Is there a need for IT services for a business?
Bill Gates once said “Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other.” And we can see this very much in today’s world where many aspect of business are being digitalised.
IT in business is no longer a strategic advantage but rather a strategic necessity. While in many industries using IT may not necessary help you surpass your competitors, but not having IT in your business will in some degree negatively affect your competitive advantage. For industries that have yet been digitalised much, using IT in your business operations should naturally be your next step as it could mean a strategic advantage.
“Technologies are harmful and helpless to a business unless properly and professionally managed and implemented.” This is because your core knowledge and skills is your domain of your business and not necessary IT. Therefore, you risk spending thousands of dollars on technologies that may not help you in your business.
It is important for a business to engage an IT solution partner to receive professional and up-to-date advice on the information technology the business should have for their business, as well as successfully implementing and managing the solution, while focusing on what they do best, their business.
What are considerations for a startup when choosing IT solutions?
1. Your business process
Many businesses approach IT Solution Providers expecting solutions to perfect their business model/process. However, IT solutions are just enablers and enhancers to the business. A solution applied to an efficient and effective business model may boost its efficiency and effectiveness, while a solution applied to an otherwise inefficient and ineffective business model may cause the opposite effect.
2. Your Budget
After considering the business process, consider your budget. The amount of budget you have determines the completeness and depth of the IT solutions. For instance, a high budget will grant you more flexibility in customisations, while a lower budget will have more restrictions and a less complete solution. However, if your new business is dependent on technology, for example a portal; then you will have to be ready with a sizable budget unless you have an attractive business and compensation plan for your prospective tech partner.
3. A Technology Roadmap
This is closely tied to your vision for your new start up. Based on your process and budget, some of the technology may be good to have. Thus, it will be beneficial if you know exactly which software or solutions are next in line to help you achieve your various milestones and goals in your business. This will be a good way of planning ahead for your business as well as setting aside a budget for this plan.
4. Getting Your IT Partner
As an entrepreneur, in the infancy stage of your start up, you are constantly bombarded by the amount of information and advice in all aspect of business. Hence, you may not have the necessary time and knowledge to properly source the right technology for your business. Therefore, getting a IT partner, someone who you can get professional opinion from, and to help you understand what is needed for your business.
What Basic IT Solutions Should A Start Up Have?
1. Website Along With Its Maintenance Services
In this digital age, it is very important for your business to have some form of web presence. Depending on your budget, you may want to consider Search Engine Optimisation and marketing to help you rank better on Google. If not, a simple looking website will suffice so that there is a place for your leads to go when you are out sharing your business.
2. Accounting Software
Many start-ups in the past rely on Microsoft Office applications for invoicing and tracking. While they are just fine, they may present many productivity issues as you grow. Therefore, it is also important to have IT solutions to have in your start up list.
Tips on choosing a good IT solution partner
1. A Partner that Understands your Budget and Business
IT skills can be easily picked up by anyone, but it is good to have a partner who understands your budget and business to help you plan your path in the adoption at your comfort level.
2. Honesty and Confidence
When we are limited in the knowledge of technology, it is east to be convinced when an IT solution partner over promises. Have the vendor present layouts and time lines to assess the competency to ensure they meet your requirements.
This goes without saying, but it is important that the IT solution partner knows what they are offering and they understand the current trends. However, the higher the level of skills the more budget you must be willing to set aside for the expertise.
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