Writing a technology plan isn’t as simple as downloading a template or filling out a form. Every firm is unique, and there is no single formula that will cover every situation. As accounting professionals, information technology often takes a back seat to core business matters, but your firm’s technology should be a central concern to all of firm management.
You may not think your firm needs a technology plan, but here are some signs that you need to take a closer look at your firm’s IT.
- You tackle technology problems as they arise. Once your server has died, it’s already too late to make a strategic plan for replacing it. And when you finally start hearing the staff complaints about slow computers, you’ve already lost more productivity than you’d like to admit. If you’re not planning out your technology expenditures at least 3-5 years in advance, it’s time to start thinking about it now.
- Your firm’s strategic plan doesn’t include a technology component. In order to adapt to the changing business landscape, firms need to plan carefully. By leveraging technology, firms can ensure current business doesn’t suffer while they’re planning for new business. What steps can you take to free up time for business development? How can you identify potential growth areas for the firm? Carefully planned technology implementations can help you answer these questions.
- Your staff grumbles about your firm’s technology. Rather than griping about technology, your more tech-savvy staff can be involved in influencing change. These staff members can be valuable influencers in your firm, and you can tap into their knowledge by having them serve on technology committees or helping other staff members learn new technologies or processes. Your staff will appreciate the opportunity to be involved, and your firm will benefit from their enthusiasm.
Once you’ve identified the need for more strategic planning around your technology infrastructure, you might wonder where to begin. The process can be daunting, but you can get started by downloading the whitepaper “What does a Good Technology Plan Look Like?” written by Jim Boomer, CPA.CITP, MBA and Michael Wherry, CPA, LSS Black Belt.