What’s Your Technology Plan?

Most clubs have plans, including strategic and operational plans. What about technology? Typical answers vary from, we’re on a four-year cycle to replace all our computers, to, we budget capital funds to upgrade systems. While these plan for obsolescence, they’re not comprehensive plans.

Private clubs often rely on vendors to help anticipate technology change. Most vendors honestly work on costeffective plans. The problem? Vendors may only see a limited slice of the big picture and/or they have limited expertise. Additionally, often different vendors support various platforms, leading to high operating costs. What’s the remedy?

First, assess current technology. What works well? Is staff happy with the current systems? Usually not. Once a club’s decision-makers gain perspective, they recognize the problem’s true scope. The next step is to identify key technology platforms.

The overall technology plan should be broad, since technology drives vendors to add features, reduce cost, and simplify systems.

Areas to consider include club management software, security cameras, phones, PBX/voicemail, file servers, switches, firewalls, building connections, burglar alarms, building management software, geothermal systems, and many more.

These systems generally carry monthly fees. A good technology plan achieves two goals.

  1. Reduce costs
  2. Upgrade and consolidate systems

Cost reduction is the cornerstone of a good technology plan. Several areas listed above typically last a long time.

Their monthly charges may not change for years. The simplest approach is to renegotiate contracts or invite other vendors to compete for services.

Consolidating systems brings former standalone systems onto a common platform. Combining computer, voice, and security cameras onto one network is just one example.

Part of a good technology plan is to educate management on the pros and cons of available systems. A good technology plan takes work, but then becomes the playbook for many years.

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