For many small to mid-sized businesses, the IT department is there to fix things when they break, or add new things just as they're needed. Having digital strategies as part of the planning process isn't deemed necessary.
To an extent you can see why. By going the 'quick fix' route there's often less of an up-front investment to make in time and money. And you'll more or less get what you've asked for.
But there's also a cost. By keeping your IT Strategy in the dark, you're also keeping them from setting up the best infrastructure for what's planned ahead. And when those quick fixes become permanent fixtures, problems can creep in as a business begins to incur a 'technology debt'.
The term 'technology debt' was originally coined to describe a quick-fix approach to developing computer code that ignored the big picture, to the long-term detriment of a project. The more the quick fixes were left unchecked, the more difficult and expensive it would be to pull back, look at the big picture and re-do things properly.
As such, technology debt works in exactly the same manner when looking at an IT system in its entirety. Particularly when a business experiences growth. Daisy chaining network switches is a common example. A little like multiple double adaptors for electricity, each additional switch fixes a short-term growth problem, but also impacts the overall operational efficiency of the network.
Are you incurring debt?
Most businesses are oblivious to mounting technology debt as the problems associated with it don't suddenly appear, but creep up over time. So you need to look out for the telltale signs that those IT quick fixes are no longer fixing:
- The more successful the business, the slower the systems seem to run.
- You want to add new functionality, but are told by IT it’s going to be a huge investment, take a long time or not be possible at all.
- Your competitors are offering products and services you’re unable to offer because of IT limitations.
- Your team has become frustrated and unhappy about IT.
Ironically, even the monetary cost of all the quick fixes can make a patchwork IT more expensive than one that's thought out for the long term. Which means you're down on both cost and performance.
To get things working the way you want, the technology you should choose, how you should use it and the network platform you need is 100% dependant on your business plan and digital strategy.
Want to know how your IT stacks up?
If you're wondering whether your current IT is helping or hurting your business strategy, have a chat to the team at Lanrex. As IT specialists for SMEs, we're in an excellent position to help you understand where your capabilities sit in the competitive landscape and how to best leverage technology.
Best thing is, finding out from the best IT support in sydney won't cost you a cent!
Contact Lanrex today!