How much attention do you and your business give to the IT systems which you use? Do you still have old equipment which you keep because it still does the job? How many people do you use to look after your IT systems? These are very pertinent questions in today’s world, regardless of what industry you are working in. My colleague Anju Vallabhaneni and I work in the Ohio area with many businesses looking into their IT needs. What astonishes us most is how many business owners, usually of the older generation, fail to invest time and money into their IT equipment and software. If you fall into this category and you simply see the software and computer equipment in your business as something which doesn’t need much attention, here is why you should start laying much more focus on this aspect of the business.
At the heart of every well run business is a work force who are providing high quality output at high speed. What is interesting here is that many business owners understand the importance of productivity in their business, yet fail to address IT concerns. Computers are used in almost every company in the world and those that don’t, will be in the very jeans future. With this in mind, you could be doing great damage to the productivity of your workforce if you don’t have sufficient IT in place for them. If you have old or outdated equipment, you could be literally losing hours of work, each and every day.
Customers have an expectation that you and your business are providing them with the highest level of service and support, something which your business will be incapable to provide without great software and IT equipment. Take a restaurant for example, customers want to be able to place an order at speed, and pay in the same way. If your restaurant is using old style techniques such as pen and paper, and outdated card readers which rely on slow mobile connections, they won’t be too pleased. Contrast this with a waitress who orders directly from a table to the kitchen, and then utilizes fast POS systems, the customer will be immeasurably happier. You may not place too high a focus on your IT systems, but your customers most certainly will.
Theft is not only about someone breaking into the office and stealing some paperwork, these days this can be done from the comfort of a thief’s bed, though the internet. Cybercrime is on the rise and there are many companies, especially those with outdated IT systems, who are at very real risk of being attacked. Consider how your customers may feel if their details are stolen from you, would they stay loyal? Equally, what if your competitors got hold of your plans for the next quarter or an exciting new product, what wold happen then? You must ensure that your systems are safe and security, failure to do so could be very damaging indeed.