Businesses rely on IT more these days than ever. Almost no business process can be improved without the right technology or IT solution. Every function, from sales to facilities management, can be enhanced using a business solution, a set of digital tools, or an entire IT ecosystem.
Of course, IT can be a complicated element in a business. It doesn't take much for a series of solutions and IT services to turn into a mess that hampers business operations and growth instead of the other way around. To avoid running into a similar issue, here are the tips and tricks your business can follow.
1. Be Selective
Not all problems need to are solved by introducing a new solution to the IT ecosystem. When you have existing tools in place, making small changes to the workflow to solve business problems could be the better option.
Yes, you want business solutions that work well with your existing workflows; this is the ideal way of implementing IT solutions to help business operations. However, less-than-ideal conditions require you to be flexible with your business processes.
One additional point to remember: replacing existing IT solutions with better ones is also an option worth considering. Moving to a new business solution is cumbersome, but the benefits you gain in return more than makeup for the extra hassle.
2. Manage Everything
The key to keeping your IT ecosystem efficient is, well, proper management. It is never too early to manage hardware and software inside the ecosystem. Solutions like TOPdesk – explicitly designed to deliver better IT services – need to be integrated early.
Waiting until there are hundreds of devices and components to manage will only complicate the matter. When you already have a sophisticated infrastructure in place, having to re-document everything and implementing a new IT service management system is costly and challenging.
Starting early, on the other hand, gives you a competitive advantage. TOPdesk, for instance, allows you to develop a self-service portal for IT services. You can begin amassing IT-related knowledge and resources from the moment you start using TOPdesk to provide IT support.
3. Develop People
Proper implementation of a business information system – and IT solutions in general – depends highly on the people involved in the process. Employees of the business are the ones who will utilize business solutions and reap the most benefits.
Failure to deliver sufficient training and develop people are common causes of inefficiencies. For example, employees who are not familiar with internal database tools often resort to using spreadsheets to manage information. The use of spreadsheets doesn't just affect how business information is handled, but also how efficient employees are when completing their work.
Good understanding of the available tools and IT resources, on the other hand, allows employees to play a more active role in streamlining information technology within the business. Rather than switching back to spreadsheets, employees can make recommendations that improve the whole system.
4. Security Matters
The process of optimizing business solutions and information systems must not steal focus from information security. It is still vital to protect business information from cyberattacks and other threats. Cutting corners is not something you want to do when protecting sensitive files and data.
Eliminating security procedures so that you can simplify specific workflows is a bad idea. While you are streamlining your use of IT, what you sacrifice in return is far too extensive. A cyberattack can render your entire IT network useless and cause catastrophic business disruption.
Instead, you want to add extra security measures without making the IT ecosystem too complicated. Good access management, better asset, and solutions monitoring, and a way to continuously improve your business information security measures are the components you want to add.
5. Work with Partners
Even when you have a relatively large IT department, working with partners is still a good idea. When you have servers at different locations, having those servers maintained by OEMs or third-party support teams helps shift the responsibility and reduces stress on your IT capacity.
After all, most servers, terminals, and other hardware come with warranties and service guarantees. Larger manufacturers are competing for your business, so it is not surprising to find modern equipment and IT components being offered with up to five years of on-site service.
Partners are also helpful when it comes to business solutions. Managed services and cloud business solutions allow you to shift further the responsibility of maintaining multiple systems within the ecosystem to external parties.
6. Stick to What You Need
There is a growing trend of over-implementing IT solutions growing on the market right now. It is a counterproductive move to make, regardless of the benefits you gain in return. As mentioned earlier in this article, not all problems need to be solved using IT-based solutions.
The same is true with the solutions that are useful for your business. There is no point in paying for IT services or features you don’t utilize fully. It is much better to invest in a scalable IT ecosystem than a large one from the start; both have different impacts on your bottom line.
Efficient IT services are scalable, which means you don’t have to worry about running into bottlenecks as the business grows. You can always upgrade to a better SaaS plan, switch to a more capable server, and even scale the entire ecosystem up when needed.
7. Bonus Tip: Integrate!
Here's one additional tip that takes streamlining IT solutions to the next level: integrate the solutions you use into a custom platform for your business. Almost all solutions on the market come with APIs, webhooks, and other tools you can use for better integration.
Take the necessary step towards integrating the different tools you use. New sales leads added to Salesforce must be able to trigger the delivery of an introduction email by Active Campaign when the two solutions are integrated and talking to each other.
Combined with the other tips and tricks we discussed in this article, nothing will stop you from streamlining your use of information technology. Before you know it, you have an effective and efficient IT ecosystem that fully supports your company’s exponential growth.