5 Tools In A CTO’s Arsenal For Making Tech Proposals
It goes without saying that PowerPoint is the go-to tool when you’re making a tech proposal. It helps you emphasis what you’re presenting, can make your proposal more engaging and offers a delivery method that is pleasing to the eye. Just remember to keep information concise! There’s no point in you just reading off of a slide so keep it brief and make your speech go hand in hand.
Some pointers on how to design your PowerPoint presentation include the following:
- Your first slide is the one that should grab their attention, so be direct and simply list all the topics you will cover. Avoid any specifics here.
- After that, discuss the risks the business are currently facing, as well as the potential impact they might see.
- Then discuss possible solutions you’re proposing and how your tech solutions will contribute to business optimisation, execution, and efficiency.
- The closing slide should always be strong, summarise the most important points, and be clear about your requests.
Statistics are the key here! The board and senior staff members are interested in the numbers! They want you to justify and quantify what you’re saying.
Compelling graphics help you emphasise key points and help the board members remember key data and statistics.
Canva is a great beginner graphics tool that can help you. It’s very simple to use, with tons of templates to get you started. There are free templates to choose from, or you can create your own designs from scratch too. Plus, they have PowerPoint-ready formats you can adapt to save you even more time.
For those who want a fully dynamic presentation, this tool for making tech proposals is the next step up from PowerPoint. Instead of making your proposal a one-sided and linear experience, Prezi makes your proposal highly interactive.
There are no slides, just a single large canvas where all the other elements are located. Going from one point to another doesn’t involve going from slide to slide, but from one element to another. You can zoom in, reveal, or jump between elements to achieve a dynamic look.
The only downside is that you have to pay for this particular solution because all presentations are public by default in the free version of Prezi.
#5 Collaboration Tools
Whether it’s PowerPoint Online or Google Slides, being able to collaborate on your presentation with the rest of your IT team or switching devices while preparing your presentation will save you time and resources. If you will be the only one working on the presentation, you can opt for cloud storage options instead of collaborative software solutions to make it simple to work on from anywhere.
A well-prepared tech proposal will be much more than just a well laid out reasoning on why certain IT or cyber security upgrades are needed. It will have captivating visuals, a good narrative, and the right data and statistics too.
Improve Business Reactivity
6 Ways To Improve Communication Between IT And The Board
Why You Need To Improve IT Communication With The Board Of Directors
Every IT executive is aware of how little they can do without the board’s approval when trying to implement a company-wide cybersecurity strategy. But, with new cybersecurity risks detected each day and cyber attacks becoming increasingly sophisticated and malevolent it’s now becoming a must.
How To Communicate With Your Board Of Directors
We are seeing a trend of authorities implementing stricter data security acts to prompt businesses to step up their game. Because of this, the cybersecurity strategy has become a crucial topic to discuss at board meetings.
CTOs, IT experts and managers, as well as cybersecurity experts, need to be aware the the board doesn’t need to understand the mechanisms used by cybercriminals to exploit security flaws.
They are not IT experts; you are. You have to make them aware just what those exploits mean for the company: ruin. But how can you improve IT communications and bring this to their attention? Here are some tips that will help you:
#1 Align With Company Goals
The most important way to improve IT communication is to know what goals are important to the board of directors. That information is crucial to present your cybersecurity proposal as a critical business enabler that will get them there. You will improve your credibility if the board knows you support their business and want to make sure they remain operational.
#2 Use The Right Language
Another method to improve IT communication is to choose your words wisely. Avoid using technical jargon and explaining complex details of your cybersecurity programs. Your board won’t understand you any better if you try to explain the current security architecture.
This is probably the biggest challenge you will face – it’s hard to explain the intricacies of cybersecurity without dwelling into the technical side of things.
Still, focus on keeping things simple: explain where the organisation is standing currently, how much at risk they are, how it might affect stocks, and what steps are needed to mitigate risks.
You will improve IT communication by making your presentation relatable. Use real-life examples and analogies to bring the subject closer to board members. Explain just how important it is to have good security nowadays by highlighting how much damage cyber attacks can cause.
