10 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR COMPANY’S VALUE: Practice #4: Do an IT system checkup

10 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR COMPANY’S VALUE: Practice #4: Do an IT system checkup

Have you ever counted the number of computer programs you access each day? If you think about it, the fact that each employee can touch several software systems every day can be a serious waste of time and efficiency. Once a planning tool for manufacturers, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have become a necessary operating strategy for most businesses. While many middle market companies do not need all the capabilities of a large enterprise ERP system, they do need to know why they don’t by investigating and pricing the available best-in-breed systems used by competitors,

An IT system review and tune-up is a key success factor that needs to be done at least once a year by a team of cross-department heads lead by an IT systems pro who knows what competitors are up to in your industry.

They begin by listing each department’s business requirements and compare that to what your systems currently track and don’t track. A wide gap between the data and reporting you need to see and the time it takes to gather the information means you are losing money and you should look for new software or updates to narrow the need and reporting requirements. The goal is a narrow gap, which means you should be as profitable as you can be with the latest information at your fingertips.

As 2012 ushers in a wave of new outsourcing IT options based on “cloud” computing, which is the outsourcing of hardware and software to a trusted third party vendor offsite.  The advantages can reduce your current and expected costs of buying, operating and staffing a growing IT department.

By having a more comprehensive information technology program, you can reduce other indirect costs as well, such as CPA/audits, tax preparation, financing and inventory carrying costs, while increasing the value of your business to potential buyers and investors down the line. As IT costs continue to grow, make sure you are considering all the options, and, getting the most value from what you have now.

An IT system review can do that for you.

In part 5 of this series I’ll discuss boosting your bottom line by reviewing your marketing and advertising ROI.