7 Minutes

We can’t think of a single business that isn’t interested in maximizing ROI on investments, especially IT. Even we pay close attention to the ROI before we invest in any new technology.

A common problem we see is that businesses often think that simply buying the technology or hiring a new employee is all that’s necessary. Instead, they’re left wondering why they’re not getting the returns they expected.

To fully maximize ROI with IT, businesses must go a few steps further. Even just regular maintenance goes a long way toward boosting the ROI and making businesses happier with their technology.

  1. Invest in Efficient Technologies

We can’t stress enough that there isn’t a magical one-size-fits-all technology solution. We’ve worked with clients who have systems in place that are actually slowing processes down. Why did they invest in this particular solution? The answer is usually that their competitor was using it, or it was a blanket recommendation from someone who just recommends that solution everywhere, which doesn’t fit the modern IT landscape.

Sure, it’s a good idea to get insight into what tools and hardware the competition is using. However, what one business uses, even in the same industry, isn’t going to automatically be right for another business. Different employees, IT teams, business goals, and budgets make a major difference, among other factors.

It’s always more important to carefully invest in the most efficient technologies for the particular business. For example, picking an enterprise-level cloud plan for a small business is not only a waste of money, but a waste of time, as the small business won’t be able to get the same benefits as an enterprise-level company. That’s why we focus on providing custom recommendations based upon the actual business; not what’s most expensive or popular.

  1. Customize Solutions

Maximizing ROI with IT often comes down to customization. Once again, the same solution won’t be perfect for everyone. Think about it like websites. If every site looked the same and had similar content, the Internet would be a pretty bland place where businesses wouldn’t stand a chance of standing out or being competitive. Every business has a custom website to best meet their needs. For example, our website not only focuses on our specific services, but the locations we serve, such as Bothell, Phoenix, and Seattle.

Every business needs a custom IT solution. This includes hardware, software, mobile, security, data recovery, cloud services, and more. The right customization leads to the highest returns and also very importantly, reduces future IT spending.

  1. Train Employees

Many businesses are quick to adopt new technology, but they skip one major part of the process – employee training. If employees don’t get proper training and support, they won’t use the new software or hardware correctly. Some may even refuse to use it at all and rely on outdated options that present security risks.

It’s not just about training employees once and moving on, either. Regular training reduces costs for a business by making employees happier, more productive, and more receptive to digital changes. In fact, continuous training boosts revenue per employee by up to 218%. Maximizing ROI with IT can be as simple as training employees to make the most of what they have.

  1. Provide Quick Support

This actually works two ways. First, businesses that invest in the right custom IT solutions are able to provide faster support to their customers. Satisfied customers recommend the business to others, and that boosts revenue.

The other side is ensuring a business gets IT support quickly. If an employee is struggling with a new device or app, they need support quickly. If they’re left waiting for hours, the business is losing money. Having an on-site IT team that responds quickly can boost ROI. Outsourcing IT support increases a business’s ROI, especially when it comes to specific projects or solutions and complementing any IT support staff.

  1. Test Systems Regularly

Technology is great – when it works. While many outages might seem random, we know that many of them are preventable. For instance, running tests on system performance could pinpoint issues coming from a main server or hypervisor. This could indicate an impending hardware failure.

By testing systems regularly, businesses reduce downtime. Plus, they also find areas that need improvement, such as outdated network equipment that may be holding back newer devices and software. After all, a new cloud service designed to make it easier and more efficient for employees isn’t going to work well with a slow network.

  1. Protect Systems

Proactive protection is always the best approach when it comes to IT. Maximizing ROI with IT means being proactive with security. We are always happy when we see clients who use up-to-date antivirus and firewall solutions. We’re even more impressed with advanced user permission controls to control access. However, something we don’t see nearly enough is penetration and vulnerability testing; the act of actually seeing what you are vulnerable to, and how easy or hard it is to exploit those vulnerabilities.

Infections and attacks hurt a business in many different ways. For instance, ransomware comes with a variety of costs. It can cost victims thousands or millions. Plus, even if a business pays, it can take days or weeks to decrypt all the data. There’s not even a guarantee that a hacker will even provide a decryption key or that some data isn’t corrupted. In the end, a business pays a ransom, may still lose files and will definitely experience extended downtime. In some cases, the data is even encrypted multiple times with different encryption keys, so you unlock the first tier and then have to pay again to unlock a second, or even third tier.

On the other hand, testing a system the way a hacker would look at it could prevent an attack from ever occurring. The best way to get more from IT is to aggressively protect it.

  1. Test Before Implementation

We’re happy when clients are excited about a new implementation. However, don’t just dive in head first. No implementation will go 100% smoothly. That’s why we always test implementations before going live. It’s better to work out the kinks before they can affect a business’s bottom line.

The next step is to implement new things slowly to ensure everything works correctly and employees are getting the training they need.

  1. Outsource IT

Outsourcing IT is a great way to maximize ROI. Businesses get the expertise of a wide range of IT pros, but only pay for the support they need versus hiring people full time. This is a good option for additional support, support during temporary projects, and for small-to-medium businesses that may not have the budget for a full IT staff; and even for large-scale enterprises who want a specific project done either because they don’t have internal staff experienced in a particular area they want to implement or because they have a lot of other stuff going on and simply don’t have time to get it done themselves.

We personally recommend opting for local IT support. Businesses get faster support and IT support companies better understand the needs of that specific area.

  1. Opt for Cloud Services

Sometimes, businesses don’t need to host everything locally. Cloud services can help reduce costs and maintenance. They can also make it much easier for smaller businesses to be competitive. We know it’s hard to know who to trust, but we can help with that. A business can save thousands or even millions each year, while still accomplishing more. InfoWorld’s case studies of four major companies moving to the cloud showcases this perfectly.

  1. Hire the Right People

We’ve always worked to hire only the best people. Maximizing ROI with IT depends on having the right people managing IT; whether it’s hiring full-time staff or outsourcing, businesses have to ensure they hire people who fully understand the technology being used, continue learning, and making the best choices to meet the company’s goals. We can help fill in the gaps on a team and even help with hiring the right IT team.

  1. Upgrade Before It’s Absolutely Necessary

This one is self-explanatory. Upgrade early to avoid the hassle of slower equipment, inefficient software, and vulnerable systems. Waiting until it’s absolutely necessary means a business is already losing money. For instance, many companies will wait until hackers start taking advantage of Microsoft products that have reached their end-of-life cycle. Upgrading early avoids the risks and lets businesses start benefiting sooner from newer and better features.

Maximizing your ROI with your IT isn’t difficult. Contact us today to find out how we can help with nearly every aspect of helping you get more from your technology.

James Barr

Written by James Barr