At the beginning of every year, millions of people make new year’s resolutions. These resolutions usually focus on goals, eliminating bad habits, or personal growth. But, what about companies? Do any companies make resolutions? After all, I’m sure most companies have goals, bad habits that need fixing, or areas for growth. With that in mind, I’ve come up with 4 IT-related resolution ideas that could help your company grow or eliminate bad habits:
1. Get with the times: Many companies have fallen behind from a tech perspective, which often wastes time, money, and hurts productivity. What do I mean? Here are a few examples:
- Not operating in real-time: How quickly can you access important business data? How quickly can you run reports? If the answer to either question is anything except “instantly,” you’re not operating in real-time. How does this hurt a business? Obviously, productivity suffers because you frequently must wait for information. Also, decision-making suffers because decisions are never based on current data.
- No web capabilities: Can your customers log into an online portal and check their account information? Can prospects order your products/services online? Good web applications free up your staff for other tasks and makes life easier for your customers.
- Outdated systems: Do you run your business on outdated systems? Do your employees still use character-based apps? Modernizing your systems not only saves money on maintenance, it opens the door to many new possibilities. If you want to learn more about modernization, here’s a free whitepaper that explains everything nicely.
2. Look long term: I’ve noticed a money-wasting trend among businesses today. When purchasing software, they only focus on present needs instead of present and future needs. For instance, suppose a company needs a reporting solution this year, but next year they’ll need a new order entry system. Instead of purchasing and learning two separate pieces of software, they’ll save time and money if they found one that addressed both needs. I realize it’s not always possible, but my point is this: Don’t focus solely on present needs and ignore the future. You might be surprised at how often you can “kill two birds with one stone.”
3. Stop misusing Excel: Spreadsheet programs like Excel are the most commonly misused software among businesses today. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use Excel. I’m only saying that Excel wasn’t designed as a multi-person or multi-department tool, which is how many businesses use it. This leads to many problems including data inaccuracies–in fact, over 80% of spreadsheets contain significant errors. When you consider that many companies use spreadsheets as an integral part of their business, this is a scary statistic.
4. Start using your data as an advantage: Everybody has data. Some companies use it to their advantage, and others don’t. How can data help your business? Your data provides insight into business trends and helps you make quick, informed decisions…if used correctly. If you want to learn more, this article provides some more insight into how to use data to your advantage.
In conclusion, here’s my question to you: What’s your company’s new years resolution? After all, I’m sure you know a few ways it could improve or some bad company habits that need breaking. Why not set a few resolutions as a company and see if you can’t improve your business?