Do You Have a Business IT Strategy?
It may sound like a lot of work, but with a robust business IT strategy in place, you will soon start to wonder how you managed for so long without one.
As a business owner you already know the importance of strategy and planning. Without it, you have no aim, no goals, and really, no direction. While you probably spend a lot of time working on your strategy every month, quarter, or year, how much of that time is spent on your business’s IT strategy? If the answer is “not very much”, it’s time to change that
Your business’s IT is one of your most powerful, crucial tools in growing your business, keeping your team productive, and giving your customers a great impression of you.
It makes sense that you have a plan for how:
- It will work for you now and in the future
- You will need it to grow with your business
- It can help take your business to the next level, faster
If you’ve never created an IT strategy before, or it’s been a while, here are a few of the key elements you need to include…
YOUR BUSINESS GOALS
Your IT infrastructure is there to work seamlessly alongside your business. It should complement everything you do, or plan to do, and make reaching your business goals a little easier.
Will you need additional tools to help your sales pipeline? Will it accommodate any future partnerships or acquisitions you plan to make? What about the different departments within your business; do their needs differ?
PEOPLE AND TIME CONSIDERATIONS
Who in your business is responsible for delivering your IT strategy? Will it be created and driven in-house, or will you outsource it to external experts? Internally, who needs to be involved, whether that’s liaising with external experts, or overseeing elements of your plan?
And how long do you want to take to make these changes? As with any business plan, you need to take both long and short term goals into account. Do your plans rely on reaching a new level of turnover, or will they be based on your people adapting to the changes?
YOUR CURRENT INFRASTRUCTURE
How’s it working for you right now? What would you change? What can’t you manage without?
It’s a great idea to speak to people in different departments about this, because what works for one team may be totally unhelpful for another. You can tailor your infrastructure to work well for everyone and keep all of your department feeling happy and motivated.
A TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP
This step may be a little more difficult that the others, but it is really worthwhile.
Think about your whole IT architecture here. Your hardware, software, and any other tools that you’ll want to utilize. If you need assistance here, a good IT support partner will be able to make recommendations on the best of everything to fit your needs.
Break your roadmap down into departments and include everything that each will need. This will allow you to see how everything fits together.
While your infrastructure needs to be functional, it also has to be cost effective. What’s the point in making all of these changes if it’s not bringing a financial benefit to you?
Look at your current KPIs and forecast how these should improve with the changes you’re making. Make sure they’re realistic – change won’t happen immediately. Allow some time for your people to adapt to the new tools. You can not only measure performance, but your KPIs should also help you to identify issues before your end users are affected.