: cost management, hardware of software requirements, vendors, and risk management. In this entry we will look at all of those aspects, and what they mean for business.
Cost management is usually the primary focus of any IT strategy plan. As a business grows and has to manage and larger and larger fleet of devices, the cost grows as well. Often times there is a lot of wasted capability and many devices are seldom if ever used, and many devices are replaced while they are still useful. It is situations like this that a good strategy can avoid, and as such, decrease costs.
One of the main benefits of new technology is the ability for it to give a distinct advantage over old technology. It can allow processes to be automated. Tasks can be completed more rapidly. Customers can be more satisfied than ever. Always look at what sort of advantage a new technology, whether it be a device or an application, will bring to the table versus the technology that it is replacing, and the technology that competitors are utilizing.
Hardware and Software Requirements
Hardware and software requirements are another strong focus of any IT strategy plan. Many businesses rely and depend on software and hardware that isn’t widely available. Many businesses also need their devices and software to work seamlessly together without compatibility issues.
By properly evaluating all hardware and software needs before a device is purchased, a business can not only get a device that functions properly in its unique area, but also get a device that can seamlessly integrate with the other hardware (example: computers, servers, smartphones) and software (example: Windows, Mac, Linux, CAD, Python). Many devices and software can fulfill a certain role, few devices can seamlessly integrate with the rest of a business.
Choosing the correct vendor/OEM for technology purchased it highly important. Many vendors offer different degrees of support and warranty services. Many vendors also offer a discount to business who purchase technology in large volume. It is critical to approach multiple vendors prior to a purchase, and evaluate all relevant differences between their products, such as: warranty length, cost of repair (if out of warranty), life span of product, bulk discount, and hardware specifications.
All of the above factors combine to reduce risk. Due to the critical nature of nearly every piece of technology in a business’ arsenal, any increased risk or volatility can be disastrous. A piece of technology going offline for only a short period of time could mean a massive loss of productivity.
By implementing a well thought out IT strategy, a business can seek to maximize efficiency and productivity, while reducing risk and cost. It is only through a detailed plan that this can occur.
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