IT management done badly – like making poor IT purchasing decisions – costs businesses money. Too many companies spend cash on new IT equipment which is of limited use, or waste effort fixing problems which good business IT management could have prevented.
There are a number of reasons for taking a structured approach to purchasing and managing IT in your business. You can ensure you:
The most common IT management mistake companies make is to start with the technology. Rather than get caught up in the latest gadgets and cutting edge kit, it’s important to take a step back and consider your business plan.
Here’s why. IT is a key tool which can either help you achieve your aims, or hinder you. For it to help, you should use your business objectives – as set out in your business plan – to guide every IT purchasing and management decision.
The most basic level of IT management means always considering whether a proposed investment in new IT equipment or procedures will benefit your company. To do this, construct a clear set of IT requirements, describing what you want to do with your IT system.
Good IT management is easier to achieve inside a clear structure with strong leadership. Give one or more people in your business responsibility for overseeing IT management. Make sure they understand your business plan and objectives so they can structure the IT management accordingly.
If you are not fulfilling the IT management role yourself, make sure the people who are have sufficient authority to put together a procurement plan, IT budget and maintenance procedures. After all, these are key IT management factors for your business.
Ensure the people in charge of IT management have IT expertise and are given time to stay up-to-date with changes in the IT industry.
You can also turn to external partners for assistance and information. One of the best sources of advice can be a good IT supplier; if your business lacks in-house expertise, it’s particularly important you build a good relationship with them.
IT tends to be quite expensive, so careful budgeting is important. When planning your IT management, create and maintain an IT budget which makes provision for IT expansion, maintaining existing systems and replacing obsolete equipment.
Good IT management means not viewing your IT budget in isolation. IT is likely to be a crucial part of your business infrastructure, so your IT management needs to tie in with your overall company budget and business plan.