Creating an Effective IT Strategy
Effective IT strategy begins with a deep look into business strategy. Most companies see IT as a necessity for performing operations. However, the right IT strategy doesn’t only support your daily to-dos; it also helps you more effectively achieve your business goals.
When you are designing an effective IT business strategy, you shouldn’t approach it with only the idea of solving immediate needs, but also with the intent to progress your business strategy. This means approaching your IT strategy with the mindset of “what business goals do we plan to achieve now and in the future, and how can our IT best support that?”
Think of Your IT Strategy as an Assessment of Changes Needed to Achieve Business Goals
IT strategy used to consist of a list of costs for the IT technology a company wanted to implement. This strategy was typically not necessarily aligned with business goals but more likely responding to immediate or perceived operational needs.
In many cases, this mindset decreases the company’s ability to prioritize changes that achieve greater long-term benefits.
By having a business-forward focus with your IT strategy, you can ensure your IT strategy aligns with business strategy to save time, and money, increase productivity, and—most importantly—support your business goals.
By using the following tips, you can begin designing a more effective IT strategy.
1. Review your Business Goals
What are your long- and short-term business goals, and what are your company’s current challenges to achieving these goals?
Consider process bottlenecks, lack of integration, systems that cannot handle the current (or future) volume, outdated or poorly functioning systems, underutilized resources (such as servers), etc.
After you determine the challenges currently impeding your business goals, you can design IT strategies that can help better support them.
2. Analyze Current Security Threats
Although you may not immediately associate cybersecurity with business goals, a threat or data loss can have a significant negative impact on your business. It should be part of your IT strategy to ensure you have cybersecurity systems in place as well as an automatic data backup and recovery system conducive to your company’s current stage of growth.
3. Include KPIs
As you’re designing your IT strategy, be sure to include KPIs in your plan. Instead of focusing on inputs and outputs, focus these metrics on actual business impact. The purpose of the KPIs isn’t to prove the IT is doing “something,” but rather to measure whether the technology is providing real, measurable outcomes for the business. Look for KPIs such as cutting costs, decreasing delivery time, improving productivity or output, reducing downtime, etc.
4. Tie Your Strategy to Business Outcomes
Each segment should be tied to business outcomes in a business-forward IT strategy. For instance, your IT strategy may include overhauling outdated systems—how will this provide real, measurable business outcomes? In the case of outdated systems, it may reduce delivery times, improve productivity, or strengthen customer satisfaction scores.
5. Doesn’t Overshoot or Undershoot
Two mistakes companies make in their IT strategy is to choose systems that will satisfy their needs only for a short period of time or that look too far into the future and far exceed their needs.
It’s important to find the right balance of fulfilling your company’s existing needs while leaving room for growth. The best option in these cases is to look for systems that can scale with you as you grow.
Would you Like Help Designing the Right IT Strategy for Your Company?
Network Coverage is an award-winning IT services company providing managed IT services, IT consulting, and more for companies of all sizes across the United States. Our solutions are affordable, scalable, and—most importantly—designed with a business-forward approach to help you achieve your goals. Reach out today to talk to an IT expert about your IT strategy.