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Business success through technology

How to Use Technology to Grow Your Business And How An IT Support Provider Can Help

Today, technology is a cornerstone for driving the success of your business; its ability to delight its customers consistently, achieve more using less, while scaling its operations securely and profitably. Business growth is an outcome of these key elements. No longer the preserve of big-corporations, SMEs have access to much of the same tech that larger enterprises are using, which has levelled the playing field! However, the technical bits and bytes can be a barrier to businesses that want to drive growth using tech. Something that an IT strategy and IT support providers in London and beyond can help you to surmount.

In this guide we’ll give you two things:

  • A step-by-step process for using tech to empower the profitable growth of your business.
  • An understanding of how IT support providers like Netplatforms can simplify and empower the process for you (we don’t just fix things and give customer support!)

Before we dive in, let’s get a scope of the kinds of things that are possible by tapping into the world of IT solutions:

How can technology drive the growth of my SME?

Technology is a big, broad word, so it can help to give some concrete examples of how it can help you to power profitable growth.

Your technology involves a broad range of elements, like the software and devices that you use, your network, hosting infrastructure, and how they work together to power the operations of your business.

A common challenge is having fragmented tools and systems that can complicate operations, make it harder to scale, and gain oversight over your business. IT support providers help businesses to streamline these tools to save costs and improve performance.

Some examples of how a business can use tech to grow include: 

  • Improving network speeds using better hosting and networking infrastructure, which saves time for employees across the board while ensuring more reliable connectivity.
  • Implementing cloud solutions that lower costs and improve productivity and system performance. This includes cloud hosting for your services and data, and cloud software solutions like Microsoft 365, for example. These solutions also enable businesses to efficiently and securely create remote working capabilities.
  • Deploying cyber security tools across your IT environment will better ensure your compliance with data protection legislation such as GDPR while ensuring the continuity of your business and minimising its risks.
  • Taking proactive care of your devices, network, and software, keeping them secure and running at optimal performance, that translates into increased productivity. Slow tools are not just a pain, they are a drain on business value!

These are just some examples of how technology can power secure and profitable growth for your business.

Because technology has become democratised, there’s more pressure than before to adapt in this area to stay ahead of the competition. Your pathway to doing this, lies in creating an IT strategy and technology roadmap.

Creating An IT Strategy and Technology Roadmap To Grow Your Business

For SMBs, creating an IT strategy and a roadmap for putting it into practice doesn’t have to be complicated; something is better than nothing. Being intentional and systematic is the key to harnessing technology for growth.

Here’s a simple step-by-step process you can use to develop an IT strategy and technology roadmap. It starts with gathering the information that you need to prioritise the best IT investments for your business, creating a plan, and taking action:

1. Start With Pain Points and Benefits

Your tech is going to be connected to the challenges of your business as well as the things it is getting really right. A great plan starts with understanding where the most value can be added by IT solutions.

Working with stakeholders, document the operational challenges and pain points that your business faces; what’s taking too much time? What could be automated? Are you unaware of your cyber security posture? Are network speeds slow at all? Are communications and collaboration fragmented?

By getting these pain points documented, you’ll have a checklist you can work through to create better outcomes for your business. You’ll have an understanding of the most valuable solutions where IT solutions can add value.

It then becomes a matter of identifying these solutions in the next step.


2. Discover Solutions That Can Help

For any given operational problem, it’s not necessarily the case that one single solution will solve it! Finding the right solutions and harmonising them with your IT environment is something an IT support provider can be very helpful for.

With this said, documenting these solutions and taking the next appropriate steps will help you to prioritise and orient your efforts.

Start by searching for IT solutions for each of the pain points and goals that you’ve uncovered and document them. Do your homework to discover in greater detail how they can help you.

You can ask questions such as:

  • How can we quantify and qualify the value of this solution?
  • How difficult would be it be for us to implement internally? Do we need external expertise to assist with the process?
  • How will it affect our operations and work with our current technology?
  • How can this solution improve efficiency and productivity, and help us to delight our customers?

By understanding the benefits, costs, opportunities, and risks of each solution, you’ll have a better understanding of what will be needed to implement it, and in what order.

