Knowing how to best utilize your technology budget is a challenge for many small- to medium-sized businesses. In most cases, an IT budget is primarily a factor of keeping the business up and running with minimal support and expertise.
As a business owner or senior manager, utilizing technology effectively can pose significant challenges and take up valuable time and energy – energy that can be better spent focusing on what you’re good at – your business.
Building a technology plan and budget focused on your business objectives requires expertise that SMB’s often either don’t possess or don’t know where to get. The lucky ones have an owner or senior manager with the knowledge and experience to effectively plan for IT investment. The unlucky ones – the majority of SMB’s – lack the expertise to leverage the technology available to the masses to grow.
Most SMB budgets simply cannot support employing a technology leader in the SMB organization. So where do they go to get the expertise and support they need to build a technology plan? What resources are available to the SMB management team to understand what they should do, or even to grasp “the realm of the possible?”
In our experience, the majority of technology consultants spend their time and effort focused on large organizations. So where does that leave the SMB? Floundering for help! Finding a trusted advisor, someone who understands the unique challenges of a SMB should be at the top of your list.
Some aspects of IT management that SMB’s can leverage include:
- Vendor and supplier management
- Managed operations and support
- ERP software selection & implementation
- Mobile workforce
- Cloud computing
- IT strategy & planning
This list can and does go on and on. What it all adds up to is the need for you to look at IT strategically, in other words from an enterprise perspective. You need to look at Enterprise IT for the SMB! As a owner or manager, ask yourself:
- Are your IT investments aligned to areas of greatest business value?
- Are your processes and systems sufficiently integrated to maximize efficient operations?
- Have you outgrown your core applications? Do you need to accommodate more capacity or greater complexity?
- Are you able to access the information you need to make decisions?
If you’ve answered “No” to any of these questions, you need Enterprise IT for SMB.