In today’s information-based economy, business’ – most any business’, need to be online. For anything from a bakery or doctor’s office to an international manufacturer or non-profit organization, an internet presence is now an absolute necessity in almost every business model. Critical factors which once measured the success of a business such as word-of-mouth reputation or the appearance of your place of business, have been displaced by the appeal of your web site, and your brand’s reputation in the social media. But information technology is more than a communications medium enabling customers to find your business. In many cases, information is the product. It’s how you get paid. It’s how you advertise, how you interact with your customers, and often how you deliver your products and services. To compete, you’ve got to use technology to promote, engage, and retain customers better than your competition. If you don’t, customers will find a competitor who will.
Technology is Necessary for Business
Next to personnel, information technology is often the largest operational expense a business must bear. It’s not a question of if technology is necessary for a business, but how much is required and when it should be deployed. In contrast to conventional expenses such as raw materials, advertising or office space, the complex nature of technology often makes procurement decisions relatively difficult. If you’re behind the curve on technical innovation, your business will starve. But invest too heavily in the latest fads, and your business will run out of money. Investing too much, or too little, in technology is one of the most common factors affecting the success or failure of a business. To make wise decisions about when and how much, you need highly specialized knowledge.
Necessary Resources for Success
When you first develop a business plan, you’ll enumerate the resources necessary for success. You’ll probably need a web site, e-mail, and some form of database for your customer and transaction records. Technology may play vital a role in advertising, research and development, or customer support. Your actual products might be information-based and delivered via the internet. You need to implement technology at the precise moment it will deliver maximum business value. Decision-makers who are not technically oriented may have a difficult time making sense of the hype surrounding IT investments. Are we in the cloud? Should we be on Facebook? Is all this expensive technology we’re buying really helping our business succeed?
Let’s examine the growth phases an internet-connected business may consider.
Now, you can find a suitable solution for your business.
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