Your IT is at the center of your daily operations. You use it for everything from sending emails to hosting video meetings, and the more optimized your IT environment is, the more productive and efficient your staff can be.
The best way to ensure your technology is helping your organization is to form a thorough IT strategy. While you could develop an IT strategy on your own, it’s recommended that you partner with an IT strategy consultant. In this blog, we’re going to discuss what an IT strategy is and why every business should have one.
Developing a Business IT Strategy
Before we get into the importance of an IT strategy and how to create one, let’s first go over what it is. An IT strategy is a roadmap that lays out the steps you need to follow to create an IT environment that’s sustainable, aligned with your business operations, and takes your future goals into account. It’s a blueprint of both the current and future technology needs of your company.
Let’s say your business recently adopted a hybrid work model. Going forward, it’s going to be more difficult to set up in-person meetings. An IT strategy can identify long- and short-term challenges like this while also helping you find solutions to overcome them. In this case, your strategy would suggest implementing video conferencing software to hold meetings virtually.
Creating a strategy from scratch can be difficult if you’re not an IT expert. This is why many organizations choose to partner with an experienced IT consultant. With the help of a consultant, you can figure out the strengths and weaknesses of your systems and learn how to build out those systems to better support your operations.
The Benefits of Aligning IT With Business Strategy
An IT strategy is an organization-wide effort that lays out the best ways to enhance your technology. Through strategic planning, you can more easily determine what technology you need to invest in to meet your identified business goals. It’s a worthwhile pursuit for any company, and here’s why:
- You know who should take responsibility: An IT plan lists who’s responsible for what. This is very important, both internally and externally. If something were to fail, the IT strategy document would tell you who needs to be contacted. This helps you set expectations and eliminate confusion.
- You can identify duplicates and bottlenecks: It’s not uncommon for organizations to use software or hardware that’s doing the same job as other software or hardware. It’s also not uncommon for certain hardware or software to be incompatible with the applications you’re using. An IT strategy can highlight these duplicates and bottlenecks, allowing you to remove them from your environment and save money.
- You can stay ahead of trends: The IT landscape moves at breakneck speeds. The technology you just purchased could become obsolete in only a few months. By planning ahead, you can keep an eye on how technology is changing and figure out what solutions are worth adopting early, giving you a competitive advantage.
- You can stay compliant: Cybersecurity is something any business should prioritize, but some industries actually have security standards they must adhere to. An IT strategy can plot out the course you need to follow to achieve cybersecurity compliance. Being in compliance not only keeps your data safe, but also helps you avoid costly fines.
How to Create an IT Strategy
Now that you understand what an IT strategy is, why it’s important, and the benefits you can gain from it, it’s time to talk about how to develop one. If you’re ready to create a technology plan for your business, here are the steps you should follow:
- Align your IT with your business goals: The first step is to identify your business goals and your needs. What role can technology play in helping you reach those goals? Do you have the technology you need right now, or will you need to implement new solutions?
- Define a timeline: While an IT strategy is mostly focused on the long-term, you can’t neglect the present and near future. Your strategy should have built-in milestones that can be reviewed to ensure your company is still on track.
- Schedule an audit: Once you know what you need to do with your infrastructure, you’ll want to perform an audit. This can give you insight into the current capabilities of your network.
- Define key performance indicators (KPIs): Are the changes you’re making to your IT environment having the desired effect? Defining your expectations can help answer this question.
- Get leadership on board and secure a budget: The executives of your company need to sign off on the strategy. This is also an opportunity to nail down the right budget for the plan.
- Prioritize cybersecurity: Cyber threats are all around us, so taking cybersecurity seriously is important. Implementing measures like 24/7 monitoring, threat detection, firewalls, and more can help you protect your business.
Let 42, Inc. Help You Craft an Effective IT Strategy
At 42, Inc., we help you achieve your IT goals. Our experts work closely with your team to customize an IT plan that fits you to the tee, so you can rest easy knowing your technology is taken care of.
To learn more about our services, contact us today.