Technology decisions have a large impact on an organization, and if they’re not made properly – bring a large amount of unnecessary added cost. While some senior managers make executive decisions and pass them on to their IT department to incorporate, others simply pass on the decision making process altogether and allow their IT people to do it on their own. However, neither of these are as effective as collaborating between executives, department managers and IT to identify the needs of the company, and the best way to meet them. Executives, IT Managers, and Users must all be in alignment within the process and strategies in order to come up with the desired outcome: better use of resources.
Unfortunately, collaboration between departments is often overlooked. Whether executives don’t trust their IT department, and therefore make single-view decisions, or IT managers are not made aware of the long-term goals of their company, neither can make the best decisions on their own. This lack of cooperation can result can be an expensive and time-consuming break and fix cycle.
While the appropriate level of collaboration and communication between departments is the key to strategic technology planning and success, there are some ways you can quickly and easily improve your productivity through tech fixes. These include:
- Moving back-ups offsite. The somewhat new option of the internet ‘cloud’ brings a fantastic opportunity to back up your data in a secure environment. On-site backups are only effective in the occasion of a non-catastrophic event. However, if your office were to experience a natural disaster, fire or flood – the on-site backup tapes would likely be useless. You can start by consolidating your company’s data using network attached storage drives, and then upload all of your information to a secure cloud environment.
- Document management. Storing documents on your hard drive immediately cuts costs and improves accuracy. By keeping pdf copies of your documents you can find a significant savings including printing, administrative support and storage space. There are many free or minimal cost pdf writers on the market today such as Cute PDF. Begin using this strategy and you’re on your way to a complete paperless office.
- Clean hard drives. Hard drives get filled up with trial versions of software and useless applications, not to mention the dust and dirt that builds up in the fans and internal components. Deep cleaning your hard drive every six months will reduce expensive mistakes and possible exposure to viruses.
- Nonprofit analytics. If your reports don’t give you the data you need to make sound decisions, you’re wasting time and money, and putting your company at risk. If there is data you need and can’t get, consider creating custom reports that allow you to take advantage of opportunities presented by good nonprofit intelligence.
- Multiple monitors. Talk to anyone who has ever used dual monitors and see if they would ever go back to one monitor. The ability to have you accounting system on one screen and Excel, Word, or Outlook on another monitor will greatly improve efficiency. Other businesses have caught on to this and have seen a reported reduction in task time by 20 percent.
In addition to these great cost reducing strategies, using a fund accounting system that keeps all of your data in one application verses using multiple spreadsheets and systems will be the largest cost savings decision you can make in 2012. To learn more about the fund accounting solution process download our Non-Profit Accounting Success Kit.