Craig Adams PortraitDeficit spending is all over the news.  And while the nation grapples with a series of crises over spending and debt, Small business owners face their own challenges of keeping their spending in line with their income.  Successful owners learn to spend on those things that are most important.  However, too often spending is not well planned.  It tends to be a series of reactions to immediate demands.  There are real dangers associated with this “reactionary spending.”  When you spend to address the demands of the day, you will inevitably fall into a deficit of another kind – a technology deficit.

A technology deficit can be compared to driving a car without changing the oil.  By all appearances your car continues to run smoothly.  You may be able to avoid oil changes for a long time, but eventually there will be serious damage will require a substantial investment in time and money to repair.

Types of technology deficit include: failure to refresh the computers used by employees, or the servers that host critical applications used by the organization.  It can be the failure to update key software systems.  Perhaps it is finding a cheap technology provider that keeps the lights on, but does not help you adapt to new opportunities or new threats.

If your company’s product includes a web or a software component, then your technology deficit might be in the form of expecting too much technology development, too fast, for too little.  This is like constructing a building without properly preparing the foundation.  Pressured engineers will often meet immediate demands by taking clever shortcuts.  The cost of these shortcuts manifests itself when expensive large investments become necessary to maintain or replace the quickly assembled solutions.  Too often technology dependent companies are simply unable to meet growth demands or crisis demands because they had “saved” their way into a deep technology deficit.

No one likes to spend more than necessary to run their business, but it is short sighted to think that you can consistently under-invest in infrastructure and still be able to meet future demands on the organization.  Organizations are well served to find a trusted advisor that can help them find the proper level of current technology investment to avoid painful or even fatal technology deficits.

CXO Vantage Point Guest Blogger

Craig Adams, Virtual CIO