How to Start Planning a Big IT Project


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A major change to your IT infrastructure shouldn’t be planned in a hurry. If you’re starting to think about ending it with your current systems and bringing your business into the future, there’s plenty to consider. You need to define everything you’d like the upgrade to achieve. And think beyond solving the immediate problem to what your ideal solution could deliver. But where do you start?

Here are some tips we have for those planning an IT overhaul.

Keep it simple and document everything

It’s quite common for businesses to want to over-customize their infrastructure. Many businesses really do need something fully bespoke. Others end up with a setup that’s far too complex because they want to shoe-horn a new system into a familiar way of doing things. Often, the latest solutions offer surprising productivity benefits – but you may need to be prepared to flex how you work to get the best out of them.

Use this opportunity to embed logical process improvements. And document everything. This will help save time and resources as you work through any teething issues, and it can form the basis of staff training.

Research, research, research

Finding the right solution can be overwhelming. This is where expert advice and contacts in your network come in. Listen to recommendations and speak to an IT professional with broad expertise.

  • How well is the software supported and routinely updated?
  • How easily does it integrate with other solutions?
  • Is there an alternative option that you haven’t even considered?

Many software solutions offer a free trial period. This allows you to see how it works in practice but will also give you a good idea of the support and communication you’ll receive before making a long-term commitment. Because if you do find that a solution doesn’t do everything you’d hoped, you’ll start to introduce those clunky workarounds again and eventually end up back at square one.

Plan your data migration

If you’re switching from an old system to a new one, plan how to transfer your existing data – it’s usually not a simple export/import. Make sure your backups are intact and have an emergency rollback plan to quickly get back to where you were and keep working if an implementation doesn’t go smoothly.

Have an implementation and training plan

Have training sessions with your new applications, and make sure everyone understands why the change is happening. It’s common for people to be resistant to new ways of working. You could have a trainer come to your premises or use online sessions via video call or interactive training courses.

Choose the right professionals from the get-go

Whether you know exactly what you need or you don’t know where to start, the right professionals will support you all the way. A professional who does this daily won’t see this as the daunting prospect it might feel like to you. They’ll foresee issues before they arise and take the weight of responsibility off your shoulders.

Look for a provider who’s done this before with similar-sized businesses. Someone who’ll take the time to understand the level of customization and personalization required and will think about your overall needs. And find somebody you like.

Get in touch

If you’re considering any IT project and want to speak to a professional, talk to us first. We specialize in many areas and work across a range of different solutions. Get in touch today.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at MSP Marketing Edge.

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