Well qualified people can always be found who will work at a lower rate, but there is no substitute for experience and proven track record.
Having established the business need and researched the IT marketplace to determine the cost, the business will have an IT strategy.
The business need/benefit equation forms the basis for the plan and from this IT policies should be established and published to cover the use of all IT equipment and services from servers and software to personal computers and mobile devices.
Establish the Deliverables
It will now be necessary to exercise quality control over the package being delivered or being planned. To many this will equate to squeezing down costs to create a lean, mean service to the organisation. It is always relatively simple to find a cheaper method once a standard has been established, but great care must be exercised to ensure that economies are not taken so far as to compromise quality, security and resilience.
Best Versus Cheapest
Lower cost software and free applications often appear to be a tempting option, but consider why market leaders have bigger price tickets. Usually, the reasons come down to levels of ongoing development and quality of support.
Similarly, well qualified people can always be found who will work at a lower rate, but there is no substitute for experience and proven track record. Experience and knowledge of IT application to a particular business is often worthy of retention and loyalty also has a value.
All change must be measured against the business need/benefit equation and safety margins must be allowed for.
Quality Stems from Control
Many budding businesses allow IT to grow in an un-ordered fashion. New key people bring their own technology solutions into the organisation and these are often adopted without due consideration for the general work flow.
New software offerings come to the marketplace with low introductory prices or free trial periods to entice experimentation, but the question will always remain – How does it fit the IT strategy and the overall business plan?
Changes to the strategy must also take into account the mid and long-term support and maintenance requirement. Will a free download or low price package be adequately supported and developed over time? Will new employees, service providers and outsource solutions provide sound methodology and clear documentation to guarantee process redundancy in the event of forced un-planned change?
IT Must Serve the Business and Not the Individual
Poorly considered change in technology results in an IT function that serves individuals rather than the business as a whole. There may be a very convincing case for software that improves the efficiency of a function for a person or department, but the output must also mesh with the business as a whole.
Know What You Want
IT management for an organisation may be full time, part time or outsourced, but there must always be a clear strategy and enough policy strength to resist deviation from the plan.