It is difficult to imagine a business not relying on technology today. Everything from a simple PoS system to the entire business management suite now runs in the cloud or from a server somewhere. Over 80% of the information related to business operations is also stored digitally. This means a business information system is now a necessity rather than an option.
There are plenty of solutions to choose from, too. The demand for MIS and other solutions has increased in the last couple of years, so it is not surprising to find more service and solutions providers entering the market. Before you start browsing through different solutions for your business; however, there are eight top tips and tricks, you need to know first.
1. Understand Your Needs
Always start the process of finding a suitable business solution – or several solutions – with a quick review of your business process. You want to know precisely the kind of information management system you need. Defining the requirements, understanding the features that will be most useful, and knowing other specific needs you might have will help simplify your search for the right solutions.
While reviewing your needs, make sure you also take a closer look at your current workflows. Now is the perfect time to find ways to improve processes inside your business. You can save a lot of time and resources by choosing solutions that fit a better, more optimal business process.
2. Set a Clear Budget
The next thing you want to do is establish a budget. This too is a crucial step that will simplify your search for the right solutions. Keep in mind that today’s business solutions are offered as a service and standalone software, both with different pricing structures.
If you are on a relatively limited budget, going down the Software-as-a-Service route is usually better. You don’t have to invest in your servers and other supporting hardware and only have a fixed monthly fee to worry about. An on-premise or self-hosted software, on the other hand, gives you the most flexibility in the long run.
3. Get Everyone Involved
If you are implementing IT solutions in a company with multiple departments and a lot of team members, support from them becomes vital. You want all team members to be part of the digital transformation so that the process is smoother and more manageable.
With everyone involved and supportive of the transformation, you don’t have to worry about issues like the solutions you integrate not being utilized properly. You will also eliminate barriers that stop team members from thoroughly learning about the solutions and how they can improve business processes. It is even better if you allow team members to provide their input.
4. Start with the Basics
It may be tempting to implement the solutions you need first and worry about maintaining an efficient, well-structured IT ecosystem later. Still, the approach only leads to more problems. Being agile is good, but you still have to make sure that the basics are covered.
Proper network management, IT asset management, device-related policies, and other fundamentals must still be put in place before advanced solutions like a business information system is integrated. It is also a good idea to establish a way to provide IT services to the entire company. That brings us to our next tip.
5. Start Early with Support
You can now try TOPdesk online and immediately integrate IT services and support into your internal workflows. Establishing a support team early in the transformation is essential. There will be a lot of issues to deal with along the way, and a capable support team – backed by a comprehensive solution like TOPdesk – is essential.
Being a unified platform for delivering and managing IT services, TOPdesk simplifies a lot of things you’ll need. You can have the entire IT ecosystem visualized for easy management. You can even manage configuration files and IT assets from an intuitive console.
6. Think Integrated
With the foundation established and a support team ready to go, you can begin looking at solutions for different parts of your business. There are solutions designed to handle everything from start to finish (i.e., Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP solutions), but specialized tools are not to be dismissed either.
Specialized tools like Active Campaign do a specific set of tasks very well. They may seem fragmented at first, but you can now integrate multiple tools using APIs and services like Zapier. With a few tweaks, you can have various tools integrated into one seamless business process.
7. Automate Early
Another thing you want to do early is automating repetitive tasks. This means you have to look for automation features as you search for the right solutions to integrate. Automation with a business information system allows you to boost output without expanding your operation. By automating tasks, such as report creation, you can direct team members to focus on more critical and strategic tasks.
Automation also helps simplify workflows. If you see repetitive tasks in your workflow, seek a solution that can help automate that part of the process. In some instances, you may even find ways to eliminate repetitive tasks with the help of business solutions.
8. Prepare to Scale
Never implement a business solution that cannot scale alongside the business. As tempting as it may be to use a more straightforward – or cheaper – tool that meets your current needs, you also have to consider other needs you may have when the business multiplies thanks to better IT solutions. It is a bit of a balancing act.
What you don’t want is to pay for features you don’t need, or features that will not be useful in the foreseeable future. Choose solutions that offer the right balance between cost, features, and scalability so that you always have the best tools and resources for growing your business.
There are still so many other tips to discuss, but the eight we covered in this article will help you begin your digital transformation without a problem. For more tips on how to set up a business information system or complete business solutions, stay tuned right here on The People Development Network.