There’s a huge choice when it comes to IT hardware, applications, and services to support a business. So many in fact that determining the best solutions to implement can be a challenging, and sometimes costly, endeavour. But there are methodical ways in which to approach this task to ensure that the products and services that you choose are a good fit for your business purposes, have longevity and benefit all the necessary stakeholders.
Here we share some considerations:
1. Working with what you already have
Your business will already have an IT environment in place, some of which is likely to still be working well for you. So, firstly, a key consideration when reviewing your IT and what is fit for purpose is to what aspects of the infrastructure you already have that is still viable and build from it. Will it also support any new applications and tools that you want to implement? If you can make some of your current infrastructure work, not only is this going to save on outlay costs, but also save on end-user training and implementation time too.
2. Being mindful when reviewing the ‘best’ IT solutions
Many of the IT solutions you come across will have enticing marketing promotions and a sales team keen to sell their top tier products. It can be tempting to jump on the bandwagon when you can see everything it can deliver. There are viable benefits to all these solutions, but we always recommend working backwards from the need you are attempting to fulfil. Creating a brief of your functional requirements (including a list of functions and features that you want with a scoring mechanism) and presenting that to the supplier so that they can provide you with a tailored demo, answering all your questions and presenting the functionality that will work for your business now (as well as sharing what might be of use in the future) will be the most rewarding when finding the right solution for your business.
It’s got to be about the best fit for your business (will it integrate well with your existing applications and your people), at the right price and meet the functional needs now (with potential for the future).
3. It’s not about reinventing the wheel
There is a plethora of choice out there when it comes to IT solutions and new applications and while this can make comparisons overwhelming it also means there is a competitive market to benefit from; from established global suppliers to new innovative start-ups. It’s not always about having the latest of everything, it’s about having the right environment for your business, the people and their needs to get their job done efficiently.
Taking a step back to review before moving forward
Spending time right at the start to review your current IT environment and setting out a functional requirements spec before you go out to market is important. Working with an IT specialist with a thorough grasp of the different products and services available can help you to find the best IT solutions for your business. A specialist will also be well placed to identify those products that will fit in well with your current IT environment.
An IT audit is a good initial approach as it will identify any gaps or vulnerabilities in your infrastructure. This can then also be reviewed in relation to what you want to achieve next and make recommendations on the best IT solutions for your business going forward.
Find out more
If you would like to discuss your business’s IT needs or if you are interested in carrying out an IT audit, please contact Andrew Wayman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office on +44 (0)1344 870062.