Creating an effective business IT strategy is essential for business success. With easy access to powerful software and online services, having the right IT infrastructure can be the difference between taking your business to new heights or keeping it stuck in a rut.
A well-thought-out IT strategy is critical to implementing new technologies and ensuring that your business is competitive.
“Creating an IT roadmap gives businesses a clear advantage by not only understanding their costs, but planning to ensure that they are able to leverage technology and remain productive,” says Jason Harlam, Business Development Manager for Technology Advisory Group.
What Exactly is an IT Strategy?
An IT strategy is a plan for implementing and managing an organization’s information technology infrastructure, including hardware, software, systems, data processes, cloud technology, and more. It ensures the correct use of technology resources and provides guidance on how to leverage them to achieve the desired business goals.
An effective IT strategy can help transform an organization’s size, structure, processes, systems, and profitability.
Essentials for an Effective Business IT Strategy
Having the right IT strategy is vital for the success of a business. Here, we look at the elements of a successful IT strategy and its many benefits.
Identify the Goals
Before you start planning and implementing IT strategies, it is important to first identify the goals you want to achieve. Are you looking to boost productivity, improve customer service, scale up your operating model or increase sales? Defining your goals in a strategy document helps you to evaluate the impact of your strategies in the future.
Analyze the Organization
Analyzing the organization’s existing structure is also important before you begin developing an IT strategy. Take stock of the current technology, data resources and systems, and identify the gaps that need to be filled to achieve the desired goal.
Create a Roadmap
Once you’ve identified the goal and analyzed the organization, it’s time to create a roadmap that will help you reach the target. Your roadmap should include the timeline, expected results and deliverables, using all of the information gathered during the analysis.
Planning for the budget is an important part of the IT strategy development process. By anticipating the costs and budgeting appropriately, you can ensure that the IT objectives are achievable.
Assessing Technology Solutions
After the budget is set, you should review and assess the technology solutions available and decide which ones best fit the budget, organizational needs and goals.
Develop an Evaluation Process
Along with the technology solution, developing an evaluation process to measure how well the solutions are meeting the organization’s goals is just as important. This can be done by tracking data and analyzing metrics such as performance, customer satisfaction and customer acquisition.
Create Contingency Plans
Having a contingency plan in place is essential for any IT strategy. If the planned project falls behind schedule or fails to meet the set goal for whatever reason, it’s important to have an alternative plan in place to ensure minimal disruption to the business operations.
10 Steps to Creating an IT Strategy for Your Business
Now that we have discussed the elements of a successful IT strategy, here is a step-by-step guide to creating one for your business.
|Steps for Creating an IT Strategy|
|1. Gather the Necessary Information|
|2. Set Up the Framework|
|3. Assess the Organization and Identify Gaps|
|4. Develop Action Plans and Strategies|
|5. Create a Roadmap|
|6. Analyze Potential Solutions|
|7. Develop a Contingency Plan|
|8. Assess Your Technology Needs|
|9. Create a Budget Plan|
|10. Implement the Plan; Monitor and Update as Necessary|
Step 1: Gather Necessary Information
The first step is to obtain all the necessary information related to the goal, organization, resources, etc. This will help you build a complete understanding and help you create a comprehensive IT strategy.
Step 2: Set Up the Framework
Once you’ve gathered all the information, set up the framework. This includes putting together the timeline, outlining the processes and developing the team, etc.
Step 3: Assess the Organization and Identify Gaps
After setting up the framework for your IT strategy, assess the organization and identify the gaps. Identify where improvements need to be made and what technology solutions need to be deployed in order to achieve the desired goal.
Step 4: Develop Action Plans and Strategies
Next, develop strategic plans and strategies to fill the identified gaps. Think of creative and innovative ways to reach the goal and come up with strategies to implement them.
Step 5: Create a Roadmap
Develop a detailed roadmap that outlines the timeline, deliverables, business processes and other important aspects of the IT strategy.
|Plan better, do IT better:|
Step 6: Analyze Potential Solutions
After developing the strategies, it’s time to analyze the potential solutions. Compare the various technology solutions available and select the one that best fits the budget and goals.
Step 7: Develop a Contingency Plan
Develop a contingency plan as a backup to ensure that the project will not be significantly affected if the plan fails due to unforeseen circumstances.
Step 8: Assess the Technology Needs
Now that you’ve analyzed the best technology solutions, assess the organization’s technology needs to ensure the chosen solution is a good fit.
Step 9: Create a Budget Plan
Once you’ve identified the technology solutions, create a budget plan to cover the costs.
Step 10: Implement the Plan, Monitor and Update as Necessary
After planning and budgeting, it’s time to implement the IT strategy. Monitor the progress and adjust your strategy as necessary.
Is Your Business Being Hampered by a Lack of IT Planning?
Creating an IT strategy is essential for a company, large and small alike. Having the right IT strategy can be the difference between success and failure. But, let’s be honest, technology is not always the forte of a great business leader.
|Trusted IT Consultants Near You|
That’s where experienced IT partners like Technology Advisory Group can help. Our consultants meet with your upper management to evaluate systems, understand your business objectives, and help you devise actionable technology roadmaps.
Learn how your peers are using technology, identify the latest capabilities in the market, and start making informed decisions for your IT. Schedule a meeting with us today.