Smart IT helps your IT organization focus on key priorities and drive better outcomes; it does not engage cookie-cutter strategies. Those businesses that fail to think strategically about their technology needs now and in the future often fall short of meeting their objectives.
So how does one go about developing smart IT? It’s a process that begins by listing your company’s business requirements – current and projected dependencies, strategic needs, the type of IT services to meet those needs, and who and how your employees will use it.
Here’s a case study. One of our clients, a design and development firm, was seeking to change how they do business by setting up small offices in multiple locations to better meet the needs of clients and expand their operations. But their existing IT failed to meet their need for remote and cross-office collaboration, including the sharing of large files across networks. With Lazorpoint’s Think process, a smart IT approach that provided a step-by-step blueprint to help the firm both realize its business requirements and the necessary IT systems to meet the firm’s vision, the company implemented a new technology platform across all of their locations.
Thinking smart about IT – doing the necessary forward-looking analysis of what you will need to be a stronger, more efficient, and more responsive company – is just that. Smart.
1. IDENTIFY BUSINESS GOALS THAT CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED WITH IT
Look at your overall future business strategy. How can IT help to achieve your goals? Understanding the vision of your business and how your IT fits into that is vitally important.
Ask questions like:
- Are there opportunities for IT to increase the number of orders you ship or sales you close?
- Are there opportunities for IT to improve productivity?
- How can IT measure business key performance indicators (KPIs), and do these success metrics meet the business's strategic objectives?
- What is your unique selling proposition (USP), and how can IT help you differentiate in the marketplace?
2. INTERVIEW EMPLOYEES WHO HOLD DIFFERENT ROLES THROUGHOUT YOUR COMPANY
The next step is to interview team members throughout your company as well as key business stakeholders and ask them what they need from a technology perspective. This will help to identify any potential gaps or problems for both the business and IT departments.
Additionally, you should survey existing customers, service providers, and business partners to get an idea of what your IT landscape should look like in the future.
Understanding your customers' day-to-day activities goes a long way toward determining what's best for them. This insight enables you to identify opportunities and provide solutions that ease their pain.
3. ASSESS YOUR CURRENT STATE
In order to base your strategy around people, processes, and technology, you need a full systems assessment to see how things are working. Consider how each of these areas are functioning together and what you can do to improve them.
Doing a systems assessment will help you to identify pain points that need to be addressed in the future so your company is more efficient. There also might be some critical elements that work well but could stand improvement or change over time as needs shift for both employees and customers.
It's important not just to assess these areas but to measure how they're functioning. This includes looking at the security and stability of your systems, examining how well they align with business goals, and measuring efficiency in terms of time spent on tasks.
With this information, you can identify ways to improve things like customer satisfaction, employee job performance, or product profitability by making changes that align processes to needs as they change.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
The Think stage helps to round out your IT strategic plan. This stage is an essential planning step to identify potential cost savings, develop or refine a business strategy map, and create an IT strategy roadmap that will help you to get projects up and running quickly. This is one area in which our PointProcess approach has proven to be effective time after time with our clients. Using the PointProcess, Lazorpoint helps your company think through its goals and objectives and build an actionable plan that will run with or without short-term adjustments. We work with your team to create a long-term vision while still allowing for short-term adjustments based on changing conditions.
Talk with an expert today to discuss how we to improve your bottom line by maximizing ROI from strategic initiatives.