SMEs (Small Medium Enterprise) might face issue in achieving business excellence due to following reasons:
- Strategic plans often left on the shelf, rarely updated and poorly executed
- Inefficient business processes and support systems
- Individuals not accountable for executing strategic actions or for improving key processes
- Ad-hoc approach to the selection, tracking and use of Key Performance Indicators
- Tired of trying partial solutions that haven’t lived up to their promise, skeptical of expensive consultant-led solutions
- Poor Technology usage
From hardware to software, IT can influence the performance of a business, benefit its customers and affect the impact a company can have within its competitive landscape.
India’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which are highly entrepreneurial, need robust Technology to drive innovation and cope with the rapidly changing business environment. There are many technology vendors who approach SMEs with plethora of technologies. They claim that their IT solutions will help them grow business, reduce expenses, improve customer service and enhance employee productivity. SMEs because of budget constraint do not have the necessary skills and expertise in-house to fulfill IT needs. It’s important not to over-invest in hardware you’ll never use – but equally you shouldn’t get left behind. New technology standards emerge on a regular basis, and getting stuck with old or incompatible technology which can be a costly mistake. Seek IT specialist advice before parting with your hard-earned cash and plan how to keep your IT up and running effectively.
Tips for SME’s to achieve business excellence with IT support
Charting technology roadmap will help you reach your IT goals easily. You need to be aware about the fact that you will get distracted – other issues will arise that pull your focus to critical needs. However documenting the intended outcome, benefits of each IT investment decision and building a plan will help achieve outcomes better. It doesn’t have to be complex – it just has to be effective. Even in small business, it’s important for everyone to understand who is accountable for making which decisions – or how your IT roadmap will be governed. Without a structured approach to decision-making, your technology roadmap would stuck very quickly.
Do thorough audit of the systems that are in place and how your employees actually use them. This will help you know how many systems are underutilized or unused. There might be difference in usage – how they actually use them will differ from how they were originally planned to be used – for example, employees may be sharing files via email rather than copying them to servers, leading to additional (and expensive) overheads on your email systems. An infrastructure report by IT specialist can help you optimize your systems. Do use best quality network devices like Juniper, D-Link, Array, HP and few others which can be booked through their distributors like Inspira Enterprise.
Extending the life of the hardware you already have. While the cost of PCs has come down significantly over the last few years, they remain an expensive part of IT infrastructure, and one which can realistically be used for longer than three years for most business purposes. If you are going to do this make sure that you have adequate systems in place to support older hardware and software.
Embracing Workplace by adopting Cloud
Employees are used to operating in a connected, digital way during their personal lives and expect the same capabilities in the workplace. They expect consistent connection and accessibility to the workplace from any device, from any place, at all times. To make your business grow and become agile, there is no better way than investing in the workforce and catering to their demand for 24/7 connection. SMEs can’t justify their lack of innovative IT solutions due to easy accessibility of the cloud and its pay-as-you-go offering. Organizations can start as small as they want to – even one app or process at a time – as a slow transition to hosting more of their estate in the cloud. You can either pay the high costs of owning your own IT servers and storage on premise – with the likelihood that you will only use ten per cent capacity for the majority of the time or you can utilize cloud technologies, to run your computing off-premise and only pay for what you use.
Treat data security seriously
Each device acts as a doorway into your company’s network. The more devices that are bought and used in the workplace, the more opportunities and “doorways” open to malicious attackers. There should be tight solution to protect data against threats or malware. Organizations should implement a multi-layered security defense. Cloud-based security services have the capability to deal with potentially damaging threats as the first line of defense, but businesses must also proactively implement a security training program for all employees. It will reduce the potential fallout of data breaches and maintain reputation as a secure business. An automated backup via a cloud service should be implemented.
Utilize social selling
It has become a necessity for all SMEs to have some sort of online and social presence. This is where the consumer journey begins, and often ends. If SMEs want to remain competitive, they must adapt.
• IT is not as complex as it sounds: SMEs have the advantage of being able to strategize and shape their IT function from scratch, selecting the technology they want to use and in the way they want to facilitate it as they grow. SMEs need to take a step back, assess the options available and work with those who have the know-how to design a real IT strategy.