Q: How do I figure out if my business could benefit from introducing new IT systems?
A: Your IT systems will either directly improve how you deliver product or service to your customers, or free up resources that can be redirected to core activities.
Depending on your requirements, a portfolio of cloud service subscriptions can deliver the equivalent of an expensive dedicated IT system.
Always look to where the application of a new system will add capability, speed, or cost efficiencies to your business.
Then evaluate the investment beyond the purchase price. IT systems need maintenance, training, backup and support.
Bespoke solutions are often too expensive but if you go down this road you want to be clear about what you need and what the lifetime value of the system will be.
Being trapped in yesteryear's technology is all too common a story.
Nick Churchouse is the venture manager at Creative HQ, Wellington's business incubator and start-up hub. CreativeHQ.co.nz
A: In my experience too many IT systems hinder business rather than make it easier. If you cringe when you sign off an IT bill or you find using your systems frustrating, something is wrong - it's time for a new IT system or provider.
IT systems in the last two to three years have made radical shifts in ease of use and cost efficiency. If your IT solution is more than three years old or not cloud-based then it is time to review the options.
Mark Robotham is an SME business adviser. Website: growthmanagement.co.nz
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