It’s time for taxes and budgeting at your company, which means it’s time to make some important decisions. You know you need to increase your business’s technological capabilities to keep pace or pull ahead of your competition, but if you’re like most business leaders, you’re probably unsure about how you can best allocate your IT funds.
Of course, obvious improvement areas include tightening security, increasing compliance and streamlining processes… but to achieve these aims, would it be better to hire a larger IT staff or to replace some of your employees with automated tools like robots?
Luckily, ISG has put together this short series to help you make the right decision about how you should plan to allocate your company’s IT spend in 2018.
Here in Part 3, we’ll get down to the details: Assessing your obstacles in 2017 to determine how you should allocate your IT funds, whether on hiring or tech, in 2018.
If you’ve wondered whether you should focus your investments on increasing workplace automation through robots or AI, or if it’s a better idea to hire skilled IT technicians, you’ll get the answers you need here. Let’s figure this out together.
Note: In this series, we interchangeably use the terms “machine,” “computer,” “AI” and “robot.” For our purposes right now, please note that they all refer to the same thing: the advanced technology your business can use.
Deciding Where to Invest Your IT Spend
One of the best ways to assess your IT needs for the upcoming year is to consider the tasks your company needs to perform in order to be most profitable. Surely it won’t come as a surprise to learn that your highly specific solutions depend on your highly specific challenges and objectives.
Like most things in business, there’s no firm, one-size-fits-all answer to how you should proceed; the answer to how you should allocate your IT spend in 2018 depends on your specific needs and current business limitations.
Take a moment to use those highly unique, human-only thinking cells we talked about in Part 2 of this series and consider what was holding you back from increased profitability in 2017.
Here are a few common issues our clients tend to mention, along with reasonable solutions.
- You Struggled to Keep Up with Demand
If you needed to perform repetitive tasks, such as manufacturing operations or detailed data entry, an automated solution may be the best choice for your company’s investment. This will improve productivity so you can increase sales while you to free up your attention to better determine how you want to differentiate your company in the years ahead.
If your business sells a product, robotic solutions such as manufacturing robots or cobots may be your best option because they work accurately, efficiently and tirelessly to help you keep up.
If your business sells a service, robots are less likely to be useful to you, but automated software that reduces your administrative load can save you a surprising amount of time in the New Year.
With all that saved time, you can refocus your efforts on increasing your productivity so you can serve more clients, faster.
- You Felt Like Your Tech Was Holding You Back
This may surprise you, but when you feel like your technology is limiting your business growth, you should probably invest in additional, full-time IT staff instead of more technology.
After all, if the technology you already spent money on isn’t working for you, you certainly don’t want to waste more money on ineffective IT this year.
Whether you’re struggling with legacy software, you’ve run out of user licenses (seats) or you were constantly using workarounds for any task you wanted to perform in 2017, your best bet for growth in 2018 is to hire a knowledgeable IT professional who can assess your current situation and come up with creative solutions that match your business needs and long-term objectives.
Perhaps you need customization, new development, better integration, better security protocols, a more efficient network, or a simplified architecture. Whatever it is that you need, ISG can help you find an expert you’ll like, with the skills you need to surge forward with your technology this upcoming year.
- You Constantly Second-Guessed Your Decisions
If you felt like you were guessing a lot in 2017, you probably needed better insight into your current performance and project load. A business analytics solution (also called business intelligence) may be your best investment strategy to overcome that obstacle.
Today’s analytics programs can be fine tuned to gather and prioritize massive amounts of data from nearly unlimited sources, but it takes a skilled data scientist to configure your systems correctly. Only with the proper setup can you ensure that your data is clean, reliable, as comprehensive as possible and secure.
With the improved speed and confidence in your decision-making abilities that you’ll get from having the right business analytics software, you’ll be better positioned to grow your business by prioritizing the most impactful contracts and jobs. Every time.
- You Decided You Wanted to Pursue a New Direction
One of the most exciting and exhilarating things about running a business is that you always have the choice to try something new. Perhaps you’re interested in building an app or attracting a new industry. Or maybe giving your employees new in-house tools is your next great frontier.
Either way, if you’re planning a big change, you’ll want to hire a new IT person before you invest in new business technology. This is because humans, unlike machines, have critical thinking skills and creative problem-solving abilities; the right person will be able to help you determine a reasonable strategy for achieving your new goals.
Then, once you have a plan, this same person can assist you in setting up the tech tools you’ll need to use to seamlessly execute your plan.
Whether You’re Investing in Robots or Humans, Remember This
Technology and IT needs are constantly evolving. The rate of change in the tech industry is faster than ever before and businesses of all sizes now have more affordable options than they have at any time in the past.
Your decisions and strategies are extremely important in today’s business landscape. And the way you choose to execute those decisions matters too.
Having effortless access to the IT expertise you need can make the difference between a profitable, successful year or a costly flop of a year, because hiring for tech skills, onboarding employees, building and managing teams and keeping projects on track is hard work.
Luckily, no matter what your new tech needs are, whether you intend to optimize your current business solutions, integrate new automated tools, empower your workforce with faster apps or do something entirely unique that no one has ever done before – ISG can help.
ISG offers a wide range of flexible tech-staffing solutions for forward-thinking business leaders, including on-shore, off-shore and on-demand contract help. All hassle-free, and all with the exact talents your business requires.
Contact ISG online or at (800) 739-2400 to learn more about how your company can overcome your obstacles with targeted, key tech help in 2018 and beyond.