Is Information Technology an Expense or an Investment?21 Nov
The idea is often thrown around that Information Technology (IT) is a cash guzzler. This suggests that money is put into IT with little return, while putting money into other aspects of the business such as marketing or sales is considered an investment in the company’s future. This notion has hung around in the minds of executives for far too long. Thankfully, minds are changing around the globe, and businesses are beginning to realize that funding a strong IT infrastructure is a better investment than ever.
When we describe business today we think of words like lean, innovative, or agile. If you really think about it, this also describes current technology trends. New technology is created to accomplish things faster and more efficiently. This is also what we want for our businesses in an increasingly competitive market. The business needs to be able to adapt and change – and do it before the competition. It’s a difficult feat all on its own but investing in your company’s future through IT can be one of the smartest ways to be the best in your niche. In short, technology has changed business, and it’s time for business to use technology to change the way they operate.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways technology has changed our lives, and how it can or has changed the way we do business.
Ah, the ever popular smartphone. Our favorite selfie-shooting, Facebook checking, never leave home without it device. Mobile phones changed the social and business landscape in unimaginable ways. We can now have “face to face” meetings, check email, see sales reports, take conference calls, and update databases straight from our mobile devices. In essence, you could run a small business straight from your mobile device.
Businesses today have struggled with how to implement mobile into their current landscape, but I assure you it is essential. Sure, depending on what business you’re in not every employee needs a company phone or device to do his or her job efficiently. On the other hand, many employees do need this access, and providing them with the proper mobile technology can help them and your business excel.
We’re not talking about the type that produces rain or snow, but the Internet “cloud”. The cloud was first marketed as a consumer product mainly for additional storage and the like. The cloud has now made its way into the business world and is changing things rapidly. Companies can now use the cloud to run critical applications or for additional computing power in heavy traffic times. The uses for the cloud are effectively endless and innovation in this space shows little sign of slowing down. In fact, in a recent post we talked about the consistent growth of cloud usage and the predictions for cloud adoption in the near future.
Data is fast becoming one of the most important aspects of business today. Businesses now thrive or die based on their data collection, visualization, and use of data to make decisions. In business we now have tools that can tell us, in real time, how our business is doing and why. This includes tools like Business Intelligence and social media. We can hear from our customers instantly and know exactly how they feel about a product or service. Data driven business is how companies stay agile and innovative.
These are just a few of the ways technology has changed the way we do business. Now, it is easy to see why putting time, effort, and money into IT is a great investment and is no longer considered and expense. Investing in the right technology, and the right people to use it, can scale a business nicely – all while staying willing to adapt to change based on the business landscape.