We all recognize a “crash”. Your computers don’t come on at all, or your network suddenly stops working. You’re down. You can’t work. What will be the cost of this loss of productivity? A worse situation, I believe, is a technology slowdown. An almost imperceptible slow leak of IT reactivity like hardware that is slow to boot up or images/attachments so slow to load. It’s annoying but not as dramatic as a crash, so we tolerate it. After how many weeks of this do the seconds and minutes add up to a significant loss of productivity?
Talk To Your Workers About Their “Tools”
I recommend having a conversation with your employees on a regular basis about IT performance. It can be at a staff meeting or in the break room. Do you know if the IT “tools” you have in place are the best use for where you are in your business now? It could be that some cutting-edge technology that you purchased two years ago is no longer the best tool for how your business operates today. Your best use of technology is directly related to the other moving parts of your business processes, and those processes are subject to changes in other supply chain evolutions. Do you have suppliers? Third-party vendors? Independent representatives? Does all your IT interface efficiently with their IT? Whose job is it to keep up with those details, and what qualifies them to be that person?
Technology Should Boost Productivity
I know many people who can remember what a game-changer Lotus 123 was back in the day. Bookkeeping today is incomprehensible without tools like QuickBooks or Sage Accounting. And think of record keeping, reporting, or correspondence without word processing, or architectural pursuits without CAD software. But for your particular business, you probably need tools beyond the Captain Obvious software. Whether you do or you don’t—you need to know. If you do, having the right tools can increase productivity. If you don’t, then you don’t need to spend money on fancy software.
Your Information Technology should not be about “cost” but about productivity and ROI. It should not be about time lost, whether from big crashes or from failing functionality. Just like you would ask your doctor to explain why you need a certain medication, you should have a trusted IT professional who you can ask what you need for the most complicated and crucial apparatus in your hour-to-hour business operation.
Get a definitive answer from someone: does my technology create the best opportunity for productivity? If you know that it does, then go back to your growth and development planning! Technology cost vs. time lost is a very good starting point for knowing how much time and capital to invest in what’s next. Call us at Aptica for more tips on “How do you know if . . .”
Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2101, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT management and support company has been serving small to medium-sized businesses for 19 years in the region that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.