You might be tempted to listen to media buzz and go buy yourself an IT team worth millions in education alone just to improve the way your business handles technology. There’s a lot of talent out there. But there’s also a lot of great information. So before you decide to buy more talent, consider ways you might be able to take stock of your business’s technology use. These five steps, the Cs, can help you improve current efficiency in a streamlined manner.
When the time comes to make a purchase—be it an IT team, software or server space—you’ll have a good idea of what you need.
Create a systematic organization. Basically, make sure your team is on the same page in language and process. For team members who aren’t as savvy as your tech people in maneuvering through new programs and networks, consider brief training classes to get everyone on board.
But it’s not just language here. Find out how your staff approaches technology—be it social networking, data backup or server management—and observe their tactics. This can be an excellent way to learn more about your team’s strengths and it encourages your staff to explore possible technology solutions in your pre-existing infrastructure.
Does your technology infrastructure promote collaboration? With your web and network applications, is it easy for multiple colleagues to track project progress, to offer new ideas and editing? A good litmus test: find out, on average, how many people are discussing/brainstorming ideas through technology. Who is using one-on-one communication? What about Google+ Hangouts? What options does your technology have for creating collaboration?
Technology moves. Even when your current system already seems to be working fine, follow up on software updates and upgrades. Here’s a place where you might want to keep in contact with a system specialist to know whether you’re operating at peek efficiency or not. Many technology offerings pair platforms with specialists, integration with support. Rackspace now has a team of specialists who help businesses large and small integrate Microsoft’s SharePoint into their web hosting.
This is a two-fold. (A.) Take stock. Get rid of what you don’t need. (B.) Research and discover what technology options can foster a leaner business model.
You can also think about data storage and security here, too. When you have a mess, you lose things. Important things. Evaluate the organization system and decide if a simpler, effective software exists out there. And another note: does your data storage system streamline with your other technology? What about server space? Social networking? One big part of keeping a clean technological space is finding platforms and applications that work hand-in-hand. Web apps like SharePoint help you manage and streamline every point of the process.
This is why you focus on the previous four efficiency-tips: so you can create. Technology shouldn’t be a hindrance for your business; it should be a tool. Once your team is on the same page with updated infrastructure, a streamlined platform and a clean system, you’re ready to put technology to use. Research the countless companies that deploy systems like SharePoint and the benefits they’ve found. Encourage your team to explore. Do some exploring yourself.
In the end, you might find that you really do want a dedicated IT staff. You might even want to continue without one, though and rely on outsourcing to provide you the support your company needs to keep growing. Whatever you decide, make sure that you’re growing efficiently with the 5 Cs.