IT for medium businesses

Small and Mid-Size Companies should have in place a reliable IT platform to gain a competitive edge in the market. To get this, businesses need to carry out IT planning to ensure that they get the best out of the system. Here is the process that can help small and mid-size companies leverage the use of their IT.

Business needs assessment

To fully appreciate the importance of IT in a business, it’s necessary to carry out a comprehensive study on the business’s operations. This involves looking at the action plans, goals and objectives of the business as well as its daily operations. It also involves having a discussion with the business owner, the staff and if possible, the customers. One should also observe how things are done with an aim to get an independent assessment of the technology currently in use. When this is done, a clear picture will be created on how technology is being used and what can be done to improve the situation. Such an assessment requires a seasoned professional IT services provider with business acumen to sit down with the business owner and the staff, analyze how things are done and in a participatory process propose solutions that can improve the situation.

IT needs assessment to meet the business’s needs

To provide a solution, a comprehensive needs assessment is required; this involves studying the current operations and assessing the gaps. It involves assessing and documenting IT needs with specific objectives beings:

  • Analysis of the existing technology solutions used by the business.
  • Identifying the areas which are perceived to require additional functionality.
  • Developing potential strategies which can help meet the identified needs.
  • Documentation of a comprehensive analysis leading to recommendations on how the problems will be solved.

Employee needs analysis

It is not enough to carry out the need assessment with only an aim to meeting the business’s needs. Failure to understand the employees’ needs may end up with wrong solutions. There is a need to understand the employee’s capabilities to handle information technology in a business. These are the people who are relied upon to drive the system. If there are challenges as far as their capacity is concerned, the IT system will not function properly. Employees need analysis involves assessing the skills and training gaps as far as Information Technology is concerned, this also includes identifying the tools that employees need to perform their work at an optimal level.

Hardware and software planning and budgeting

Once a thorough assessment of the business, Information technology and employees needs has been carried out, it is important for to come up with a plan on how the gaps which have been identified, can be addressed. The process needs to involve sustaining the strengths, eliminating the threats and working on the weaknesses through exploring the opportunities at hand. The focus should be both long and short term, all aimed at giving the business the best returns. The business will need expert input to come up with the best solutions. These are people who have the capacity to foresee situations which the business may not understand or overlook. The experts will not only identify the hardware and software needs of the business but will also prepare a budget that can be relied upon since they are well versed with solutions which are good for small and medium businesses.