In the world of business, technology is ever-changing and will continue to do so. The time it takes for a company to implement new software or equipment can be costly and have a negative impact on your business. So how do you stay competitive? How do you develop an IT strategy that helps your business leverage the latest technologies?
Developing an IT strategy for your business with your team will allow companies to cut costs, remain efficient and most importantly, gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
In order to develop a business IT strategy that works for you, here are six steps.
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6 Steps for Effective IT Strategy Development
1) Identify Your Business Goals
You can’t accurately forecast your IT requirements unless you align them with your business objectives.
For example, if our client wants to increase their lead gen efforts this year, then they will probably have no choice but hire more staff and invest in specific technologies such as Salesforce. Or if they have a goal of increasing productivity and streamlining communication between teams and departments, they will need to consider implementing software like Asana or Monday.
That could require buying new hardware assets just for the purpose of improving their productivity levels through increased efficiency. No matter what the goal, aligning business goals with an effective IT strategy will always require considering the role technology plays in meeting those goals.
As the CIO, you need to know the long-term business goals in order to decide which technologies to invest in, the hardware it will require and the staff they will need to handle IT requests.
2) Meet With All Your Business Leaders
It’s important to note that bringing together your leadership team is an ongoing effort and not a one-time event.
Driving successful IT strategy development for a business’ digital transformation relies on open communication between operational teams, managers, and the information technology department.
How does your company know if you’re experiencing problems with information technology? If the problems aren’t reported, they obviously won’t be fixed. This means that employees in operations, sales, or customer service will continue to suffer from inadequate equipment and software which impacts their ability to provide service.
The only way to create a comprehensive business IT strategy is to involve all your business leaders in the strategic planning process.
3) Review Your Existing Information Technology Strategy
By reviewing your existing infrastructure, you will be able to define problems. As you start thinking about how to begin IT strategy development for the future and assess what works well in terms of software tools or systems that you’re currently using – ask yourself:
- What specific technologies do our teams use?
- Is our data center equipped to handle the growth we are forecasting?
- Do we have an effective reporting system?
- Are we fully prepared for the ongoing digital transformation of business and in the marketplace?
These questions should be asked often during the business IT strategy and planning process.
With IT solutions being a vital part of driving value, innovation, and cross-functional business processes it’s important to first examine what is working well. Then you can leverage that system instead of reiterating every time a new problem or technology emerges.
4) Establish an Ongoing Training Schedule
When you’re running a business, it’s important to make sure that every employee is on the same page.
This means keeping them in the know of what changes or upgrades will happen within their department as the business continues to grow.
A manager must take an active role when there are system updates such as those involving enterprise architecture (EA) and/or company-wide rollouts of new business applications, because if people aren’t knowledgeable then mistakes could potentially cause issues in the future.
Make information technology a key part of your onboarding process. If employees are not trained to respect information technology and security from the beginning, it will be difficult to change their minds after they are onboarded.
This should absolutely be part of your IT strategy document. If onboarding and ongoing training are absent or lacking from your business IT strategy, you will experience more bugs, breaches, and frustration from all your employees. This is not always a popular decision, but it is necessary.
5) Update Your Business IT Strategy As Needed
IT strategy is a dynamic endeavor that requires frequent evaluation and revision.
In order to ensure your success, you should measure the efficacy of major programs against benchmarks set with stakeholders using data-driven metrics. So as not to be left disappointed by discrepancies between goals and actual outcomes–and possibly go back into IT planning all over again.
The growth of IT budgets is undeniable. At the median, large organizations are seeing an increase from 6% to 8%. Mid-size companies have seen their spending grow by 4%, but some still see little change or even decrease in this area while others increased it up to at least 10%.
Small businesses may not be getting government funding like before so they must rely on corporate donations for themselves which can make things difficult because oftentimes small firms don’t always account properly; meaning there could actually end up being more/less money spent than what has been reported
6) Don’t Create an IT Strategy Alone
Meeting the challenges of today’s ever-changing business world is no easy task. There are many ways you can prepare for these changes, but one way that often goes overlooked in IT strategies is outsourcing your company’s information technology needs by hiring an external service provider, like Netsurit.
Work With Netsurit for Your IT Strategy and Planning
We specialize in this type of project management expertise to keep things running smoothly day after day as new developments arise with each passing month or year. We are consistently learning new strategies and researching emerging technologies to keep us on the edge of innovation as we serve our clients.
Having someone outside handle ongoing IT strategy development helps ensure your plan stays current, prepares you for the future, and helps you meet your business goals.
Talk to us to find out how we’re helping support the dreams of the doers.