Outgrowing the “As Needed” Technology
All organizations have been there, that start-up company that is more worried about making a profit than what its technology plan is for the next year, let alone three plus years. When you are a small company with a few employees or maybe even just yourself, it is easy to get in to the routine of simply grabbing a solution to fit the need you have at that moment.
Honestly, there is no reason to even try to change someone’s mind that is going about their technology purchases in an “as needed” basis. Sure it is nice to be able to plan something and get a budget ready to support the business, but that is not feasible because as anyone who has started a business knows, that “business plan” changes daily if not hourly early on, as does the tools that you need to support those changes.
Not to mention when you are starting a business, you are not always in the position to have a “budget” for long term technology plans.
Where Things Go Wrong
The issue is not starting out in the “as needed” mode it is getting into the “strategic” mode to where your technology matches your business needs, not to mention many other concerns.
When your organization went out and grabbed software, networking gear, hardware, etc. most likely there was little concern in…
- Scaling to fit growth
- Disaster Recovery
- Right tool for the job
- Team (access, sharing)
- …and much more
The problem is not “just” that those areas may not have been the “right fit” it how do you move from the “as needed” platform to where you need to be? It is not always a simple rip and replace. Obviously, you want to avoid costing downtime for your team which costs your productivity and ultimately your bottom line.
There has to be a plan to not only find the right tools for your organization, but how to get there with the minimal impact on your business.
“IT” Technology is a Business Decision
A lot of organizations moving from that small business into medium sized organizations and even enterprises often make the mistake of thinking that technology decisions should be taken care of by the “IT” department and in some cases that department is an “IT Guy”. That generally will get you just a step beyond the “as needed” IT and into a “what did we get?” solutions.
Business technology has to be a business decision and planned as any other area of business would be planned.
- Budget - Technology can have a negative impact that can really grow if you get the wrong solutions.
- Efficiency – The right solution can increase you productivity and actually contribute to your business growth. The wrong technology can stunt your business growth.
- Compliance – Your CFO will thank you for making sure that all your data and technology is compliant to the standards. Nothing like shelling out 100’s of $1000 for not being compliant. This is becoming a huge focus through-out the industry after major breaches like, Target.
- Business Continuity – How long can your business last if a key technology that your business relies on? Making sure that you can recover from a disaster before your business goes “out of business” is one of those things that is a bit critical.
Don’t Think “I can’t afford it, RIGHT NOW”
Many growing organizations feel they can’t afford a big change in their technology infrastructure right now. No one is saying that you have to do it all right now. That is not always feasible. However it is important to change how you do things.
Before going and getting that next “as needed” piece of technology, sit down with your executive team and either your in-house IT “guy” whether it be a CIO/CTO, Architect, etc. or a Solutions Architect Consultant.
Now you can put a plan in place to get on the right track, discuss what technology will best fit your business, stay within a budget (and what that budget is), and keep your business IN BUSINESS!