Get A Profitable IT Strategy For Your Business: Get In Touch Today

We understand that building an informed and effective IT strategy can be daunting and complex, but we’re here to help you simplify and speed up the process; get in touch with our team today to get a tailored IT strategy for your business.

3. Create An IT Strategy

An IT strategy is a broad-strokes approach to using IT to achieve your business’s goals. When you’re just starting out with using tech to systematically drive growth, it doesn’t need to be a 20-something page PDF packed with spreadsheet analyses and charts; you can start with something simpler!

Using much of the insights you’ve gathered in the previous steps, your IT strategy should principally include:

  • A vision for the desired state of your business’s IT environment, will serve as a north star for your initiatives. What is this vision? What timeframe is appropriate for bringing it to life?
  • An assessment of the current state of your IT environment; the gap between this and your vision is what your IT roadmap will bridge. The more detail and technical specifics you have, the better; IT support in London and beyond can help with this.
  • The key initiatives you wish to implement; an outline of the projects that will practically bridge the gap between where you are, and where you want to be.
  • Create a governance framework and responsibilities; Who will drive the strategy? What key roles are involved? How will IT project success, data protection, and accountability be ensured?
  • Draft an investment plan; estimate the cost of your current IT environment, implementing the IT projects, and any sources of funding where relevant.


4. Create an IT Roadmap

Now that you’ve got the opportunities and solutions documented in an IT strategy, you can start creating a timelined plan that appropriately prioritises and brings it into action through specific IT project initiatives.

Consider the following for planning, sequencing, and actioning each project in your IT roadmap:

  • Timeframes and Milestones: Specific timelines for when projects and initiatives will be started and completed. Break down concrete deliverable milestones within these timelines.
  • Projects and Initiatives: A list of detailed IT initiatives you wish to pursue according to your IT strategy, including technology upgrades, new system implementations, and other IT efforts planned over your roadmap’s timeline.
  • Resources: Identification of the resources required for each project or initiative, including people, technologies, infrastructure, and budgets.
  • Dependencies: Analyse any dependencies between different projects and initiatives, indicating which projects must be completed before others can start.
  • Risk Management: Identification of potential risks and challenges (e.g data loss, operational disruptions) associated with the roadmap’s initiatives, along with strategies for mitigation.


5. Best Practices For Implementing Your IT Strategy And IT Roadmap

Now that you have solid plans in place for innovating and empowering your business using technology, it’s important to keep some best practices in mind as you execute your plans:

  • Proactively communicate with stakeholders; the more people giving input into your transformation efforts, the more snags, issues, and opportunities can be promptly captured and actioned.
  • Be flexible enough to adjust your plans if needed; especially if you’re going it alone, there’s always a chance that things will not go exactly as planned – factor in some elasticity into your approach so that you can respond to unexpected events, issues, and opportunities effectively.
  • Test, test test; where appropriate before going fully live with an IT project, take the time to test for issues and teething problems ahead of time.
  • Take care of risks ahead of time; For example, if you’re migrating data to the cloud, backup the data ahead of the migration. Take steps to create fail-proof safety nets as your business moves forward.
  • Keep your finger on the pulse! Engrain organisational habits for tracking the progress of IT initiatives and ensuring seamless feedback and improvements
  • Work with an IT support partner. They can give you clarity on costs, drive projects efficiently, and simplify the process for your business, foreseeing issues and risks and helping you capitalise on opportunities.

How Can IT Support Providers Drive My Business’s Success?

IT support providers in London and beyond can help your business to harness technology for its success from start to finish; helping you with getting the lay of the land over your IT environment, the best opportunities to improve it, and working closely with you to connect tech with your goals.

They can make implementing IT solutions a much more seamless, risk-free, and cost-efficient process for your business while giving your team and technology great day-to-day support and care to ensure everything is working smoothly.

Drive Your Competitive Edge With Netplatforms , A Leading London IT Support Provider

We hope this guide can be of help in your efforts to give your business a sharp competitive edge, delighting your customers, and driving profitable growth. If you’d like an IT support provider catering to London and surrounding areas, consider working with Netplatforms.

We’re fluent in the artful science of connecting technology to business outcomes for each of our clients while rooting our IT support and IT solutions in a customer-first ethos. Curious to see what exceptional IT support services can do for your business? Get in touch with us today and we’ll be glad to help you with your challenges.

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