When it comes to business, planning is everything. No matter how great your idea, how skilled your people, and how ripe your market, rushing in without consideration is unwise. Digital technology is throwing a spanner in the wheel of traditional business practice, though. The speed of change and magnitude of market disruption have left many organisations on the back foot, frantically adjusting plans that are outdated as soon as they’re written. So how do you prepare for something you can’t see coming?
While we don’t have a crystal ball, there are some certainties. As a starting point, emerging technologies will place demands on your IT infrastructure and your people like never before. Cyber-crime will gain in sophistication and potency, competition will emerge from unexpected quarters, and user expectations will soar. With all of this in mind, there are some rules of thumb that are worth considering when preparing for the future:
Define Your IT Gap
There are two main reasons to get an independent assessment of your current and desired state. One, you are probably way too busy to take that much time out, and two, a fresh set of eyes is a good idea from time to time. Assessing both your current status and your desired business outcome will give you an understanding of what is needed, so that you can allocate tasks and enlist support. With this done, you’re ready to embrace your digital future.
Focus on your Core and we will focus on your critical IT Chores
Imagine you’re directing a film. You have a vision of your outcome, and everything your team does must support that vision. As director, you want direct control over script edits, but you don’t need to concern yourself with feeding the crew, so you use a catering company.
This is one of the most important rules in business IT. Focus on your core, business-supporting activities and hand over the distraction of the IT chores to your trusted partner. As a managed service partner, your IT chores are our core, so we’re equipped to dedicate full attention to them.
IT Flexibility is More Than Just a Buzzword
Flexibility, agility, scalability – call it what you like, but the ability to change shape and direction, to grow at the drop of a hat, to consume what you need when you need it, is a vital business survival capability. Doing this with a realistic budget takes a ‘grow with me’ approach from technology partners.
There are many pay-as-you-go infrastructure options, where you only pay for what you consume, but investigate carefully the scalability and quality that is on offer. You can expect always-on, enterprise-level service – we use HPE infrastructure for its reliability and performance – so why settle for less? Not all solutions are tailored to your business as well as you would like, so read the fine print and ask as many questions as it takes.
You Can’t Be an Expert in Every Technology
When new threats or opportunities emerge, it can be more a matter of who you know than what you know. Realistically, nobody can be an expert at everything, but having the right contact list is the next best thing. Ultimately, you need ready access to expertise. This is where your choice of service partner comes in.
Choose a Managed Service Partner (MSP) who has the know-how you don’t, to complement the skills you have in-house. Equally importantly, invest time in finding a partner with a culture that matches your own; IT is central to your future, so you need to connect with technologists prepared to listen until they understand what you want to achieve. Only then can they develop the processes and services that will help your organisation shine.
Take the Data Challenge
Data is your most valuable asset as a business. As a result, it is critical that you:
- Know where it is
- Know who can access it
- Know how you are protecting it
- Use it intelligently, helping you to grow your business
When preparing for success in an uncertain future, data – and its classification – are vital. Risk assessment and mitigation are the bedrock of compliance and everything in IT, so spending should reflect this.
Time to enlist support? You don’t have to face an uncertain future alone. Contact our friendly specialists and book a free initial assessment.