Chess is a brutal mental game. Likewise business. You need to move carefully.

At present, information technology is on the basis of almost every business. So, what should the smart business owner do?

Know the game phase and have a plan

In chess, people often talk about “first drive advantage.” More important is the last drive. You must last. Many businesses start small, only with a small number of computers. At first, it might only be basic emails, simple word processing and accounting needed. However, over time, the company grows and needs it usually grows with it. This growth needs to be planned and carefully implemented to ensure its operations during good and bad times.

If the computer system goes down, a myriad of results can occur. If a single user computer goes down, the impact can be similar to the loss of pawns in the chess game. Lose all your IT infrastructure and it can be “checkmate.” Forty percent of business fails as a result of a big disaster.

Food to think about: from the War and Peace of Chessmaster Peter Thiel’s lecture, “A secondary lesson in chess is that even bad plans are better than there are no plans at all. Don’t have a chaotic plan.”

Know the relative value of your pieces

In chess, the queen is the most valuable part of the board. When it comes to the computer, it is tempted to unite all applications, but there really is a whole set of gradations.

Some applications provide basic functionality, eg. Basic contact database, while others will provide full business process automation. When developing your IT strategy, it is important to understand and know the value of the business so that good steps can be done when choosing technology. For example, many businesses will remain with separate accounting programs (e.g. QuickBooks) and service management systems rather than moving to a complete feature application. The result: multiple data entry, workflow inefficiency and potentially inaccurate decision making.

Similar inefficiencies can result from poor cloud computing strategies. If some cloud solution providers are used, it may be difficult to integrate and share information between them.

Food to think about: from Grandmaster Chess Danny King, “You cannot take your movements back. After you play your steps, you can step into a terrible trap.”

Know how your work works together

The right way to play chess is to use every part (chess is a team game)! In it, in essence, there are users and there are applications. Electricity users will actually use applications and information available for them to improve their efficiency and productivity. Others need basic functionality that is very easy to use and very reliable. It is important to match the right users with the right computer with the right application. You must attack the right balance. By using all pieces effectively together, your IT infrastructure can help make your business great.

Food to think about: from Bruce Pandolfini, one of the largest chess teachers in the world, “you want most of your movements to be objective and analytical. But being good chess also needs it to read people.”