Five Steps to a Successful I.T. Strategy
We’re rapidly approaching the end of this crazy year and we know exactly what’s on your minds – your IT strategy, obviously!
This is the perfect time to review your IT strategy, beginning the New Year with a clear view.
Why is Having an IT Strategy Important?
Without technology, most businesses wouldn’t be able to operate.
A number of businesses have infrastructure that does not meet their requirements and because of this, they are doing two things:
- Throwing their money away
- Holding back their business.
Essentially, a good IT strategy is crucial to the growth of your business. It should either increase your top line or increase your bottom line. It can improve productivity and thus profitability. That’s what all successful business owners want, right?
Creating a personalised IT strategy is made much easier with support from a good IT provider, whether you require some adjustments to your current infrastructure or are starting completely from scratch.
To help you on your journey, here are 5 important areas to include…
1 – Outline and Align Your Business Goals
This step is very, very, very important!
What are your business goals, what is it that you want your business to achieve next year and the subsequent years? Your IT strategy should align to those goals otherwise it adds no value.
For example, your goal is to increase revenue by X in one year. What does that entail? Do operations or processes need to be more efficient? Do you need systems to improve your monitoring or measurements?
Again, it is important to emphasise that IT strategy should be business-led, not tech-led. As Thor Madson of research house Gartner said in 2010:
“The business value of IT – there is none in and of itself; but only in its impact, contribution and enabling of an overall, larger goal – whether that might be the generating of cash for a business, the accomplishment of mission for a non-profit or the fulfilment of policy set by a government.”
2 – Identify Your People
Do you have an in-house IT department? Or an external managed service provider (MSP), like ourselves?
You must identify who will be involved in implementing your new IT strategy and who will be liaising with said people, but also identify who is going to be affected by the new strategy.
Communication is key throughout the process. These people need to understand what they are using and why it might be changing.
Therefore, it’s important to know what they think…
Cue the next step.
3 – Review Your Current Strategy
What works well? What doesn’t work so well? How can these processes be made easier?
Feedback is a great resource. After your own critical review, you would want to ask your teams for their opinions and experiences. They should be able to tell you what they need and what they would like or that would make their lives easier, in aim of being more productive.
From there you can work out the value of the resources you currently have and work out the best possible solutions.
4 – Create a Roadmap
In this step, consider the resources your business has, including software, hardware, and other tools.
You could section your roadmap into departments. Their needs and wants will each differ in their requirements, so it may make your job much easier to organise it this way.
What resources do they use? What tools do they require? What software are they reliant on? For the Cyber Essentials certification, you should have a software asset inventory, so you are aware of what you are running across your estate. This is something your IT provider can help you with, if you don’t have one, find out more here.
An IT partner can be a huge help in creating your roadmap, to ask the right questions in order to recommend you the best solutions.
5 – Define Your Metrics and Measure Your Progress
You want your strategy to be cost-effective, that goes without saying. So how do you go about measuring its performance? What does good look like?
You will need to decide on KPIs that you can use to analyse performance and success of your IT strategy over time. For example, we measure the number and performance of our service desk calls.
Doing so can advise to make necessary changes, sooner rather than later, preventing disruption, downtime and cost.
With implementing new tech, it may take your team time to adjust. It can be useful to consider this and accommodate, and that your progress results may not be imminent.
Once everyone becomes familiar with their new software, systems, or procedures, you can start to enjoy your new levels of productivity!
There you have it, an IT strategy in five simple points.
Bespoke Computing Ltd is lucky to work with some very successful business leaders. If you would like to continue your journey to top tier productivity, have a fresh pair of eyes look over your tech strategy or, just have a question then get in touch with us today.
The process starts with a no-obligation conversation to start getting to know your business and its growth plans for the future.