#3 Send Proposal Documents In Advance
You will have a much easier time explaining the need for new systems if you send your proposal documents in advance.
A week in advance should be enough time for everyone to look over your proposal. That way, they can send inquiries and feedback that will help you adjust details that you might have missed.
Include relevant audit and compliance metrics, as well as operational effectiveness. Relevant statistics on cybersecurity that relate to the organisation and what threats could impact its operations are a good points to present to pique their interest. You might want to include recent reports that highlight how unsecured data, public folders, and old accounts enable malware and ransomware attacks.
#4 Make Your Presentation Interactive
PowerPoint might be a go-to tool for presentations in general, and it’s a good starting point, but there are other tools that can help you prove your point.
You can use data breach calculators in real time to asses just how damaging a data breach can be to your organisation, how long it would take to identify a breach, and how much time you will spend until you manage to contain it. You can also include other types of media that help emphasise your points such as video, audio and visualisations.
#5 Be Direct About What To Expect
#6 Use The Right Tools
Understand the tools that you have at your disposal (we’ve outlined some of the essentials here.) and don’t be afraid to use them. Boardish, for example, will help you create a snapshot of the full risk analysis of the company right now and offer visualisations to put in your proposal. This is a good way to explore and input various elements of cybersecurity and get to see what kind of impact they have on the organisation.
The only surefire way to get your IT proposal approved is to improve IT communication with your board of directors. Present your strategy as a solution that helps the organisation manage risk effectively, and present KPIs to measure the effectiveness and ROI of your strategy.
Improve Business Reactivity
6 Winning IT Proposal Ideas To Take To The Board
#1 Lower Cybersecurity Risks With New Security Solutions
Cybersecurity has become a major focus of all businesses because the latest data breach statistics speak volumes about how much damage they can cause. Keeping everyone up to date on the latest cybersecurity threats and having advanced encryption options is the way to do this.
Educate the board on just how these solutions work. For example: It monitors who is accessing what information, and thanks to machine learning, it will quickly detect anomalies in such processes. If a specific workstation is accessing too much information all of a sudden, it will raise a red flag that you can follow to determine if systems have been compromised.
#2 Reduce IT Costs By Moving To The Cloud
The best IT proposal ideas will emphasise savings and cost reduction, and cloud computing is the way to go. Introduce your proposal on moving to the cloud by presenting the benefits of cloud computing:
- No more on-site servers
- No high costs of server maintenance
- No need to have security staff on premises
- Lower energy costs
- Increased security
- Automatic updates
- Disaster recovery options
Prepare to explain how security can be better if your data isn’t on premises anymore, and why they should trust somebody from the outside to handle important updates.
#3 Reduce Energy Costs And Carbon Footprint
#4 How You Can Improve Operations With Automation
Your IT proposal ideas should always explain how they are improving certain aspects of the business. Every business wishes to be profitable, which means to gain as much as possible with minimal investment. This is exactly what new software solutions are helping you achieve.
If your company is still stuck with doing everything manually, get them on board with automation and software-as-a-service solutions. Be very detailed about their benefits – explain how they work, how they are used, how they impact regular operations, and how they can improve them.
#5 Eliminate Delays And Bottlenecks With AI
#6 Innovating With Smart Technology
IoT (Internet-of-Things) devices that are essentially smart sensors relaying data via the internet are a big game changer. These sensors can be used to track inventory and processes within the supply chain. The company will have real-time information on where inventory is currently located, and even whether it has been damaged in transit. That information helps discover inefficiencies that could have not been observed otherwise.
It also helps by tracking of inventory levels. Inventory management is improved because you can now track how much materials and products are used, so you will always know when it’s time to order more, and have data on how much you have to order.
Smart devices can also be installed to track machines and assets. These sensors can predict possible issues thanks to all the data they gather. Ultimately, this will save lots of money because you will prevent expensive breakdowns before they ever happen.
Just remember that the right IT proposal ideas will not only get your project approved but will propel your business operations and increase company profits, which will help you get your future proposals approved easier.