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Find IT Tools That Fit How You Do Business

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 1, 2010

The line that sums up our philosophy on business and technology is: Keep things simple, particularly when it comes to IT. The majority of small and midsize businesses have minimal or no dedicated IT staff, but that doesn’t mean IT is any easier or less important for them. So what things should you take into consideration when searching for IT tools for your business? Here are a few tips:

1. Whatever solution you choose should fit into your normal work. Don’t invest in a solution that requires you to redo how you do business. Find technology that works the way you do without disrupting your workflow.

2. Don’t invest in technology that’s designed for big business. Many founders come from bigger companies and bring with them tools they’re already familiar with. But that’s generally a mistake—these tools are designed for large enterprises, with expensive bells and whistles that small businesses don’t need, can’t administer, and will have to pay a premium for. Look for a turnkey tool with several features rolled into it.

3. Plan for success. Don’t allow yourself to be too near-sighted when deciding on an IT solution. You’ll want to choose something that will scale with your business as it expands.

4. Look for a vendor that will value your business. The last thing you want is to deal with a vendor that views you as an unimportant distraction while it pursues larger customers.

Don Schoen
Interim chief executive
Palisade Systems
Des Moines, Iowa

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