About 90% of C-Suite leaders plan to mature their digital business strategies this year. A solid Microsoft strategy can improve productivity and cut costs. If your business is growing, your IT needs should grow, too.
Otherwise, you won’t give your team the tools and support they need.
Not sure where to start? Here are the four steps you need to take when considering the Microsoft strategy for your business.
By understanding your goals and limitations, you can set your business up for long-term success.
Get ready to grow with these easy steps!
Step 1. Align Your Goals with Your Microsoft Strategy
First, you’ll need to align your current Microsoft technology strategy with your long-term business goals. Otherwise, your IT system will fail to help you accomplish those goals.
While working through your goal-setting process, clearly define your company’s SMART goals for the year. These goals are:
Do you want to minimize the number of systems and vendors you’re using? Decreasing resources could improve your security and save money.
Do you want to do more cloud computing this year? Set a SMART goal to have your team 50% cloud-based by the end of the second quarter.
In order to determine your short-term business goals and objectives, you need to evaluate your company’s current and long-term needs. Try asking yourself:
- Do our current IT initiatives address the company’s priorities?
- Are we delivering maximum value to our customers?
- Are our current technologies good investments?
- How are we determining the performance of these technologies?
- Is our existing IT setup flexible enough to gain us a competitive advantage?
- Is our existing IT setup managed properly?
Once you answer these questions, get as specific as possible.
For example, name three business pain points you want to solve this year. Perhaps you want to increase revenue, improve customer service and increase profitability. Determine business objectives for each pain point. Then, determine how you plan to achieve each one.
What is the most efficient way to achieve your goals? How can your Microsoft technology support each goal?
Once you understand the direction your company is headed in, you can ensure you have the right technologies in hand.
Are you struggling to determine which goals match your growing IT needs? Think about the problems your employees are facing. Take a look at your current expenses, too.
For example, is your current document storage system too costly? Do you often lose files? Does your team waste valuable time trying to find and share each file?
Consider setting a goal to reduce storage costs by 50% by the end of the next quarter. Maybe you want to reduce lost files by 80% before the end of the quarter. Then, determine which Microsoft technologies, such as SharePoint, can help you accomplish these goals.
Is your accounts payable processing taking too long? Run the numbers. Can you improve your processing times, cut processing costs, and reduce errors?
Make a plan to automate the process with PowerApps and Power Automate to reduce accounts payable processing times by 20% over the next 12 months.
Once you determine your goals, you can find a Microsoft consulting firm capable of helping you achieve them.
Step 2. Assess Current Microsoft Technologies and Abilities
Now that you’ve determined your goals, consider what’s keeping you from accomplishing them. Evaluate your current Microsoft technologies and capabilities. Break down each to determine what area needs improvement.
Understanding your software platforms and limitations will ensure you can make the necessary improvements to your Microsoft strategy.
Start by asking yourself:
- How much do we spend on IT?
- What is the ROI for our current IT system?
- Is there a more efficient way for us to spend our IT budget?
- Why haven’t we made changes to our IT needs in the past?
- What Microsoft technologies can help us accomplish our goals?
- Where do these technologies fall short?
- Do our current systems work well together?
- Where are we making sacrifices?
- Can we consolidate some of our software needs?
Take the time to recognize the pros and cons of your current operations.
Step 3. Look for Areas of Improvement
How much are you currently spending on your IT needs? An in-house professional could eat up as much as 70% of your IT budget. Instead, consider outsourcing.
You can work with a Microsoft consultant to recognize where you can make improvements to your system.
It’s also important to make sure you’re using your current Microsoft investment to its full potential. You could have every tool available, but maybe you’re not using it effectively. Look for solutions that can help your team automate responsibilities.
Is your current process maximizing the use of the technology you have available? Is your current system up-to-date or years behind? Do you have someone on your team optimizing your current system and process?
Take the time to determine what your current Microsoft technologies are capable of. If you plan on growing IT along with your business, you need the right technology for the job.
Step 4. Determine Gaps in Your Microsoft Strategy
Now you need to identify any gaps between your current Microsoft capabilities and the level you want to reach. Is your technology accomplishing your goals? If not, it’s time to make adjustments.
First, look at your data storage system. Is your system secure, reliable, and affordable? Is the integration complicated and tedious?
Does it require ongoing maintenance?
Consider switching to a cloud-based system, like Azure. The cloud is simple, streamlined, and flexible. You can scale your needs as your company continues to grow.
Take a look at your current security and compliance, too. Are you vulnerable to hacks? Are you complying with the latest customer data security laws?
It’s not enough to invest in antivirus software. Consider your firewalls, network encryption, and other security protocols to ensure you’re compliant.
Are you automating yet? Automation can save valuable time and money.
How else can you decrease costs? Consider outsourcing your IT needs to a management company. They can ensure your entire IT system is running at its best. They’ll help you identify other gaps you might have missed.
With their help, you can make improvements to your entire IT system.
Meeting Your Long Term Goals with a Microsoft Strategy
Don’t fall behind with outdated technology this year. As your company grows, your growing IT needs will change as well. With these tips, you can make a plan for long-term growth and success.
Improving your IT system will ensure your technology needs are ready to scale with your business.
Want to discuss your IT needs with a professional? We’re here to help.
Contact us today to get started.