If your company is growing, your IT needs to grow with it. You need to meet the increasing demands of new technologies, new processes and news ways of working. Follow these top tips for a cost-effective, efficient way to prepare your IT to grow along with your business…

My wife and I recently went on a diving holiday, staying for a week on a large catamaran off the coast of Cuba. The boat slept 10, and as well as the Captain there were was one crewman and three other couples on board. The weather was fantastic, the diving was incredible, and we spent every evening eating, drinking and laughing together on deck.

On the second night I got chatting to one of the other divers, named John. He seemed quite stressed, and looked like he wasn’t really enjoying himself, so I asked what was troubling him. He confided to me that he had a lot of pressure in his job as an IT manager. As a medium-sized business, his company were keen to increase their position in the market, and were looking to take on sales staff to drive extra revenue. They also wanted each member of staff to have access to data, so they could analyze it and get better insights into customers and potential sales.

However, with no increase to his IT budget, and with an infrastructure already running at capacity, John was worried about how he was going to support these extra members. And with a limited data management system, and a lean IT team of just 3 people, he couldn’t deliver the analytics tools they wanted. The data wasn’t accessible by everyone in the company, and he didn’t have the time to run the analysis for each single request.

The whole business was really stressing him out and despite the fantastic holiday, and idyllic surroundings, he just couldn’t relax. I told John that what he needed was a cost-effective way of growing his IT at the right pace, to keep up with the demands of the company.

Invest in scalable solutions

The key to IT growth is scalability. The systems John had in place were fine for running his current operations. But as the company grew, and demands on IT resources increased, he’d struggle to keep up. His existing set-up was fixed and inflexible, and he’d be looking at costly upgrades each time the company grew.

I told John he would benefit from investing in a more scalable solution. It would mean he could build on his current IT as the business grew. He could start off with what he needed, and simply increase usage as required. And if he opted for SAP Edge solutions, he could also integrate new packages as the business developed and its needs changed.

Keep everything in one place

By centralizing his data, rather than keeping it in a number of disparate spreadsheets and systems, he’d find that he was spending less time simply managing IT. With everything in

one place, he wouldn’t need to search for information – it would be right there for him. He could provide insights more quickly and more easily, and be confident there were no errors or duplicate entries.

He should also invest in mobile solutions that enable everyone to access data when and where they need it. They’d be able to make decisions in real time, based on trusted, accurate information.

Help people to help themselves

I told John he could also save time and money by investing in solutions that allow people to explore data themselves. Self-service visualization packages would enable employees to explore data in new, easy-to-access ways. So, they’d get the insights they need to make crucial business decisions, without tying up the resources of his IT department.

Look to the cloud

He could also save money and run things more simply if he hosted his new analytics solutions in the cloud. He could reduce his total cost of ownership (TCO), as he wouldn’t need costly on-site equipment. And any updates would be automatic, so again he’d spend less time simply managing his infrastructure.

Any costs would now be more transparent, and he’d have more time to work on projects that help his company move towards its bigger goals. And with company IT hosted in the cloud, it would be more cost-effective and easier to upgrade when the time comes.

Six months after the holiday, a few of us from the boat met up for dinner and drinks back at home. John looked like a changed man – he was relaxed and smiling, and his stress levels had clearly dropped. He told me that he’d followed my advice, and his team was now running much better.

By following a few simple steps to improve his data management, John was able to transform how his IT performs. SAP Edge solutions have given him the tools that help him run more efficiently, manage change and prepare for the future. So as his company continues to grow, he knows his IT is now well placed to meet increasing demands.

Find out more about SAP Edge solutions from iStrat Solutions

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