If you’re trying to pay down debt, some financial planners will advise you to pay off the smallest debt first. For example, if you have three credit cards and owe $10,000 on one, $5,000 on another and $500 on the third, it’s best to pay off the $500 debt first. Why?
First, paying off the smaller debt gives you a sense of accomplishment. Second, it enables you to make quick and successful advances against your overall debt.
How does paying debt relate to technology?
When revenue is plentiful and cash is pouring in, you can afford to spend money on a variety of technology projects, such as:
- The ones that could take a long time to see significant gains
- Others that you’re not sure will work, but you want to explore
- Projects that interest you, though they may not really benefit your business.
However, in a tight economy you have to make tough choices on where to invest your money. Similar to the debt analogy above, when considering how best to invest your reduced IT budget, think in terms of small projects with fast results.
Instead of upgrading the software on all your computers, pursue a limited upgrade with measurable results. Last week, for example, I stopped checking my Google email via my web browser, but added my Google email account to Outlook. This saves me time, since I’m not checking email through two different interfaces, and I’m more productive as both accounts are managed through Microsoft Outlook. It’s a small technology change with measurable improvements.
What about your business? Are there areas of inefficiency that can be more productive through low-cost, simple and quick technology enhancements? If so, make these improvements first on your list of priorities. However, there is one caveat. At times, the best change might require a complete, massive, time consuming and expensive upgrade. If a house has been severely damaged in a fire, sometimes its best to tear it down and start over again, rather than doing hundreds of structural and cosmetic changes.
If necessary, seek the advice of a consultant who can help determine what technology improvements you need to make and when/how to make them.
When the economy rebounds and customers start spending more money again, the technology upgrades you made today will better position your company to meet all of your customers needs tomorrow.
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See other recent postings to this blog:
· Around the world without software (Posted on: 04 Nov 2008)
· Getting ready for a world of smartphones and mobile platforms (Posted on: 04 Nov 2008)
· New security threats require new solutions (Posted on: 06 Oct 2008)
This content may have been developed with IBM funding. Regardless, this work represents the view of the author and does not necessarily represent the view of IBM. Although the content may utilize publicly available material from various sources, including IBM, it does not necessarily reflect the positions of such sources on the issues addressed in this content.