When you come into your office, whether you’re working remotely or in-person, you typically sit at a computer that allows you to access numerous applications to get your job done. In fact, according to a recent report from Forrester Consulting, the average large business uses 367 software apps and systems.
According to the same report, workers are spending “nearly one-third of their workweek, or 2.4 hours a day, to find the data and information required to do their jobs effectively.” Where’s the mind-blown emoji? All of this technology may be useful, but when it comes to effectiveness, it takes a little more to determine whether the applications are truly adding value. Tech can be a competitive advantage for companies, but it’s important to look beyond the day-to-day of how it’s being used strategically to help propel the business forward.
Here, we share five of IT’s biggest business value drivers to help guide your company in making the best possible decisions related to technology:
At its core, technology ensures that operations run smoothly and that your organization can meet the demands of customers and stakeholders. This means that if/when technology fails, it directly impacts the business. Part of IT’s value is in building resiliency for a company’s systems and applications that ensure you’re able to deliver your product where it needs to go.
Building a technology strategy that incorporates both an incident response and business continuity plan can minimize the effect that an outage or cybersecurity incident has on your business. Not only do they help protect technology systems from attacks, but they also outline what’s needed to mitigate threats quickly once they’ve been detected to keep your business up and running – and producing – when a disaster strikes.
Planning for what’s ahead
Technology can be a driver of your continued success when implemented properly and if your IT teams have the future of the business in mind. The process might begin with a Technology Strategy Assessment, which helps you understand your technology environment, provides analysis and recommendations, creates a roadmap for improving overall efficiencies, and ongoing planning and strategy for implementation.
The value of a technology review is in clearly outlining what might be missing from your technology stack, any high-level risks that could put your production at risk of failing, and ways that automation can free up valuable time and resources for your teams.
Doing more with less
Small- to mid-sized businesses often have an IT person or small team managing the day-to-day technology challenges for users, which might mean that long-term strategies for IT investments aren’t well planned or mapped back to support business initiatives. In these instances, hiring an outside managed services provider (MSP) can allow you to do more with fewer resources.
In fact, one of ZAG’s clients recently said, “There is no way I could hire a single person – or even five people – who could be experts in all the areas that ZAG is. The partnership has impacted our bottom line tremendously.”
The real value in engaging with external IT professionals is allowing your internal teams to dictate the strategy behind technology investments that aim to provide more value for the business. This could mean working on updating the company’s ERP system, automating systems and processes, and thinking about what business success looks like from a high level instead of a tactical, day-to-day break/fix view of IT.
We’ve often talked to IT directors who say that the security of their environment keeps them up at night. The risk to the business is so debilitating and at times, they don’t know where to begin. The value of additional IT support in this instance can mean the ability to think more long-term rather than about all the risks that constantly must be addressed.
Another ZAG client talked about this, saying, “You can’t put a dollar on the experience and support that ZAG brings to our team. They’re constantly looking out for us, managing risks we don’t even know about, and making sure we’re protected.” Looking for an MSP who conducts regular security and technology reviews can help these organizations manage risk, identify improvements to the network and infrastructure, and identify whether security concerns exist that might affect the company long-term.
Recently, a ZAG client shared with us that working with ZAG helped his team gain four days of productivity each month. Before they engaged with ZAG as an MSP, the client said that staff members were out of action for two hours every time they made a support request. If every user makes just one call a month, 90 hours of previously wasted resources are now back to being dedicated to the business. That’s four days each month.
The bottom line: having working technology and a team that ensures systems and applications are up and running (and up to date) can make a business more productive, which ensures better ROI on the systems your company has in place.
How does IT impact the overall company? Can employees do their job if their email is inaccessible? What are the steps for planning the next stage of your organization’s growth strategy?
All these questions have technology at the center, which means making the right decisions related to investment, external IT partners, and strategy should drive business decisions.
Are you ready to start talking about how technology can be a competitive advantage for your organization? Let’s talk.