Technology Planning To Meet Your 2019 Business Goals
It's not too early for business owners and managers to update their business plan for the coming year. Planning is necessary to not only make sure that you'll meet your 2019 goals, but to set up a realistic timeline for execution. For example, let’s just say that your 2019 goal is to add an additional million dollars to your business. How are you going to do that? What is going to be different about the way your business operates in order to make that happen? Can any functions be automated or outsourced? Will you be hiring any additional resources? Will you be moving or opening a new location?
Most business owners do not realize the technology investment and challenges involved with the initiatives that come out of their business planning process. For example, if you plan to add a remote site, you’ll need internet connectivity (which can take 30-120 days to get from the Internet Service Provider), a way for the site to access company data, security solutions to ensure the data is protected, and the actual hardware that the employees will be working from – workstations, laptops, tablets, etc. As you can see, the amount of planning from a technology perspective is significant.
In order for your company to accomplish what you have planned, your technology plan needs to be aligned with your business plan objectives. So how do you make sure it is?
Do a thorough assessment of your current situation. Much like the SWOT analysis for business planning, your technology situation needs to be evaluated in the same way. Assessing it this way will reveal the potential risks and obstacles that you may have to overcome.
Plan for where you want to go. Once you know where you are, mapping the route to where you want to go becomes much easier. The assessment of your current situation will help you see which items are critical and need to be addressed immediately, which are cautionary and should be addressed eventually, and which are in line with best practices.
Know your numbers beyond this year. How much are you going to need to invest to get where you want to go? You should have an idea of what your technology budget should look like to support your 3-5 year business goals.
Check in on the progress of the plan quarterly, at a minimum. Make sure that your business and technology are still going in the right direction and are on track to accomplish the goals of the next quarter. Big goals may need monthly or weekly huddles to review, manage, and maintain progress, or adjust accordingly to stay on track to hit the goals.
Many business owners and managers leave the technology section up to their IT department, or rely on the proposals that their outsourced IT provider gives them, and assume that the plan is done. Owners, presidents, or vice presidents need to be involved with the technology planning on a quarterly basis to ensure that the high level goals of the company will be accomplished.
Planning for technology is not a difficult process when the right IT team navigates you through it. Learn more about how technology can enable your business with by checking out the first chapter of Marty Kaufman's book, "Do IT Right."
About Courtney Casey
In an industry dominated by men, Courtney Casey, Director of Marketing for Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., is making her mark on the world of information technology. Courtney has been immersed in the IT field most of her life and has been molded into the tech savvy expert she is today. She began working for Accent while earning her Bachelor's degree from California State University, Long Beach. Known in the Inland Empire as the "Tech Girl," Courtney is a regular columnist for the region's newspaper of record, The Press-Enterprise. Her columns address topical news trends, new technology products, and offer advice on how to embrace technology or avoid common IT pitfalls.