Information technology (IT) is one of those things that everyone expects to work, yet very few truly understand just how it does. Across all industries, we frequently find that IT is outdated, underutilized, or merely an afterthought. What if you were able to use IT as a tool to not only make yourself better, but the best that you could possibly be at your job? Instead of seeing IT as an expense, let’s consider it as an investment into your company and focus on a few ways to help increase your return on that investment.
Does your current strategic plan include growing your business or increasing revenue? What about improving customer service, communication, or your company brand and image? More than likely, your plan considers one, if not all, of these. How many of those strategic initiatives have IT as a core metric to measure success? Let’s look at a few ways to help turn your IT from costing you money to making you money.
Service & Delivery
So, you want to be known for having the best customer service. How are you doing this and, more so, how are you measuring this? If you’re still trying to manage your client relationships using an Excel sheet, consider implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) solution. If your immediate thought is “it costs too much,” have you considered how much it’s costing you by not having it? Think of all the missed opportunities a robust system like this could identify that your manual tracking system isn’t. Granted, there are always pros and cons to launching a mechanism like a CRM. It requires a significant amount of setup on the front end, not to mention employee buy-in, but the potential for growth is invaluable. A CRM solution allows for easier collaboration with your team and an opportunity to be proactive in anticipating client needs and wants.
Efficiency & Productivity
Remember the old saying, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it”? Let’s put that into perspective. The first portable cellphone was invented in 1973, offering 30 minutes of talk time and a required 10 hours to charge. Think about the vastly improved efficiencies and capabilities cell phones offer today. Could you imagine still using the first cellphone to conduct business today if someone hadn’t invested time and money into IT to develop a better device? So, why still try to run your business the way you did 10 years ago? Take some time to evaluate the systems you’re currently using; there may be ways to improve without adding costs. Be sure to compare your current systems to other solutions on the market to see if there is a better fit. When selecting, focus on finding efficient solutions with advanced functionality to help automate workflows, reduce errors, and streamline operations. This will help you to produce a more cost-effective and consistent product or service for your clients.
Risk Management, Strategy, & Security
We’ve examined ways to help increase your profitability by creating opportunities and efficiencies, but here is a way to help prevent unnecessary expenses. At the end of the day, you can offer the best product, provide extraordinary service, and have an amazing brand, but risk losing it all if you can’t protect your clients’ information. Cyber breaches are more prevalent now than ever and we’re seeing businesses of all sizes be a victim. When it comes to information security, you need to consider what you can afford to lose—and, more importantly, what you can't afford to lose. It only takes one breach to cost you your reputation.
Businesses are continuously searching for ways to set themselves apart from their competitors and find that differentiating factor that gives them an advantage. Learning more about your IT and strategically investing in it can help you do just that. Remember, if you want to help your business have better communication, grow your customer base, increase revenue, and protect your business and reputation, then you should care about IT.
How does your security posture stand up against best practices? Let’s find out together. If you have questions or need assistance, please reach out to a professional at FORVIS or use the Contact Us form below.