Have you looked at your company’s information technology (IT) system lately? I mean really looked at it. Is it designed to help you meet your short and long-term goals? Or are you seeing a patchwork of disjointed and many times outdated applications, operating systems, and hardware that limits your productivity and heightens data security risks?
I recently was talking with Scott Lewis, president and CEO of Winning Technologies and a frequent contributor to this blog. I asked him how construction and real estate firms can build an IT infrastructure that supports their business goals. His advice: start with a solid plan.
IT planning begins with your business objectives and determining what technology will most align with your business strategy. But putting together an IT plan is easier said than done when you are juggling multiple responsibilities. That’s especially true for many construction firms who don’t have in-house IT staff (39% percent of firms according to our 2015 Sage construction technology survey). So to help you with the process, we’ve put together these free easy-to-use IT planning templates:
- Basic IT strategic plan: Serves as the foundation for your annual IT plan or a specific IT business case. It includes examples of general IT goals, benefits, challenges, and more to jumpstart your own strategic thinking process.
- Estimating plan: Outlines sample goals, strategic initiatives, benefits, challenges and milestones specific to estimating software technology. Information from this template can plug into the basic IT template.
- Cloud-based mobile technology plan: Includes samples addressing the main planning components specific to implementing a mobile solution for your construction business. Information from this template can also be plugged into the basic IT strategic plan.
As part of your planning process, Scott also suggests conducting an audit that identifies your infrastructure’s weaknesses. This includes talking with employees about how current systems are working and what improvements would make their jobs easier. (More on how to conduct an IT audit in another blog post).
Finally, make sure to think long-term when putting together your plan to assure the money you spend on technology is truly an investment in your company.