By Raymond Szabada. Information Technology can be a critical source of competitive advantage but it can also play a crucial role in improving customer loyalty and generating new sources of revenue.

Especially these days with majority of the activity on the net.

Developing a sound Internet Technology (IT) plan and infrastructure involves three core fundamental facets of any business: people, process and technology.

But, for a small business, changing the workplace can be confusing, time consuming and simply too daunting. The good news is that by leveraging technology even the small players can compete with the bigger competitors.

Systems that traditionally cost millions can now be rolled out and made accessible for less than the monthly cost of a cell phone.

It all comes down to accessing and transforming data and information into management insight. The bottom line for business is capturing new customers, growing revenue with new products and services, improving customer loyalty and reduce costs,

A sound IT strategy and infrastructure can help achieve all of the above.

In the absence of internal IT resources the business owner(s) must choreograph the implementation and advancement of IT in order to respond to business threats and opportunities. Among other elements, the emergence of software-as-a-service (SaaS), mobile applications and flexible network infrastructures allow businesses to generate tremendous business value, rapidly and cost effectively.

Now, that you have decided that your organization needs to leverage IT in pursuit of meeting the future needs of your business, in order for IT to positively impact the desired objectives small business must take a phased approach. A possible starting point is to simply update your workplace technology.

For example; let’s look at standardizing and updating the operating system – or perhaps a basic file sharing via a central document repository –printer sharing.

These are all some of many ways that a business can increase productivity, streamline processes and reduce costs.

Understandably, in the absence of IT resources, many small business owners don’t know where to begin.

Therefore taking baby steps is critical and perhaps finding a Business Analyst (BA) to analyze current processes would be a good start to leveraging technology to automate the business processes.

Raymond T.  Szabada

Raymond T. Szabada

Raymond T. Szabada is the President & CEO of the Abbotsford based i-Open Technologies Inc. and Chairman of the Board of the Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech (SRCHT)

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