Any business, once it grows beyond more than one employee, starts to utilize technology to operate. It uses technology in every facet – generating new business, communicating with colleagues, suppliers and clients, manufacturing, accounting, marketing – everything. Most business owners understand the need for the technological tools, but they often don’t realize the true costs (or benefits) of these tools.
Writing a check for internet access, a new computer or a phone system is very easy to understand – you pay a price for a specific item or service, and that’s a cost. When
something goes wrong, the repairs or replacement parts, that’s another check and a visible cost.
But there are costs (and benefits) of your technology that are not so readily obvious. Training staff to use the technologies is a cost, but conversely, the efficiencies gained once the tools are in productive use are very real as well.
To truly realize the power of technology in business, it is necessary to bring the notion of Return on Investment (ROI) into the conversation. Every cost incurred in technology (the machines, the software, the training, the maintenance, the upgrades) should be compared against the benefits with the goal of having technology become a profit center, not a cost center! It takes a well designed technology plan to ensure the investment in tech pays dividends.
Large enterprises have a Chief Information Officer (CIO) to ensure that the company’s direction with regards to technology is focused on ROI. Small or medium size businesses
need not be shut out from this important business benefit. Leading Information Technology (IT) consulting firms can bring this type of expertise to smaller enterprises and help them fully unlock the money-making potential of their technology. Is your IT provider doing this for your business?