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Have You Developed Business Technology Plans for Your Clients Yet?

December 12, 2012  

If you haven’t done so already now is the time to summarize your quarterly business reviews with decision maker(s) at each client and develop a Technology Business Plan to support their business initiatives for 2013 and beyond.  At this stage you should know if your clients have plans to:

  • Grow and hire more people, or alternatively downsize 
  • Add an office or move
  • Upgrade hardware
  • Implement new business applications

In addition, as their trusted advisor you should be prepared share your insight and recommendations on investments they should consider to help their business become more profitable and efficient. For example,

  • Is there a need or inefficiency that can be corrected with one or more technology solutions?
  • Could you provide training to their staff to better utilize existing technology and increase efficiencies?

Your Business Technology Plan for each client demonstrates your domain expertise as well as the depth of knowledge and understanding you have for their business and their technology footprint. This plan meets two specific objectives:

  • First, you are presenting your client a business technology budget for their consideration, along with clear business justifications for their decisions. They will know that you care about their business and their success, and that you have been paying attention throughout the year. 

  • Second, but perhaps more importantly, you are building your own revenue forecast for 2013 by solidifying a pipeline of potential projects, services and managed services.

Key elements to be include in a Business Technology Plan:

  • Executive Summary that highlights the complete plan, budgets, key benefits and efficiencies of the solutions you are recommending. This is your chance to quickly convey the value you can add to their business and entice them to read the details in subsequent sections of the plan. 
  • Specific sections on:
    • The past year, including the successes, challenges and lessons learned.
    • The solutions or services you are recommending; be sure to highlight the business drivers giving rise to your recommendations, and quantify the return on investment.  It is very hard to justify a technology solution or continuing service without the business case behind it.
    • Budget and related details of the hardware, software and services needed for a complete solution. Provide alternatives as needed and where feasible. 

  • For example, if you are suggesting a new on-premises network server, propose a basic server solution along with a more robust solution replete with backup power supplies, a redundant storage configuration and remote backup options. Always inform your client of the ramifications of selecting the basic solution (to save money now) versus the benefits of the higher cost solution (to save money later.
  • Summary and next-steps. 
Thank them for being a loyal client and give them clear steps to take action on your proposed plan.
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