There’s a misconception that SMBs don’t need to invest in IT because they have smaller budgets and fewer IT-focused employees. Many place IT at the bottom of the budget because they mistakenly believe the company can’t benefit from IT investments. In today’s competitive business climate, that’s a misconception that can cripple a business. When approached proactively, IT can further a company’s strategic business initiatives.
According to the 2017 Deloitte Connected Small Businesses study, SMBs who invested heavily in digital tools and IT initiatives experienced a 45% revenue growth over the prior 12 months. Those who invested in just the most necessary digital tools experienced only a 12% revenue growth for the same period.
Strategy Versus Necessity: Which is the More Powerful IT Driver
One reason that some SMBs won’t invest in the kind of IT and digital tools that can drive an organization forward is because they fear disruption. The belief is that any kind of transformational IT—an IT investment designed to move an SMB toward a more strategic goal—will cause damaging disruption across the organization. However, outdated technology is more damaging and holds your organization back.
Relevant and current information drive strategic business initiatives, propelling your organization into the future. However, if your IT can’t scale to prepare for or assist with reaching those broader goals, then the time spent developing those initiatives is wasted.
Why Strategic Initiatives Should Drive IT
Rather than seeing IT as an expense, a better approach is to let your strategic initiatives drive your IT program. The right IT provides insight on how to best reach customers in the moment of their purchasing decision with relevant information that showcases why your company provides the best products or services. That critical initiative points to the need for a specific type of technological capability. Here are three other reasons your strategic initiatives should drive your IT investments:
- Strategic initiatives call for doing things differently than in the past. For example, an initiative might mean reaching out to every customer within a specific period after they’ve made a purchase. To do that, you’ll need to automate some functions and events, and IT is an essential part of that.
- Strategic initiatives need measurements to ensure they’re effective. The right IT provides valuable metrics, which can be used to move the needle on strategic goals.
- Strategic initiatives call for constant evaluation to identify areas needing change and improvement. A well-developed, and utilized, IT system is a key tool for discovering unmet needs or to visualize new processes that drive strategies forward.
If your strategic business decisions aren’t driving your IT investment, re-evaluate the role that IT plays in your organization. It can move you forward or hold you back. To move you forward, your business initiatives should be the driving force behind your IT investments.