Information technology plays a critical role in the success of every business – from Fortune 500 companies to small mom-and-pop shops. For business leaders, it can be hard to know how to develop an IT strategy, especially if you’re not a tech expert yourself.
Implementing your strategy will require communication between all of your teams. In fact, 40% of business managers cite failure to align as the number one reason strategies fail.
This comprehensive guide walks you through the planning process of IT strategy development that will help your business reach its full potential while reducing costs and keeping your risks low.
The Benefits of IT Strategy for Business
An information technology strategy is a formalized guide for your company’s future use of information technology. Your IT strategy encompasses many interconnected business processes that should align with your long-term business goals. When you’re finished, you’ll have a comprehensive framework that will help you turn visions into reality.
What Impact Is IT Having on Your Business?
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Many companies suffer from not having such a coherent method in place. This results in wasted money and time spent on redundant projects that end up hindering productivity rather than enhancing it.
An IT strategy can offer benefits such as:
- Improved productivity: Your IT strategy can help you find the best software solutions for improved workflow, and allow you to automate repetitive tasks so your employees can focus on high-value projects.
- Controlled Costs: By creating an IT strategy, you can see how each of your projects contributes to your overall vision. This helps you streamline costs and eliminate anything that doesn’t support your business objectives. It also gives you a better idea of which specific technologies are worth investing in—and where you should be spending money.
- Increased Competitiveness: Using a technology strategy as a framework helps you to see how technology fits into every aspect of your business. This will help you serve your customers better and give you a competitive advantage.
- Better Security: Looking at your company’s entire digital landscape can help you pinpoint potential security threats. By seeing where vulnerabilities exist, you can work on solutions that will keep everyone—including customers—safe and secure.
How to Develop an IT Strategy
Creating an IT strategy for your company requires clear goals and an accurate assessment of your current infrastructure. There is no one size fits all approach, but these guidelines will help you find an effective IT strategy for your business.
- Define Your Goals
The first step is to consider what you want your IT strategy and plans to achieve. What do you want your company’s technological future to look like? How does your company’s strategy align with its corporate goals and objectives? This planning phase will inform how much time and resources you’ll invest in your technology systems, as well as the lifespan of the project.
- Assess Current Infrastructure
Now that you’ve defined your goals, it’s time to take a look at your current situation and see how it aligns with those goals. How do your employees use technology now? How is your network configured? Are there tools in place to help you access important information?
You should also identify what’s working, and where there’s room for improvement. By having answers to these questions, you can start planning what steps need to be taken next, which will eventually help you reach your overarching goals. This will work best if you create a map for your architecture and resources, and how they all work together.
- Create Schedule and Scope
Now that you have a picture of where your business is right now, you can look at what steps need to be taken in order to reach your goals. This is when you want to schedule in time and resources for each project and account accordingly.
- Identify Measurable Performance Indicators
Throughout your planning process, it’s important to keep tabs on your performance so you can learn how well your IT strategy is working. How do you know if you’re making progress?
This is where key performance indicators can help. They serve as metrics that will tell you whether or not certain goals are being met, and allow you to adjust accordingly if something isn’t going as planned.
The final step in your IT strategy development is putting all your plans into action, which begins with communication. To ensure your strategy reaches every corner of your company, you’ll want to make sure employees are informed. Outline what steps you are taking and how it will affect them, and make sure everyone is on board.
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How Managed IT Services Can Help
Managing your business’s computers, servers, and software takes experienced IT professionals to keep things running smoothly and avoid security risks. If you choose to manage your IT in-house, you may need to hire new employees as your business continues to grow.
However, if you decide to outsource your IT needs, you can free up valuable resources within your organization so they can focus on their respective roles instead of the day-to-day hassle of maintaining servers and installing software updates.
Additionally, managed IT service providers typically offer a variety of services that small businesses require but do not have time to implement themselves. For example, managed services typically include network management and security monitoring that help ensure no viruses infect your systems.
A managed service provider can also provide strategic planning, recommend useful business applications, and offer employee training to help them adopt new business processes and follow security protocols.
Talk to IT Strategy and Planning Experts
Accudata Systems, A Converge Company, offers 39 years of experience helping businesses with digital transformation, and we offer full support with our suite of services, including managed services, cybersecurity, and cloud computing.
We provide the highest standard of work and accountability with our IT staff and technicians. We do this to ensure our clients’ sensitive data and information are protected to the highest degree with accountability on work delivered. We prove this with a 100% onshore and in-house staff of IT technicians
Our team can work with you to develop a technology strategy to reduce costs and keep your business agile and responsive to the changes in the marketplace. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.