IT and software development often have an image problem, perceived to be a drain on your business without generating revenue. Here, we present a new way of thinking, and outline how to give your IT a makeover.
The biggest thing businesses care about is the bottom line. Any function within a company has to prove their value, and often that comes down to revenue – IT is no different. So how do you make sure your software is working for you, and more importantly, delivering to the rest of the business?
Here are the key steps to take to make sure your IT is driving value, and is not just seen as a money pit.
1. Get aggressive with your costs
This may seem like an obvious point, but reducing the money you sink into your bespoke software will keep your business happy. This is not just about slashing budget, but instead taking a step back and assess where you’re losing out. For many organisations, the best way to get bullish with managing your costs is to have more control over them. Simple.
Switching to an on-demand service is the best way to support your software costs. A flexible approach with a reliable service means you can predict what you’re going to spend and when. Cutting your costs does not mean the cheapest service is the best option – instead, think of your software costs holistically. Does your provider offer you the most efficient and consistent service at the best quality?
These are the key factors to keeping your costs down, rather than a cheap slapdash approach that will ultimately fail when you encounter a business-critical problem. By having a reliable on-demand team of experts who can help you predict the ongoing maintenance, security and update costs to your software, you can reduce the budget you waste on last-minute patches, unreliable updates, and slow turnaround.
2. Focus on your efficiency
Compromising on quality and service delivery of your software is not an option. If you’re trying to prove the value of your IT to the rest of your business, you need a strong case for the importance of your operations.
How do you do this? Make it unquestionably clear, in a language that the business can understand, that systems are operating to industry best practice, performance is top-notch and costs are fully transparent. Develop a strategy that is based around the excellence and efficiency of your IT which you can show delivers on your plan using clear performance metrics. This will enable you to prove your software supports your business needs, allowing for growth and competitive edge. Don’t simply add new tech to your stack, but focus on your vendor support and the flexibility of whether you can easily scale up or down your software services to suit your needs. If you focus on efficiency as a business priority, without compromising on output, you’ll be able to prove your ROI – the ultimate measure for success.
3. Prioritise your ROI
Productivity and quality might be key factors that contribute to your ROI, but so is one essential ingredient: your initial investment. How much you actually spent on your IT at the end of the financial year will be looking at you in black and white, and the only way you can justify it, is if you can show what that number has produced. The software has to prove itself and show it’s been working for the business at large.
On-demand IT delivery can ensure this return. Not only will it help you manage your costs over a long-term period, so that you can justify every expenditure without worrying about the unexpected, but it will also keep those costs down. If your software is working for you at a consistent level, constantly updating, working quickly and reliably, you’ll have peace of mind that you’ve cut your costs without compromising on the level of service, support and output.
Make a clear case for the ROI you’ve achieved at the end of the year and you might just change IT’s image from sink hole to key driver.
4. Be the hero for your business
It’s time to do things differently. Shifting your IT support from cost centre to an on-demand service is a new approach which directly benefits IT leaders. As well as giving your software in general an image overhaul, it helps the head of IT look like the king of operations.
By switching to this new way of thinking about IT, you can showcase the function’s alignment with the strategic and commercial objectives of the business. This helps IT have a voice in the company and seat at the table; making it heard at every level from strategy to operations. Tech suppliers can support this image change by providing a level of support that goes beyond simply being a service provider, and moving towards a strategic partnership, creating value at a high level for a team that is often overlooked.
This new bespoke software development support can help deliver more productivity and quality delivery, while helping to reduce costs, therefore getting more value out of the entire department. At the end of the day, if you’ve improved ROI, the business will be happy. Having support and delivery when you need it, at speed, without compromising on the value of service, will make it clear you’ve made a smart move. And what more could IT leaders want than to deliver more for less? That’s enough to make anyone look like a hero.
Read more about Software Development as a Service.