Have you ever considered the value IT has added to your business? If so, you’re not alone. Understanding the real business value of IT can offer constructive insight for any business owner or manager. The main problem that we see when companies evaluate the value of IT on their business is, simply, not knowing what to look for. In this guide, we will give you a few ideas on how to get real business value from your IT provider.
We’ve talked a lot about IT adding value to your business, but in order for this to happen, it is important for those responsible for your IT to understand your business goals. The same way banning “tech speak” will eliminate confusion when talking about IT, it is important for you to clearly communicate the goals of your business to your IT provider. This ensures that your provider is working with your goals in mind instead of working on what they think is best. It is a common mistake to assume that your IT provider already knows and understands what your business’ goals and priorities are, however in most cases this is untrue. Working in unison with each other will help ensure productivity, efficiency and will lead you towards the goal of having your company’s IT contribute to your business value.
It is common for IT providers to throw metrics at business owners to show how they are helping to improve functionality and value of your business. The problem is, most of these metrics are not showing you anything that you can work with. High uptimes are great, but the question you should be asking is, “how is this impacting my business?” If you are currently working with an IT provider, make sure to have quarterly business reviews. In these reviews, your IT provider will most likely provide you with metrics. At your next meeting, make sure to dig a little deeper; ask questions in order to get explanations as to why these metrics matter to your business. There is a reason why your IT provider wants you to see these metrics, but it’s important for you to truly understand them in order to make the best decisions and plans for your business.
As we mentioned above, it is very important for business owners and managers to understand their company’s IT. It is because of this that we would suggest making sure to avoid “tech speak” with your IT provider. A modern day IT provider should be able to explain anything to you in plain English, in ways that anyone could understand. This eliminates confusion and keeps everyone on the same page. In reality, if they are doing their job well, they should want to share information with you in a way that is easy to understand.
It’s possible that whoever is handling your IT has many different thoughts on how to use technology to decrease costs, increase productivity, and ultimately become more profitable. By considering your provider's thoughts and ideas, you might be able to find solutions for your business that have not yet been considered. Technology is an extremely valuable asset for your company in the modern world. By understanding the importance of IT on your business, and being open to improvements and ideas, you can begin to find ways to get ahead of the curve and gain real business value from your IT provider.