When you built your IT infrastructure, did you go for the ‘latest and greatest’, or were you thinking about how to bring your business forward? Be honest. If you did choose the latest and greatest technology for its own sake, then you’ve probably acted the way many people do.
Technology in itself is not a bad thing, but before spending your hard-earned money it’s worth doing some hard thinking about your business. What really drives your business? For, say, a food manufacturer it could be: customer tastes, access to retail outlets or the effects of the weather on the costs of raw materials. A steel producer selling to the construction industry might point to mineral costs, energy costs or interest rates to finance house purchases. A passenger airline might place emphasis on fuel costs, numbers of passengers and time required to turn around a machine between two flights. A neighborhood retail store would be interested in location, convenience and customer relations. In none of these cases is technology the number one concern.
The next step is to look at your facilities, processes, people, service agreements, etc. — without losing sight of your projected business outcome.
What does your current infrastructure look like? Does it help or hinder your employees from doing their job? Are they spending more time feeding the system than they are adding value to the company?
The third step is, again keeping your business goal in mind, to choose the right technology. This might be ‘bare metal’ where you purchase the various building blocks and integrate them yourself. Alternatively, you might choose a solution with all the components perfectly integrated. Or, you might choose a ‘pay-as-you-go’ cloud solution.
The key aspect to bear in mind is that each business is different. The best way to get the most out of your money is to look at how your business really works and what you want to achieve.
How do you go about purchasing technology? What problems have you come across?