How to secure the budget to improve your IT systemsPosted on Monday, November 14, 2016 by Intergy Consulting
Businesses operate more efficiently when using a mix of IT systems to generate revenue, cut costs, and interact with partners and customers.
If your employees are typing away on computers that are 10 years old, it’s important to remember that updating software, IT systems, and computers periodically is crucial to keep up with your competitors. Speed is a key factor when it comes to productivity; equipping your business with the most efficiently run hardware, software and IT systems should be a priority.
As a business owner, it can seem like there are continually new things to pay for- and that money needs to come from somewhere. It can be hard to justify improved IT systems when there are a number of other expenses which must also be paid, such as employee training and wages, marketing, office supplies, insurance, bookkeeping/accounting, and website development.
However, your IT systems keep your business operating effectively every day and handle a number of different tasks.
So how do you secure the budget in order to improve these systems?
No one wants to feel like they’re being left in the dust by their competitors, including the people who make the big decisions. If you know your competitors are actively improving their IT systems and are therefore able to offer a better service to their customers, collect important information, and keep confidential information secure, this can go a long way towards swinging the vote towards an IT system update within your own company.
Many businesses have emphasized a focus on quality, outsourcing and cost-cutting over the past few decades, which means the culture is primarily incremental thinking and risk aversion- a significant hurdle when it comes to innovation.
Businesses with a culture of innovation are better able to accommodate uncertainty and risk, since the people working within the company are focused on making things better in the long run. Corporate culture can either help or hinder innovation, since when employees join a firm, they’ll typically adopt whatever that current culture is.
It’s important to have your stakeholders on-side, which means being able to articulate exactly what your goal is and understand which of your stakeholders support you, and which ones may potentially disrupt your plans.
When pitching, be sure to seek expertise, feedback, questions and suggestions, and “sell” them on the potential benefits of improved IT systems while ensuring complete transparency and honesty.
Consider your audience
Make sure you present your case at the level of the person you are addressing. For example, if you are addressing the board, you should speak in terms of opportunity, risks, benefits and costs, avoiding too much detail or jargon. If you are addressing a colleague who may be working with that system, consider the areas which will impact them specifically.
Most people are logical, and if you can present your stakeholders with a compelling business case, you may find that you get more support than you anticipated. You may be presenting concepts or ideas which are unknown to your audience. Be prepared to take your stakeholders on a journey, so that they understand the importance of the changes being suggested.
Creating a presentation that shows the benefits of improving these systems and the consequences of lagging behind in IT is an excellent way to ensure that everyone is on the same page and aware of any weaknesses in your current systems.
Another option is to meet with businesses that have made similar changes to discuss the pros and cons, before incorporating this information into your presentation.
You may find that you’re simply not up to the task- either due to time constraints or a lack of knowledge. In this case, asking an expert to come in and do this presentation for you is a great idea, as they’ll also be able to answer any questions that may arise either during or after the presentation and may be more persuasive due to their greater insight.
If you would like to discuss a project or idea that you have for your business, talk to us now and we can help you through this process in your organization and bring your idea into a reality.