COVID has harshly illustrated the costs of staying the course with Information Technology (IT). We are all seeing the results of fiscally responsible actions like:
• Putting a freeze on spending
• Keeping current working systems in place
• Not addressing changes in the market
• Avoiding the whole work-from-anywhere thing
When it comes to technology, doing nothing can get pricey. Unless you are managing for change—anticipating the future and planning for new and updated software, systems, and hardware—you are on a tear toward a budget-blowing crash.
Recently I had a call from a business owner who was having problems with a line of business application, a call that turned out to be the proverbial tip of the iceberg. As I investigated the situation, I learned the application was four versions out of date and no longer capable of supporting a critical business need. New software was essential to get back on track. Meanwhile, the application infrastructure was seven years old and lacked the power, reporting and remote capabilities to support the business remotely—the “old process” had to be replaced.
In this business owner’s case, waiting to spend technology dollars until disaster loomed was a costly strategy. Now that they have learned the hard way saving dollars by not spending dollars can be ultra-expensive, my prediction is from here on out they will opt for a cost-efficient technology strategy.
Today your business has made a quick change, your staff have adjusted (somewhat) and what looks like the hard work is behind you. If this is your current state, then that is good news.
What needs to happen, and you need to plan for is how best transition from this emergency adaptation to systems that will avoid your having to do this again.
If your internal IT professional’s or your services provider full-time focus has been maintaining your current systems, software, and hardware, without an eye on the changes happening in your business and the world then plan to engage with a services consultant who can talk about the future, your business and how to be nimble in advance of the next ‘event.’
Start planning now to work on transition technology from a backroom after-thought to a tactic for growing your business. More sales and greater profitability will offset the manageable costs of keeping systems capabilities up to date and problems at bay.