Driving Business Innovation With Technology
Traditionally, businesses thought about IT design in terms of how many servers they would need, their required storage capacity, which firewall they should use, etc. Yes, these are all necessary components of an IT design, but they aren’t the only things to consider. The scope of what an effective IT design should entail is rapidly expanding. Companies are now working to gain a competitive edge by staying ahead of the new technology innovations. This enables them to develop an IT design that empowers employees and drives results.
Design the Right Technology Solution for Success
Organizations who want to stay competitive understand the role technology plays in helping them stand out as leaders in their industry. They also understand the significant amount of research and development involved when selecting and implementing the best-fit technology for their unique business. These companies value the continual process of evaluating current technology to determine how new solutions can help drive innovation in their business.
Solutions you may not have considered in the past may be the best-fit for the future as your business and its needs evolve. Historically, if you needed somewhere to store your company files you would most likely design an onsite file storage solution which could cost your business tens of thousands of dollars. Today, most small and medium–sized businesses can use SharePoint to host and manage their company files without having to own and maintain expensive hardware.
At a basic level, SharePoint can help you aggregate and control access to your data. You can take the next step in improving efficiency by implementing tools like Power BI to help reduce the workload for your employees by automating tasks and generating data insights. Our IT design team is continuously bringing new technology like SharePoint and Power BI to our clients, as well as ideas for how they can use these tools to accomplish more.
Why Should You Align Technology with Your Business?
For a majority of companies, it takes more than an IT generalist to build and implement an effective design. In addition, designing the right IT environment to support your organization cannot be done in a silo. At Aldridge, we work with our clients and their staff to understand the full scope of the business problems IT is working to solve, the long-term goals and objectives included in their IT roadmap, and how technology will be used by their employees every day.
Our team of highly technical and specialized resources have an in-depth understanding of the technology and applications that support today’s small and medium-sized businesses. Companies who rely on someone without these qualifications are often misled and tend to implement a single piece of software that doesn’t account for the entire organization’s needs. As a consequence, they end up with an overly complicated and expensive IT environment that leads to inefficiencies among employees and across the business as a whole.
Components of an IT Design
There are many components of an effective IT design, but some of the main points we focus on with our clients are:
- Technology Research and Development
- Technology Vetting and Selection
- Business Documentation
- System Capacity Planning and Lifecycle Management
The Aldridge IT design team works with our clients to manage and execute on these components of design outlined in the sections below.
Technology Research and Development (R&D)
Technology is always evolving, and new solutions are being offered at an exponential rate. Many organizations continue to run the same applications and technology much longer than they should, simply because they don’t have a partner telling them what else is out there. Our team is continually researching, suggesting, and developing new solutions to better enable our clients to reach their business goals and remain competitive in their industry.
Technology Vetting and Selection
To understand the technology you need, you have to establish minimum product requirements for supporting your IT environment, but that’s not all. You have to remain proactive about vetting and selecting the right technology to support your business initiatives 18-24 months down the road. Companies often make the mistake of seeing a shiny new piece of technology and jumping straight into implementation. Just because it’s new, doesn’t mean it’s always the best fit. Our design experts work with our clients to align technology with their company’s goals, as well as determine what should be customized to fit the unique needs of the organization.
One of the most common issues we hear when talking to prospects wanting to make a change is that their current provider doesn’t know their environment and doesn’t have good documentation. The level of documentation necessary to effectively support IT is often misjudged and undervalued. Our design team will collaborate with your organization to get a clear view of the network, processes, credentials, employee onboarding and offboarding process, integrated applications, and more that provide the foundation for the way you do business. These records can span hundreds of pages. Despite the in-depth detail involved with IT documentation, this log serves as a clear guide to help our team navigate your company’s IT environment.
System Capacity Planning and Lifecycle Management
You shouldn’t be surprised when your systems become end of life or at capacity. Keeping IT in-line with your organization’s growth and needs is crucial to maintaining an environment capable of supporting your business initiatives. Our IT design team works with our clients to establish a firm understanding of what needs to be replaced, upgraded, renewed, phased out etc. (and when). This process enables us to provide up-to-date software, hardware, solutions, and an overall stable IT environment to support their business objectives.
How Does Your Technology Fit into the Bigger Picture of Your Business?
If technology is doing more to hold your business back than it is to propel it forward, it may be time to get a second opinion and reevaluate what technology your business is using and how. Design is not a standalone effort and takes a significant amount of collaboration between IT and your business. Learn more about how IT design fits into our Framework for Successful IT.