Time to upgrade your IT estate?

Time to upgrade your IT estate?

Neill Hughes, Director of Direct Channel

Neill Hughes, Director of Direct Channel

Sooner or later, every business will need to update its IT estate. But whether it's increasing the scope of their network to cope with a growing business, adopting more modern core applications or moving to a faster, more reliable connectivity provider, change can be disruptive.           

But the importance of getting this right can't be understated. In fact, failed IT initiatives can end up costing enterprises huge amounts of money and leaving them worse off than before they started. So here are a few key factors that we recommend you consider in order to manage the process and ensure this change is a smooth, positive step for your business.

Do you need a cultural shift?

One of the biggest issues facing businesses when they try to enact change is resistance from users, who may have got used to a certain way of doing things. Therefore, identifying if a change in culture is needed will be one of the key factors in making an initiative a success.

An important question users are likely to ask is ‘what’s in it for me?' By demonstrating in real terms how their working day will be affected by the technology in a positive way - for instance, being able to access applications more quickly, or automating tedious administrative tasks - will help your colleagues to be more receptive about the changes.

But businesses also need to think about how their operations are structured. If a company has previously been divided into several silos, new IT projects will require unheard of cross-departmental collaboration. As a result, education will be key in creating the necessary culture shift and buy-in, to ensure the success of the project.

Support from the top

In today's environment, technology deployments shouldn't just be a matter for the IT department. They should be considered as a key business decision that will add value to a company with a direct impact on overall performance.

However, despite this, many IT departments are still left to their own devices when it comes to managing new projects, but this is a mistake. It's vital to have the support and buy-in of senior management within other business units. This not only helps get projects off the ground quicker, but this confidence will trickle down to other users.

The impact of this can be dramatic. A study by Capgemini looking at big data initiatives, for example, found 49 per cent of organisations with high levels of executive buy-in reported that their projects were profitable, compared with just six per cent among enterprises that did not have senior management support.

Knowing your goals - and how to get there

Understanding where you want to end up is obviously important, but deciding how you get there is often much trickier. For instance, a major overhaul or a business's network could be a project that takes many months, and it may even be years down the line before there is a positive return on investment.

This can make executives nervous about signing off on change, so it's good to have a few easily attainable short-term goals in mind. If you can demonstrate 'quick wins' to their bosses, this will instil confidence and make the whole project run much more smoothly.

Look to see where these could be achieved. For instance, if you're upgrading your connectivity, you might trial it in one location first, so that you can measure any of the improvements in efficiency and productivity it has delivered. This will help to support the business case for a much wider roll out to the rest of your business.

To find out how TalkTalk Business can help support you to manage your IT estate click here