Every business owner would be familiar with the concept of an unavoidable expense, a "cost of doing business" that is simply a necessary part of their chosen industry. To many business owners, IT would be seen in this category - a cost that needs to be managed, and minimised.
As a relatively young industry, and an historically recent phenomenon, it is understandable that IT would be seen this way - after all, it is only within the last twenty years that IT has become an indispensable component of every business.
Today, how many business owners could deny that the smooth operation of their business is dependent on their IT systems?
Businesses today must facilitate contact with their customers through many media. We must provide service and advice that is immediate, and personalised. We must be efficient in our operations, and we must be available continuously. Each of these mandates depends on a reliable, functional, IT system.
Is it then safe to treat IT as merely a cost of doing business?
Our view is that IT can be seen as a source of business advantage, and direct profit.
Well designed and reliable IT systems allow a business to provide consistent service to its customers, assisting when demand peaks, and avoiding embarrassing "system related" delays.
The productivity of the largest expense of almost every business, people, can be improved and maintained by IT. The leverage of a well-designed I.T. system provides opportunities for businesses to innovate, and to distinguish themselves from their competition.
We say that a true business advantage can be gained by looking at IT as a key business input, rather than as an expense, and by investing in well designed and reliable IT systems, and in the expertise and experience that entails.