It’s EOFY! And while the rest of the world celebrates January as the “start of a new year”, for business owners, it is July that signals the chance to start anew. It’s a time ripe for planning, strategising, and preparing for growth.
Just as you would make personal New Year’s Resolutions on January 1, you should aim to do the same for your business come 1 July each year.
Unfortunately, IT planning can fall by the wayside when budget time comes around. Although it may not be as exciting as forecasting for new staff, more customers and increasing turnover, it’s a vital element of your business that should be paid proper attention if you want to avoid costly and haphazard fixes later on.
Sometimes, the sheer speed at which technology evolves can cause business owners to “give up” trying to have the latest version of anything. It seems just as you buy version 1.0, version 2.0 is being stocked on the shelves.
Fortunately, you don’t have to keep up with every upgrade that comes out. Your iPhone 5 is likely to be just as good at making calls and sending messages as your iPhone 8.
However, there is a danger in letting this approach go too far, and it can have serious consequences for your business.
For example, let’s say you opened your business 10 years ago and installed a software on your server that staff use to create documents. At the time, this software was considered cutting edge, and did everything you could ever need it to.
Having aged considerably, you one day find that your brilliant software has stopped working and you need to replace it. Across the past decade though, the software has evolved several times, and the new version is incompatible with your older one. This means that when you upgrade, every file you have created for the past 10 years is un-accessible, un-openable, and un-usable.
There is also a chance that when your old software stops working, a complete change-over can take weeks (or even months) to implement. This reactive approach can cost you severely in money, time and productivity.
As a general rule of thumb, you should be aiming to upgrade certain hardware and most software every 3-4 years to be safe.
The simple way to avoid reactionary disaster is to incorporate IT planning into your normal EOFY planning.
Consider the following:
- Do you need to upgrade the amount of hardware to accommodate new staff?
- Do you need to add new software that can help you work smarter, faster and cheaper?
- How old is the software you rely on now? Can you budget for an upgrade that will keep current and future versions compatible?
- How old is the hardware that keeps your entire network running? Do any of your cables, or even your server, need to be replaced?
If you have a cash surplus in June, IT purchases can be a great way to get an instant asset write off.
Otherwise, you may need to create a prioritised list that you can work through over the new financial year.
Making a plan
We can help you do an audit of your existing IT infrastructure, and provide honest recommendations on where you need to go from here.
For example, we may determine that some of your cabling or network connections are in serious need of an upgrade. This would take priority, and then we can work through other recommendations such as server or software upgrades later on.
If you’re expanding the number of users (i.e.: more staff), we can help you make an easy transition, and set them up to ensure ease of access and proper security.
Once you have an understanding of where you’re at now, you can also chat with your accountant on how to budget for purchases in the next financial year.
Then, you may want to discuss Managed IT Services with us, to ensure your systems keep running smoothly and provide the ROI you deserve.
To get an IT site audit to help with your new financial year planning, please call (02) 6189 1322 or contact us now.