Information technology (IT), as defined by the Information Technology Association of America is the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware." Information technology systems help companies convert, store, protect, organize, manage, process, transmit and securely retrieve information.
Information technology touches all aspects of operating a business, including marketing, accounting, public relations, sales, human resources, customer operations, production and logistics.
For a start-up company, making all the right technology decisions can be challenging. From developing a business-savvy, secure web site to setting up the right systems to manage transactions and inventory, an entrepreneur is faced with making important decisions. It is all about choosing the best service providers, the right equipment, software and systems that will meet not only the start-up needs but set the stage for future growth for the company.
A key consideration for start-ups is getting their arms around their IT plans and requirements. This is especially difficult for a start-up when requirements are unknown. That poses financial challenges if an IT vendor is charging strictly by the hour and the project takes many more hours than the entrepreneur budgeted for. Entrepreneurs might consider discussing alternative contract arrangements with vendors such as fixed prices for projects or fixed monthly service fees as a way to keep costs in line with budgets.
Southeast Wisconsin has well over 500 information technology businesses with over 22,000 highly talented employees and experienced managers. While many of the companies are less than ten years old, they offer advanced products and services while maintaining a cost advantage over competitors located elsewhere. These 500 companies offer a wealth of resources and choices for start-ups and young companies. Services and products include consulting, GIS, Multimedia, network and web services, software development, pre-packaged software, training and placement.