Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face ever-increasing competitive pressure in the markets they serve.
What business doesn’t want to outperform their competition? Technology provides a way for even the smallest business to succeed in crowded fields.
Instead of viewing IT as a cost, you should be looking at it as a strategic enabler and your competitive advantage.
IT maturity indicates how well a business’s IT organization enables their success
Businesses with high IT maturity look at IT strategically and leverage technology to disrupt their markets and build a profitable company. From a small fashion designer with less than 10 employees who markets exclusively online to a large international operation like Uber, technology can be a game changer when optimized correctly.
However, businesses with low IT maturity are in a constant reactive mode that leads to strategy delays, higher costs, and much greater risk.
Can your business operate without IT? Probably not, so why consider IT an expense that should be trimmed down?
Focus on your business processes, employee experience, and customer experience to look for ways that technology sets you apart from your competition.
How to position IT as a strategic advantage
Much like your business or market grows, your business’s IT maturity grows, too. IT maturity is emerging as a business enabler and competitive differentiator. From recruiting and retaining talent to making and delivering the products and services that the market wants, IT in an indispensable edge.
However, IT maturity is not an overnight development. It’s a journey that starts with an objective review and analysis across all operational systems, processes, and people. The analysis should assess your major IT components including IT infrastructure, networking, unified communication, cybersecurity, business continuity, end user help desk/service desk, applications, governance, and mobility.
Look for opportunities where you can have a demonstrably positive impact on your business, such as process standardization, centralization, or automation.
Cloud technology is a great indicator of IT maturity, because cloud enables technology and allows business to level the playing field. Whether we are talking about business continuity, always-on communication capabilities, the ability to scale your IT resources as required, or securing your environment against today’s evolving threat landscape. When integrated with existing infrastructure, cloud technology provides a level of capability, flexibility, and scalability that was previously not available to SMBs.
Not every business will benefit from cloud technology, but every IT mature organization will have evaluated cloud technology and made a strategic decision on whether it make sense for them.
Why IT maturity matters to SMBs
We exist in a remarkable time in history, where it’s possible for small start-ups to compete in established markets with legacy namesake competitors. Similarly, legacy namesake organizations can remake themselves by leveraging technology to improve productivity and their impact on society.
SMBs have access to technologies and resources that allow their business to move quicker than ever before. IT maturity can enable SMBs to leverage technology and use IT effectively, efficiently, and manage risk exposure.