Optimizing and refining your IT systems drives high performance.

Once your business has a functioning IT system, do you stick with that system religiously, or do you keep optimizing it? Most businesses have developed a way of using IT that works, but not many companies make a habit of improving their systems. Updating IT systems can be a challenge for older companies in particular. 

That’s because older companies are often trapped with a legacy of old operating systems, which are too costly to replace. Many banks, for instance, are still using IT systems whose core essentials were developed over four decades ago! 

The key message here is: Optimizing and refining your IT systems drives high performance. 

According to the author, three-quarters of employees in high-performing businesses say their organization continually upgrades their IT systems, whereas just 41 percent of those in low-performing businesses say the same. 

If you’re heading up an older business, upgrading your systems won’t be easy, but it’s often the only way to secure the future of your company. 

Remember that your younger competitors, like start-ups, aren’t burdened with out-of-date IT systems. And if you’re not careful, this advantage could give them a decisive edge over your business. If it would cost too much to change all your business units to a new IT system all at once, then maybe build new units of your business on a new system, while leaving your old business units on old systems. 

If you do decide to upgrade your IT system, it’s important to invest in training for your employees so that they know how to use the new system effectively. 

All too often, companies spend big on designing and installing a new IT system but try to save money by skimping on IT training for their staff. While skimping might sound tempting, consider that this approach is a false economy. After all, if your staff don’t know how to use the new system to its full potential, then it won’t drive productivity in your business, and you’ll never see a return on your initial investment. 

Finally, don’t forget to update your existing workflows, processes, and job descriptions to facilitate the new technology you’ve brought in. Even if your staff know how to use their new system perfectly, it will only work well if your other processes are adapted to be compatible with it.