Leveraging IT for SME success

By: Frédéric Panya Lestonnat - 22/07/2011

Frédéric is currently Director of Marketing Solutions for Colt Technology Services.

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Small and medium enterprises know they can use more intelligent IT for business growth, however it’s important to consider every area of your business.

In my last blog post I talked about how business operations could be improved by a broad look at services that can make growth manageable and can make an SME seem like a large corporation. This time I wanted to remind readers that IT touches every part of a business and it’s important to make sure you examine every avenue of how IT shapes and affects your company.

Ultimately implementation comes down to cost. You’ll want to get value for money, so it’s important to think carefully about each aspect of IT’s interaction with your business and make important savings that will in turn continue to fund growth.

Here are some key areas for consideration when thinking about your next IT requirements.

  • Internal and external communications and instant collaboration with major customers – One moment your net connection is big enough for you and your team, the next it’s struggling to cope with increased demands from staff and clients. That’s one of the dangers of growth and not dealing with it can lead to frustration and missed opportunities.
  • Increased customer access, sales, service and support – Are your customers able to see your project plans, correspondence and pricing information at the touch of a button? Clients now expect greater collaboration and openness. Managed correctly this can have great benefits.
  • Productivity & flexibility (doing more with less) –The right IT solution doesn’t need to be big, but it sure can be clever. Save time and costs through using more efficient devices.
  • Value chain efficiency, through streamlined business processes and external integration - Deadlines are the difference between delivery and disappointment. Using IT tools that allow for collaboration, versioning and greater control mean you can get tasks completed quicker.
  • Clearer operations and financial control– Responsible growth means greater management is required of your internal processes. Check your IT can cope with the systems integral to your business.
  • Access to new markets and market segments – How diligently are you researching new opportunities? How quickly are you shouting about your successes? From your website to eCRM to social media presence, IT can affect beneficial outcomes for all of these.

Clearly as a business grows there are many different variables to consider, but many SMEs don’t go back to basics and check the fundamental processes that better IT could help with. Make sure you’re prepared to take your business onwards and upwards!

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