Is my IT costing me more than it should?

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IT overspendingGartner estimates that spending on technology products and services will reach almost A$78.7 billion in Australia and NZ$11.6 billion in New Zealand in 2015. However, it’s not the IT departments that will get the big chunk of the pie.

According to Peter Sondergaard, Senior Vice President at Gartner and Global Head of Research, the spending will shift away from IT and toward digital business units closer to the customer. Be it your marketing, HR, logistics or sales departments.

All businesses need to invest in technology to compete. That’s a given. Technology must be seen a cost of doing business, but also as an opportunity to do more business. For it to be worth your while, you need a strategy so as to not put all your money in one basket.

Avoid these common mistakes when making technology investments:

1. Lack of technology vision. A technology plan is your to a business plan. A technology plan will tell you where you are now and where you want to be in the future in terms of the technology and infrastructure you’re using. This plan should be short to medium term only, as technology changes so fast. Those who don’t create a plan jump from one system or application to another without a clear understanding of the true benefits of the technology they are currently using.

2. Investing in the latest technology even if it’s not fit for your business. Just because a new product may be the latest and greatest in the market doesn’t mean it’s what your business needs. An investment in technology that doesn’t support your business needs or ends up underutilised and it can be costly hit to your bottom line.

3. Assuming everything will work together. If your tools or systems don’t align, you’ll face a bigger problem in the long run. Your tech investments should complement each other to get the most out of each of them. On the other hand, if you are performing manual ‘in-between’ steps to force your systems to work together, then you’ve just wasted your money on a technology that doesn’t fit your business.

4. Failure to establish a budget. Plan carefully where you’re putting money. Set an amount you’d be comfortable spending on technology and do some research. Having a budget in mind will keep you from running out of money before you can build the technology platform you need.

5. Lack of support and training for your staff. They’re the ones who will be using the technology, so make sure they know how it works. Don’t expect them to know everything without proper guidance and training. You want to be able to utilise your technology as soon as possible before it becomes obsolete. Check with the vendor to see if they provide free training and on-going assistance before you buy.

Small companies sometimes make the mistake of overspending on technology because they have not aligned their investment with how it will grow their businesses. On the other hand, there are also those who miss out on opportunities to take their business to the next level because they failed to make strategic technology investments. Don’t make these mistakes.

Before spending any money or time on a technology, ask yourself this, “Why am I doing this?” If there is not a core business benefit to be gained, don’t do it.

If you have any questions on new technologies and implementation or you need help with a project, contact us for a free expert IT consultation.