The strategies you set move your business forward. They guide everything from how you start your business, how you financially support and grow it, how you hire, train and retain employees and how you market your services. Your IT strategy stands on its own, but also it plays a supportive role for your other strategies, such as financial planning, expanding into new markets, improving efficiency and adopting new technology.
Given the impact technology has on business, it’s surprising how many companies either don’t have an IT strategy or don’t develop one beyond what technology they will retire, replace and upgrade in the upcoming year(s).
Don’t be one of those companies. The better your IT strategy, the better supported your company’s staff, growth, efficiency, customer sales and support, and ability to compete in the marketplace will be.
A good IT strategy guides how technology will be used for developing your business. In other words, it is a roadmap for your in-house or outsourced IT team, outlining expectations on how technology will impact the business and the budget for it.
Having developed IT strategies for businesses in a variety of industries, our IT consultants have collated the best foundations for establishing an IT strategy that will help support your business goals.
A good IT strategy is:
Aligned with your business. So much technology exists to support businesses, and it improves consistently. Unless you’re in the technology space, it’s unlikely your company needs to be on the cutting edge. Instead evaluate areas in need of improvement and invest in technology there. Technology should solve your business challenges to support your goals and growth.
Clear and logical. IT by nature uses technological terms that those outside IT might not understand. Even when developed by IT specialists, your IT strategy shouldn’t be so riddled with technology buzzwords that the average person can’t understand, much less implement or use it to its full advantage.
Flexible. Your IT strategy is not set in stone. Given constantly evolving technology, you must be willing to adjust and adapt based on changes in the market, your business and needs. Being flexible leads to taking advantage of technology quickly should you decide to enter a new market, offer new products and services, shift business priorities or update operations, etc.
Iterative. An IT project that follows the iterative model has a better chance of success because it is implemented in stages and assessed along the way. Ongoing assessments let you keep a project on track versus backtracking at the end to pinpoint where it went off the rails.
Cost-effective. Every strategy has a budget attached to it. Once goals are set, your IT strategy can be developed around achieving them. Fortunately, most IT solutions are scalable, which makes them affordable. If you’re not sure which solution is best for your needs, consult an IT specialist who can provide real numbers and sound advice on whether the investment will deliver an acceptable ROI.
Forward-looking. A good IT strategy balances your current and future requirements. It should include elements that support your operations today and prepares you for the future in terms of new systems and upgraded technologies.
An ugly IT strategy is not only the opposite of all the qualities above, but it can cost you time, money and resources. The sooner you discover whether your IT strategy might be ugly, the faster you can develop one that truly supports your business objectives.
Just not sure? Consult an outsourced IT firm, like Invision, for a review and objective opinion.