Upgrading your IT systems can improve communications and allow people to work together more efficiently. However, you should plan carefully before you start to make sure that your new system will fit your needs.
The checklist below has some quick and simple tips to help you achieve this. To choose and implement an IT system, you should:
- identify your key processes
- identify any bottlenecks in your current system
- find out your customers' and suppliers' requirements
- understand the different technical options
- seek independent expert advice if necessary
- assess costs and benefits of different options
- consider limitations, such as your employees' IT skills and your budget
- prepare a thorough brief for your potential suppliers
- plan for contingency, especially if you are tied to one particular a supplier
- formulate a clear agreement with suppliers on what the solution will achieve
- check if the deal includes ongoing support from the suppliers
- decide if you prefer gradual implementation or a 'big bang'
- create a realistic budget, including resources for training
- set a realistic timetable, including time for testing
- allow for unexpected costs and delays
- plan how you will involve employees and overcome resistance to change
- manage the project and track progress from beginning to end
If you'd like to learn more about the different processes involved in choosing and implementing an information technology system, detailed guidance is given in other pages in this guide.
For an overview of the key considerations, you can also view a short video tutorial below.