Make The Most out of your Small IT Budget
Small organizations have small IT budgets. Yet, technology is now more important than ever. How do you reconcile these two things? You do so by strategically allocating your IT spending towards technologies that have the most impact on your organization.
Over the past 18 years, I have had hundreds of conversations about how technology can help small organizations. Most of the time, the conversation would abruptly end with the following statement: “We’re a small organization, we have very small budgets, and we really don’t need much when it comes to technology.”
In the past, I found this statement very frustrating. I am a technologist and small business owner too. I sit on the board of a nonprofit organization, and I have seen many places where technology has had a major impact on an organization and their people, regardless of size and budget. I never found a good comeback after this comment killed the conversation.
Today, as the pandemic has wrought a change on every business in the world, technology might be that lifeline between boom and bust. Yet, I still hear this statement repeatedly. Then it dawned on me. (Maybe I am getting a bit wiser with age 😊.) What they were saying for so long is true. Small businesses, really, don’t need much when it comes to IT. The secret is finding the right technology niche, the right technology lever for your organization. If you focus your energies in the right direction, you bet on the right horse.
One of our nonprofit clients found their lever in a small Salesforce implementation that allowed them to manage their programs using both laptops and mobile devices. When the lockdown started, their staff quickly re-grouped over one long weekend and never looked back. They are performing better than ever before. They found the secret IT weapon for their organization, and when the stay-at-home order happened in March, they thrived.
At ECHO, we found that lever when we started a deep analysis of all our data. We abandoned Excel spreadsheets, SQL queries and a 30-year-old way of doing reporting and data analytics. We switched to Tableau, started digging through data dating back to October 2012, and found a few “pots of gold”. We know now what our busiest days are, busiest weeks of the month and busiest months of the year. It helps with planning schedules, hiring, vacations,cash flow and quality of service. Tableau also brought to the forefront that our Time to Answer (TTA) and Time to Resolution (TTR) for clients’ IT tickets has improved significantly – something we are extremely proud of! I can go on about how Tableau as a technology tool has helped ECHO but that is for another post.
Now is the time for you to figure out what is your “technology niche”, or technology “secret sauce”? Share your technology story with us or get in touch if you need help finding the right “technology niche” for your organization. ECHO is always more than happy to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations.