Knowledge workers have been moving from paper-based to computer systems for decades, and today almost all knowledge work is completed using a computer.
High-performance organizations have the best practices to manage their business data to improve decision-making and insight.
For many, this means integrating financial information with project management software.
Setting up a project management system can be daunting for many organizations. It’s easy to get things off the ground, and you should expect some bumps and learning curves along the way.
However, it’s essential to follow best practices when setting up your project management software to get the most benefit from your investment.
What Is A Business Exit Plan?
A business exit plan is a written plan that includes details on how business events, such as an acquisition or merger, will be handled by the company and any third party involved in the transaction. It can be well-thought of as part of a disaster recovery plan for businesses and organizations.
All employees must consider the possibility that there might be a time in the future when a company will sell or cease to exist.
Most companies have well-defined plans for operating mandates, such as mergers or acquisitions. There’s typically an existing plan for handling things once the transaction is complete in these scenarios. However, not all situations are quite so clearly defined.
What should you do if the company suddenly goes out of business? That’s where a business exit plan provides added security.
Benefits Of An Exit Plan
Exit planning is a necessary part of running a business. The process can help you plan for the future and ensure that your employees, customers, partners, and other stakeholders continue to access the items they need after the organization has been closed.
Here are some benefits of exit planning:
- It increased security and data protection;
- It helps organizations prepare for unexpected events;
- Prevents premature upgrade cycle;
- Creates a more sustainable business model;
- Enables organizations to grow into new markets and industries;
- Allows owners to share equity with employees;
- It helps ensure compliance with regulatory requirements; and
- It helps businesses reduce exposure to fraud or theft-related claims
The exit planning process is an integral part of preparing for the future. It helps organizations understand what needs to be done to keep business running after an owner, partner, or key employee leaves the organization.
Without a transition plan in place, it’s possible to lose access to critical accounts, licenses, passwords, and other vital pieces of information necessary to run your business. It could lead to serious consequences, including the closure of your business.
What Is Project Management Software?
Project management software is a computer system designed to help businesses and organizations manage their work.
This system can be used in a wide variety of applications, from tracking the progress of an individual project to managing large-scale projects that have hundreds or even thousands of participants. Many project management tools are on the market today, and choosing one can be a time-consuming and challenging task.
Project management software can give your company an incredible amount of flexibility, helping you to get more done in far less time.
When applied correctly, project management software solutions increase productivity and reduce work errors for knowledge workers wherever they are located.
Why Sync IT System To Business Exit Plan?
A business exit plan can’t be just a piece of paper. If an organization considers itself an ongoing concern, there should be evidence that it's planned for the future, even if no one wants to admit that either scenario is possible.
IT systems are used to run today’s business, and organizations need to carefully consider how they’re used in the event of a business exit plan.
Outsourced IT companies provide invaluable services to businesses such as, for example, the managed IT services in Boston.
Services like cloud computing can help organizations better prepare for a business exit plan. The cloud offers a flexible and scalable platform that allows companies to shift their IT systems from one location to another without hassle in the event of an unexpected or planned event.
Here’s how an organization can sync or improve its IT system with a business exit plan.
Plan For The Future
The initial step in preparing your business for a possible exit plan is to look ahead and consider the future.
What happens if your company goes out of business?
How long can you afford to keep a fully functional IT system going without revenue coming in from operations?
Most organizations fail to plan for their exit. Instead, they wait until it’s almost time to sell.
It’s not a bad strategy if you have defined your value proposition well enough so that several potential buyers are already lined up. However, this is an ideal scenario because you’ll have plenty of time to set up your systems so they’ll seamlessly transition to the new owner.
Find Your Exit Strategy
Next, you need to determine the best exit strategy for your company.
There are several ways an organization can leave the business world, including acquisition, merger, bankruptcy, and liquidation. Each of these scenarios will require different steps to achieve a successful transition.
If you are not confident about your ability to sell your company, it’s essential to plan how you would prefer to close down operations smoothly.
Would you opt to choose someone else to continue operating it as is? Or would you rather shut things down quickly and find a way to recoup your financial losses?
Ideally, you also have to consider how you plan to transfer your IT system and proprietary information. These items will be of interest to potential buyers, but they’ll probably not want to take on technical support for an IT system that’s already outdated.
Assess Your Software Licenses
Before moving forward with any transition type, you need to take stock of your organization’s software.
Do you have upgraded or updated licenses?
Which software is no longer supported by the manufacturer and needs to be replaced?
If you plan an acquisition, merger, or bankruptcy, it’s essential to assess whether the company you’re buying has the right to specific licenses. If they don’t, you’ll need to determine if the manufacturer is willing to transfer the license permits or whether it’s necessary to replace them.
Retiring an IT system can be difficult and complex, depending on its use throughout the organization.
If licenses are no longer active, where can you find affordable replacements?
Decommission Bad Hardware
Hardware is another item that you need to take stock of goods. Some hardware items may no longer be functional and need to be replaced, such as monitors, printers, and servers. Other hardware items may still work, but they require too much energy or resources for the organization’s current size.
It might make more sense to decommission the hardware or repurpose it for other uses in these cases.
If you plan to liquidate your assets, the organization must be sold as a turnkey operation. All software and hardware should be ready to run once transferred to the new owner.
There might also be items in your office that can’t easily be transferred or repurposed for use by another company. It may include desks, chairs, paintings on the wall, and even office decorations.
Set Up A Crisis Communication Plan
During a company’s most vulnerable point, it’s crucial to have a crisis communication plan in place.
How will you handle calls from customers, employees, and vendors?
Who can they call if there’s a problem?
It’s a good idea to provide them with a list of alternative contacts so everyone can reach out through a single point of contact if your organization has an extensive network of partners or suppliers. When a company is shutting down, it’s common for customers to become angry or upset because their needs don’t seem necessary.
By preparing a crisis communication plan, you can mitigate this situation and assist every customer who contacts the business about their account.
Many organizations choose third-party vendors to handle their calls when they are in the process of closing down.
They offer a reliable service that can continue receiving messages and forwarding them to your phone during a transitional period. This way, you don’t have to worry about missing important messages from customers, partners, vendors, or employees.
Know What To Do With Sensitive Data
Potential buyers will do due diligence and review all contracts and agreements with vendors, partners, and customers. They’ll also try to assess any potential risks by reviewing your proprietary information and understanding how that might impact their company.
It means that you need to protect sensitive data or information stored on the system or that’s still in use. It might include information like Social Security numbers, wage information, or other personal information that must be removed before the system is disconnected.
Shut Down The System Securely
Finally, when you are shutting down an IT system, it’s essential to take steps to shut down securely so no one can access data after the company is closed. Also, you should ensure that all passwords are reset. Systems are locked down so no one can access the IT system company from outside of the organization.
In some cases, there may be customers or partners that need to have continued access after the shutdown process has been completed.
In these cases, you’ll need to create a custom plan that allows continued access to specific individuals or groups of users.
When you are closing your business, it’s significant to take the correct steps to ensure that all IT systems can be closed down safely and securely. It’ll protect sensitive data and safeguard company information so that potential buyers aren’t scared away by any risks associated with your organization.
While these steps may seem like an overwhelming ordeal at first, they’ll help you assess and manage the IT system and related services so you can shut down securely and efficiently.
Juan Salvatore is a digital marketing specialist who loves books about art, literature, technology, psychology, and business. He has an endless curiosity for the world around him and feels lucky to have found his passion in life--helping companies grow through online marketing.
Juan is always on the lookout for new opportunities that will help him learn more about himself while helping others achieve their dreams, too.