Chris Bennett, CFO of Bennett Office Technologies, answers the question, "Why invest in technology?"
Chris Bennett, CFO of Bennett Office Technologies, answers the question, “Why invest in technology?”

Business differentiators in productivity, collaboration, and customer service are directly related to people.  The buzz words “human capital” are being used in advertising a lot lately.  The use of technology to make us more effective is becoming the single most important item that separates us from our competitors.  Depending on your industry, spending on technology can be anywhere from 1% of gross revenue to 8%.  Industry leaders are moving technology from an expense to a tool that helps increase revenue.  This is being accomplished by developing a strategic technology plan to move technology to the top of the income statement.  Not having a technology plan risks wasting money on buying leading edge technology rather than what integrates into your business.  Developing a plan will encourage discussion with key members of your business to get buy-in.  At a minimum creating a plan will be a communication tool for you and your staff.  Taking this proactive measure will pay dividends in the future.

Bennett Office has been investing in technology since the late 80’s.  Each year/month comes with its own initiative.  From personal computers to communication infrastructure and now cloud services.  Let’s face it, technology changes faster than most of us can keep up with and it is expensive.  Technology has become an important tool for businesses to use and is directly linked to productivity.  Any amount of downtime can create a loss in productivity and can be more than the actual time your companies network is down.  I was having a conversation with a customer of a 25 user network. They had scheduled a reboot of their server for 4pm.  The actual downtime was estimated at 10 minutes but several people left for the day.  They simply felt that the remainder of the day was lost which is not uncommon.  For me specifically, if I do not have normal access I feel lost and my productivity drops to zero.  Knowing how critical uptime is to our operations we have invested in redundant internet, electricity, and servers.  We are almost to the point that only human failure or a major disaster will keep us from operating.  The expectation from our customers and employees is that our technology be up and working.  Bennett Office invests heavily in technology because of the services we provide.  However, we are still a 30+ user company and need to ensure our employees can be productive.  What does uptime mean to you?  How much does downtime cost you in lost productivity?

Over the next several weeks discuss 3 more topics.  The purpose of these articles is education.  Upcoming topics will be:

1. What should I be spending on technology?

2. Why is being proactive in technology important?

3. What does it mean to be strategic in technology spending?

My/Our goal is to provide information that will help you assess and plan.  Bennett Office has spent a lot of time discussing being proactive versus reactive in technology and so much so it will shape our services in the future.

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