Why future proofing your business’ IT is necessary and what you need to know.

Jesse Simms
Founder / Sr. Tech Architect

The concept of future proofing from a technology standpoint is designing a system or introducing systems that anticipates future needs and growth patterns. To future proof allows a business to grow, or scale without the need for significant infrastructure improvements. Why? Because the needs have been addressed during the design phase.  Many business owners find their technology does not meet the needs of their existing business and this happens for a variety of reasons.  Netvolutions has worked with many small to medium size businesses where this challenge is very real.  We help businesses reach the balance to also avoid over engineering that leads to wasted capital on needless technology.  First things first, we help find most business owners don’t know how to assess their future proofing needs.  We have the Top 5 Tips to help you Future Proof your IT. 

Predicting business issues before you experience them, understanding your business and having  a clear plan that you feel confident will help you succeed, reach out to us for expert advice.

TIP #1: Have A Clear Plan For Your Business

Having a clear picture of where your company is right now helps ensure you purchase the right technology at the right time at the right scale.  If you have a clear picture of your current direction and you will feel confident in the direction of your business plan for the next 3 to 5 years, you will be more likely to make good Information Technology purchases and achieve greater results. 

With the proper planning you will achieve greater results

Identifying technology trends that are impacting your industry and specific business is part of the broader plan.  As an example, we help property management firms achieve more with their infrastructure. We also see the trend toward self-service. Understanding how this trend can be leveraged across your website, property management CRM and document management solutions will give you a competitive edge over other organizations that are not ready to embrace this shift. Business owners consciously fail to act on new trends.  This leads me to my next point.

Tip#2: Embrace Technology

Change is coming! Heraclitus has been often quoted, ‘change is the only constant in life‘. The way your industry is using Information Technology today, will not be the way it is used next year. Technology is changing at a staggering pace. Decide now, if you haven’t already, that you will keep pace.

change is the only constant in life

Greek Philosopher, Heraclitus

Some of us are used to technology changing every two to three years. And some business owners from a previous generation may be used to it changing every five to ten years. Those days are gone – permanently! Change is happening constantly and the business that succeed are changing with it. Decide to embrace the change. As a business owner, I have learned to become comfortable with being in an uncomfortable situation. It is important to rise above the feeling of being uncomfortable and do what is in the best interest of future growth. If you’re struggling in this area consider soliciting the help of your Information Technology professional service they may have resources to help with a slight course correction.

Tip #3: Identify your pain points by analyzing the 3 Big P’s in business: Process, Purpose and People.

I find that pain points generally come from one of the 3 Big P’s in a business. Process, Purpose and or People.

Process – a systematic series of actions directed to some end: a continuous action, operation, or series of changes taking place in a definite manner:

  • How is the technology that I am introducing going to positively impact my workflow?
  • What will this tool do for productivity?
  • Have I lined this product up against my business to ensure it meets all of my current requirements?
  • What matrix did you use to track your performance from the last technology change?

Purpose – the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used,

  • Why am I making this purchase?
  • is the product that I am replacing going End-Of-Life (EOL)?
  • Did I ask about the EOL of this product?
  • Can you sum up in one sentence the advantage this product has over the one it replacing and over its competitors?

People – the entire body of persons who constitute a community, tribe, nation, or other group by virtue of a common culture, history, religion, or the like:

  • Are my employees asking for a change or am I making this change without their buy-in?
  • What was the result of the last shift made in my technology?
  • Was it received and embraced positively?

Tip #4: Reach out to experts.

In some cases, a business will have a Chief Information Officer, CIO to manage the IT demands.  Smaller businesses can have this high level resource at their disposal through a virtual CIO.  Netvolutions experienced IT specialists act as your in-house CIO to manage, troubleshoot and solve all your IT challenges.  They act as an architect in change management and technology adoption.  As vCIO, we consult with your team to learn how they use the technology, their needs and involve them in the process to ensure we find and develop a solution to your team’s technology needs.

‘We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.’ – C.S. Lewis

Tip #5: Learn to manage mistakes

So, now that you’ve proven that you’re human, what do you do? You’ve Made A Technology Purchase Mishap. Now what? The best thing to do in this case is to bite the bullet and make the right decision.

Concerned Business Owner

In some cases it means a minor upgrade or change in a relatively inexpensive piece of hardware. In other cases, it may means a major change in a line of business application or a migration to a whole new service platform. C.S. Lewis said it well, ‘We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.’

It is only natural, especially, in a crisis situation, that a business owner would do what any rationally thinking business owner would do to get his or her business profitable again – find the quickest option to get back into production. The challenge with this approach to business technology is that you are only addressing your IT systems when triage action is required to get the organization back up and online. Most are not thinking about how to get the most out of their investment in a technology solution while under the pressure is on to get a business back up and functioning again. It’s best here to stop, take inventory and ask for help.

Wrapping up

In conclusion, it is best to take a proactive approach to IT instead of a reactive one. Of course, Netvolutions will save you time and money in future proofing your next IT project.  We will be with you and your team every step of the way.