Written technology plans are one of those things we rarely see when we visit clients for the first time. It is far more common for companies to simply incorporate a handful of technology needs into their business plan (if they have one) and have a single line item for IT inside their budget, to be spent as needed throughout the year.
Here’s the problem. Technology pervades everything we do. How we communicate, conduct research, create and archive mission critical documents, order supplies, and so much more is all made easier with the right technology (and infinitely harder when technology fails us).
That is why to remain successful and competitive in today’s environment, every type of company benefits from having a written strategic technology plan. When developed and implemented properly, the plan supports growth goals, streamlines operations, maximizes budgets, and increases profitability.
What to Include in Your Strategic Technology Plan
- Written short- and long-term goals, along with a strategic plan to support those goals in a cost-efficient manner;
- A budget that supports strategic investing — not reactive spending — to patch problems throughout the year;
- Ongoing systems monitoring to proactively ensure everything is running smoothly, not an IT team that shows up only after a failure has occurred and disrupted your life;
- An IT team that is well-versed in your industry and understands how you operate, including the ability to support your specialized software; and
- A summary of all software needs, including a budget for training and support (where applicable). It should also reflect of the availability of niche discounts (often unadvertised – but they’re out there!)
Inside of the technology plan, we highly recommend you include a budget that covers your ongoing technology costs. Hardware, software and accessories are obvious inclusions. You should also allow for general maintenance, troubleshooting of servers, network and desktop issues, emergency fixes, vendor management, and consultations each year to review your environment and future needs. Managed Services packages are an ideal solution to help you do this in a cost-efficient manner. For one set fee, your IT company should guarantee you proactive support and guidance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. In addition, this support should be available both on-site and remotely.
- Do you have a strategic plan that will support your goals over the next 1, 3 and 5 years?
- Does the plan specifically outline how goals will be achieved?
- Does your budget include someone to proactively monitor and repair your network to minimize interruptions?
- Are you confident the budget you’ve been given will be enough to cover everything that comes up during the year?
Developing a written strategic technology plan can be overwhelming, but in our experience, the time spent pays for itself in the long-run.
To learn how you can develop a realistic technology plan and budget for your business, contact our specialists today.