The importance of IT strategy when growing your business
IT has an integral role in the way a business operates – and as businesses grow, it becomes more and more important to develop and implement a scalable IT strategy. Failure to do so can result in wasted hours as staff battle with outdated systems that were never designed to cope with their business’s size and amount of workflow.
Aura often tends to come in to businesses when they find they have grown beyond their current IT capability. Our specialists will then audit what they have, understand the goals of the business and then develop a solution that will grow with them. Often it’s a distress call but with the right foundations in place, it shouldn’t have to be.
Where a business’s needs have grown in its early years, we often find all kinds of bolt-on, patches and workarounds have been applied to keep the IT running. It’s very often easier to start with a fresh slate. The key is not to start with the IT but to begin with the business – how does it work, what do users need technology for, and how might that change in the future? Once we understand that, it’s easy to implement a road map for IT in the medium and long term.
As with many aspects of business, if you can get it right when you’re small then it’s easier to scale up when you grow. Invest in hardware that has a good shelf life – up to five years – and can be easily upgraded. Think about the workflow and how you manage things like customer data, customer relationship databases, project planning and task tracking.
With the implementation of GDPR looming, it is even more important that companies of all sizes ensure that they have robust systems in place to protect customer data – IT is central to this. SMEs also need to be mindful of security and whether they have the right IT systems in place to protect them and their customers from cybercrime.
While it won’t be a priority in the very early days, the strategic review process should start as early as possible in a business’s growth – it needn’t be expensive, and by having a scalable system that grows with the business, you can save a lot of time and aggravation in the long run.
For more information, contact Tim Walker on 03333 208 601.