Most modern businesses, regardless of their size, rely heavily on technological resources. These resources range from the very basics, such as telephone and internet services, to more advanced resources such as internal networks, servers, customer relationship management (CRM) systems and security.
Although not all businesses have the resources or need for a full-time IT manager, there is significant value in ensuring that all technological resources are effectively utilised and applied in a way that maximises benefits and minimises risks for the business.
For example, have you calculated the lost opportunity of the two hours you spent on the telephone with your internet service provider last month?
What about the security risks posed if the wrong people managed to access confidential company information or systems?
Alternatively, have you considered how many additional clients you would be able to service if you paid a minimal fee to have some of your business’s operational tasks automated?
Optimise these 6 areas
Here are six areas where there might be opportunities for IT-influenced optimisation in your business:
1. Cloud computing
Many companies, especially small-to-medium size businesses, are looking towards using cloud-based servers as opposed to non-virtual servers because of the cost opportunity benefits they offer.
Cloud-based servers also provide a more efficient means of backup and storage, ultimately improve any disaster recovery plans that may be in place.
2. Internet and Intranet
By carefully considering and strategically selecting the right service providers to meet your unique business’ needs you can not only save costs but also increase efficiency.
Thorough research in this area can also lead to greater reliability and surety, especially if you create a customised Service Level Agreement that ensures these systems contribute to your overall business goals.
3. Networks and telecommunication
Improved communication technologies have resulted in companies being able to offer employees opportunities to be more mobile while still remaining in constant and close contact with the company.
Business can be run successfully and efficiently from various locations, such as clients’ premises, as well as on the go.
In any business there may be unsolicited attempts to access protected information or resources, and IT management needs to have measures in place to foil these attempts.
This can be achieved by implementing privacy and access control policies that deal with the integrity, protection and confidentiality of IT assets.
By keeping IT hardware and software as consistent and user-friendly as possible, companies can not only reduce the number of tools they need to complete tasks, but also avoid specialised equipment and software that can be costly and difficult to implement and manage.
Effective IT management makes it possible for an organisation to establish a level of compliance with industry standards, only bringing in specialised resources where absolutely necessary.
This also saves training and instruction time as employees will not have to constantly learn how to use specialised and non-standard resources.
Although the server software is necessarily specific to the type of server, the hardware is not as important. For example, desktop computers can be turned into servers through adding the appropriate software.
With all of the latest technological innovations, most servers can now be accessed using remote access software rendering input devices moot.
Learn more about managing technology in your business
Register for the recently launched University of Cape Town IT Management short course, presented part-time and entirely online throughout South Africa.
Course starts: 1 July 2013
Course duration: 10 weeks online
Where to register: www.getsmarter.co.za