IT Strategy for South African SME’s

  1. Why you need an IT Strategy or Road Map

What can a successful IT Strategy do for you?  Well, knowledge is half the game and it’s not as difficult as it seems. Connecting with a trusted IT Partner to implement this is the other half.

Most SME companies do not have any form of IT Strategy in place and I can say that with confidence because I consult with companies on a daily basis and almost all of them can’t explain what their IT strategy is, because they don’t have one. Little do they know, it’s costing them an enormous amount of money.

The primary drivers for this can be put down to companies not having an in-depth knowledge of what the true benefits of a correctly planned IT Strategy are. Some choose to ignore what their IT infrastructure consists of and only become interested when calamity strikes and then it’s a case of, we should have….

In many cases the risks are also unknown to those companies who have never been affected by major downtime and here, it is not a matter of if but rather when.

More importantly, a correctly crafted IT Strategy is imperative because being without reliable Tech can cripple a business in a matter of day, I’ve seen it.

We rely so much on technology to be able to deliver a great product or to be fully functional in one’s job, it is obvious that we cannot go without. Why then, do so many companies gravitate towards doing nothing? Perhaps a lack of trust in service providers that the market currently has to offer.

Consulting with companies daily, I’ve noticed that businesses seem to be content with the occasional down time when a link fails or e-mail stops working and this could very well be because they are so used to interruptions caused by bigger service providers. South Africans are too forgiving in this regard and it’s greatly accepted but at a massive cost to the economy. It shouldn’t be this way, it’s dangerous to the success of business and if business owners had to work out what it costs them to be down, I think their opinion would change instantly.

We have developed Exclusive SME Downtime Calculator for Business owners, CEO’s, MD’s and FD’s to work out just how many Rands and Cents are actually lost due to downtime. The bigger the turnover, the higher the risk and the scarier the picture becomes.

A great IT Strategy should be aligned with the overall Business Strategy so that the company can run more effectively to make bigger profits from their primary income generators. What is also important to note is that if one had to work out what the cost of reliable tech costs versus what it can generate, most would be completely surprised. IT overhead is normally not calculated correctly and therefor seems like a liability, or grudge purchase rather than an operating cost which impacts the bottom line positively. It’s the return of investment that is not calculated correctly, if at all.

  1. Why don’t companies prioritise IT Strategy?

The subject can be overwhelming. In many SME’s, the function of IT is normally handled by an external service provider, who only maintain the current IT infrastructure and add smaller components to it creating a patchwork of systems rather than planning and Road Mapping an integrated Tech system for the benefit of the company.

This expertise often don’t exist in an outsourced solution and it’s that simple.

Cost is another factor that deters companies from investing in proper IT infrastructure. There are several ways to afford a great solution, like financing this or staging this over time. Not all solutions need to have an aggressive gradient.

  1. What is our approach?

Determining your current position is Key. This is done through an IT Audit or Assessment for smaller companies. This will give us a clear view as to what needs to be done, at what cost and how long it will take. Moving you from your current position to a normal operation is the next step. This can be done over time or immediately depending on budgets and expectations as well as the risk one is prepared to take. Once stable, optimization kicks in and this is where the true value lies. This is the point at which your IT spend gives you a return on your investment through improved efficiency and increased productivity

  1. 5 key questions to ask about your IT Strategy
  2. Do you want to grow your business and make it more profitable?
  3. Do you know your exact position?
  4. Have you conducted an IT Audit?
  5. Is your IT Strategy aligned with your Business Strategy?
  6. Are you getting a return on your IT spend?

 

  1. What does downtime cost?

There are many assumed ways to calculate this, however there is a more accurate way to determine this. Click here to get a better understanding of what down time costs your company.

2018-04-09T11:38:38+00:00