Now, I am sure that you’re company has a business plan or strategy. Chances are it has a sales and marketing plan, projections and targets to boot. But does it have a technology plan?
According to research, more than 50% of businesses don’t have one, even though the majority of businesses now have a very heavy reliance on technology. In the past, bandwidth was extremely expensive and phone calls to international customers or keeping in touch with a mobile work force cost a fortune. For a small business, implementing a cost effective disaster recovery plan was nigh on impossible. Now, however, with the constantly evolving world of telecommunications and IT, cutting edge solutions are not only cost effective, but easy to implement and provide a whole world of opportunity to their adopters.
Taking this into account, if you don’t have a technology plan already, now might be the time to create one. The technology choices you make as a business will have significant financial and compatibility consequences far into the future.
Of course, this is not a one-size-fits-all type exercise. Your company’s strategy will be unique to the needs of your business. However, it should take into account some of the following.
How do you use technology now, and how will you use it in the future?
Almost every aspect of business is now affected by technology in some way, whether it be accounting systems, HR systems or traditional telephony. How do these systems work at the moment and are they allowing you to stay competitive.
Do I have the right solutions in place? If not, why?
Once you have established how you use technology now and how you would like to in the future, you need to ensure you have the right connectivity and, software and systems to meet your needs now and moving forward. Function, compatibility with legacy systems, cost, ease of use / implementation and scalability are all important issues to consider.
Am I Allowing for Advances in Technology?
Your technology plan, like your business plan, should be a working document. Technology is constantly evolving and you need to ensure that you allow for elements of change. One of the key things businesses need to allow for is the growth in requirement for bandwidth for your business. Nielsen’s law of internet bandwidth states that high end users requirement will grow by 50% a year. Based on that, if you need a 10Mb connection now, then you will need a 75Mb connection in 5 years time. Make the allowances now, to save time consuming and costly infrastructure changes in the future.
If I was to lose all my telecommunications services tomorrow how would it affect my business?
This is a very important question that all business owners or IT managers should be asking. If we were to lose all IT and telecommunications systems tomorrow for an hour, or a day, or a week, how would it affect the business. For some businesses, a day without telephones, email or internet, could cost them anything from a couple of thousand pounds, to a couple of hundred thousand. For some, a catastrophic loss of data could spell the end for the business. (A recent study from Gartner, Inc., found that 90 percent of companies that experience data loss go out of business within two years.)
Implementing a suitable business continuity strategy can seem expensive and is often overlooked. When things are going well, people are happy to take the risk thinking that it will never happen to you, but when it comes to business critical systems and the future of your business, prevention is definitely better than the cure.
If you would like help to create or review existing telecommunication and IT infrastructure as part of your technology plan, please contact one of the team on 020 3728 1540.