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IT Project Prioritization: Balancing Risk and Opportunity

How Should You Prioritize Technology Investments?

Many businesses have a rolling list of IT upgrades that require consideration. Is it more important for your business to upgrade your Internet, or invest in new servers? Should you push funds toward a new software tool that might boost your office’s efficiency? Or are new compliance and security measures of greater concern? Furthermore, funds put toward the latest technology upgrade are ones taken away from another project, such as redecorating a store, or hiring a new employee.

Unless you have the resources to do all of these projects at once, you will need to make some tradeoffs. That said, having a deep understanding of your company goals will help you with your IT project prioritization. We’re going to tackle this question from two perspectives: how to mitigate risk, and how to maximize opportunity.

Are your risking revenue loss through inadequate systems?

When it comes to risk mitigation, businesses are best-served if they can systematically assess ways in which system failures might lose them business. Security failures are a significant concern for many businesses, as they can represent a significant loss of revenue, data, and customer trust. However, there are other risks as well, such as loss of Internet connection, or server downtime.

We work with businesses to help them map the ways in which they make money to known risks that might affect that revenue. To do this, we begin by looking at what key activities contribute to their sources of revenue, and how we can protect them against failure or downtime.

In these situations, we ask the business owner what the maximum tolerable downtime might be for each of these systems. Or, in other words, how long can these systems be down before they start costing you money? And then beyond that, how long until they’ve caused an irreparable damage to revenue? Once we understand how mission critical these various systems are, we can work to ensure that any downtime that does occur happens within a safe margin of those limits.

Does your IT project prioritization maximize opportunity cost?

In order to understand how to prioritize technology, businesses must learn to recognize it as a wonderful tool but a terrible master. The pitfall you want to avoid for your business is basing your technology decisions on the newest advances rather than your business goals. Start by understanding what you want to accomplish as a business, then prioritize your IT investments according to how well they help you achieve that goal.

As a business owner, you will have the fullest appreciation of the opportunities present in your marketplace and how you can take advantage of them. So if an IT project provides a chance for you to take advantage of one of them, that should be higher on your priority list than the latest trend.

IT project prioritization is a balance between risk and opportunity.

The bottom line is that, while technology can help you mitigate risk, it can also position you to take advantage of opportunities. Identify biggest opportunity technology can help you address, and the biggest risk you mitigate. As IT specialists, we can help you understand some of the risks you need to mitigate, and provide insight into technological solutions that can help you achieve your goals. Contact today us for a free assessment.