To many people business IT is the technology used by staff to enable them to work (i.e. computers, laptops, telephones and an internet connection). The role of an IT provider is then seen as just ensuring these things don’t break. Actually your business IT is much more than that. Your IT infrastructure is a key part of your business and can enable you to be more productive, save money and support your future growth plans.
So how important is having an IT strategy? Very. And it should be embedded in your business plan.
The same way sales and marketing plans should support the overall business plan so should your IT strategy. For example, if one of your goals is to double in size in the next 5 years you may need to ask yourself:
- Can your IT infrastructure support that growth?
- Does your connectivity have the bandwidth?
- Or beyond that, if you are going to move offices, how easy would it be transfer your IT services and with minimal disruption?
Below are some ‘real-world’ examples of how IT should be incorporated into your business plans.
Example 1: Relocation and Expansion
Your business is relocating to a larger premises to facilitate your expanding team.
Not only are there the logistics of moving people, furniture and equipment to consider there is also your IT infrastructure (see Top 5 IT Considerations when Moving into Serviced Offices). You want to get your business back up and running again as quickly and with as little disruption as possible.
We have multiple clients that have relocated to larger premises to facilitate their future growth plans. For each of these customers we designed and installed an IT infrastructure to future proof and serve them as they grew. The IT projects were interwoven with office fit out projects to deliver best of breed office environments, including fast connectivity throughout the building (even in areas that wouldn’t initially be occupied). We then took care of moving all users and equipment to the new office in a way that minimised downtime.
See our case study “Bristol IT execute an office move in just a 2-hour lunch break”.
Example 2: Improve productivity
As your business grows you need to be able to handle the increasing demands put on your team and ensure productivity isn’t compromised. Hiring more staff isn’t the only answer. Adopt a well thought out IT infrastructure that uses products and solutions created to automate processes and speed up activities. A bespoke software solution could automate manual processes for your staff, freeing them up to do money making activities. A website with an online ticketing system could free up your staff from taking calls all day. For one of our clients it was as simple as installing superfast broadband.
Where to start with an IT strategy
Putting together an IT strategy requires us to do some digging. Asking clients “What are your IT requirements?” is a vague question that’s difficult to answer. This is especially the case if the person we are speaking with has limited IT knowledge. That’s why we ask: “what are the business objectives? Are you looking to increase profit? If so how? What challenges do you face? What are your competitors up to?” By digging deeper into the objectives of the business we can then translate that into the IT solutions needed to achieve those objectives.
A Finance Director may not know what type of connectivity the business needs but does know they want to save money. An HR manager may want a secure way of storing personal employee data but may not know that they need a firewall to prevent external hackers. The Managing Director may want the business to be more efficient in the way they work but may not know the collaboration and communications tools that can unlock this.
Communication is Key
Regular discussions and meetings with our customers enables us to build a picture of your business and it’s goals. We like to work as an extension of your business, so we feel your pain points and are invested in your success. This is a big benefit of outsourcing your IT team to Bristol IT Company. When you outsource your IT to us you get your own dedicated Technical Account Manager who will regularly review your IT environment and produce recommendations on how to improve your setup.
Is your business expanding?
So if your business is growing and looking to relocate now or in the near future then speak to us today! You will need an IT strategy in place to set you up effectively in your new offices and this is what we do best with expertise, innovation and understanding.