With the economic crisis starting to show signs of coming to an end, firms have to think about preparing to handle the good times after two years of trying to run lean and mean.
Trying to predict when the economy, and cherished customers, will return to good health is a tough equation for any businesses and spending money for technology to keep pace can feel like a roll of the dice. But while you may be skeptical of the “green shoots” chatter on CNBC or the Wall Street analysts who say they’re expecting a bounce, there’s a big risk to not being ready for increased business, too.
Jay Weiss, an executive at JGI Consultants, says that many firms are “delaying their systems expenditures until the economy turns around.”
Weiss says that many opt for a “hosted information” solution that’s cost effective and gives them the ability to scale up if they need more firepower. “There are (hosted) packages where the reports have already been created and are less customized,” he says. “You don’t own the software but license it.”
The good news is you don’t need to only follow your gut on this kind of decision. Some strategy tips:
• Determine the cost of the existing software. Take under consideration annual renewals and any special hardware allocation. Then, match it up against the purchase of a new application.
• Use a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) calculation. A CBA is a formal discipline used to help assess the case for a project or proposal, weighing the total expected costs against the total expected benefits
• For tracking financial information, consider using Quick books. It and many other technologies have been made affordable for low middle market firms: $10 million and up in revenue range. Many of the larger software companies are courting that market.
• Push your vendors hard. Remember, they need the business, too. As part of your tech planning process, make software vendors demonstrate their products to you. A little beauty competition never hurt anyone.