Welcome to part two of this two part series on Information Technology. In this article I want to explore the ‘offensive’ side of IT, that is how you can use IT to grow your business.
The Offensive Side of Information Technology
Here are some considerations for growing your business. Note there are many types of software and industry related technologies that you can use. The idea is just to give you a snapshot.
➢ CRMs – Customer Relationship Management – track your customers and potential leads
➢ Automated Marketing – create automated email responses to engagement actions taken on your website
➢ Sales Systems – enable sales representatives to follow up leads and categorise and prioritise them
➢ VOIP Systems – communication technology has advanced so you can have phone numbers around the world and communicate through the internet at a fraction of the price
➢ Ad Servers – have a high traffic, high content site – why not sell ads as well and monetize your site?
IT Risk Management
Below are some self-reflection questions to see if you have any gaps in your risk management plans:
➢ What would you do if your server or an employee’s computer went down or stopped working altogether?
➢ Does your cloud provider have multiple redundancies across different nations?
➢ What impact would downtime have on the revenue of the business? Can you afford to be offline? Customer satisfaction?
➢ What backup measures do you have in place? Are there additional redundancies if the first backup doesn’t work?
➢ What can be done to reduce the risk of your site being hacked?
➢ What hardware and software does your business need?
➢ Who in the business should be allocated responsibility for maintaining the company’s IT infrastructure?
➢ Do you have a documented risk management plan?
IT Growth Perspective
Below are some reflection questions to see that the business is maximising the potential tools available to it?
➢ What can we do to maximise our employee efficiency?
➢ What can we implement to gain a competitive advantage?
➢ What software is used in our industry to manage our type of business?
➢ Can we use technology to make it “easy” for customers to do business with us?
➢ Would our customers benefit from a phone/tablet app?
➢ Would our business benefit from IT platforms the enable marketing automation?
➢ Does our website need an overhaul? Can we make it a tool to attract, engage and convert potential customers?
You should conduct a regular review of your Information Technology Plans at least once per annum.