Business + IT Insights

How To Build A Better IT Strategy, Part Three: Run

Posted by Dave Lazor on Tue, Feb 24, 2015


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Whether your company outsources IT support, staffs an in-house department or operates on a hybrid approach, your technology team needs to budget, plan and position your company for growth. If this doesn’t sound like your situation, you need to rethink your IT strategy.

As we’ve been discussing in this series of blogs, the Think, Build, Run organizational model enables companies to reduce costs, improve company and employee performance and help lay the foundation for emerging technologies. Our last blog ran through the Build phase of a company that switched from a reactive IT mentality to a proactive approach. In this blog, we’ll focus on how a company might operate under the Run phase. 

Run: Starting Your Continuous Improvement Cycle 

As your business needs change, your technology needs change, too, and the only way to consistently improve and keep up with your growth is to decide if you have the right people, processes and technology in place to keep systems up and running (while improving their functionality).

There are four steps within the Run phase: Recognize, Identify, Prioritize and Implement. These are all essential components in project management of any kind, and they are especially useful when evolving from what worked in the past to what will work in the future. Within this stage, there are key questions that you should be asking of yourself and your IT team or service provider:

  • Who takes ownership of technology planning, and what are they doing to get users on board and comfortable with using new technologies?
  • Is your IT team capable of supporting a larger organization?
  • Which manual processes in your organization can be automated by technology?
  • What technologies could you apply to your business to capture new opportunities?
  • What are you competitors doing right and how are they better serving their customers?
  • How is your organization managing change?

In a McKinsey & Company article, "Using A Plan-Build-Run Organizational Model To Drive IT Infrastructure Objectives," the authors identify the roles and operations involved in maintaining technology uptime and avoiding unforeseen and unmanageable setbacks in the Run phase.  This closely matches our belief that to run a successful IT strategy you need:

  1. Strategists: These are the people in your organization who create the IT strategy. They consider what was done in the past, where the business is headed, and how to get there.

  2. Implementers: These are the people in your organization that carry out the work and implement the solutions.

  3. Service Desk Analysts: Trained to handle a range of technical service requests. This is typically your Help Desk. 

Does Your IT Support Enable Growth? 

With the above roles in place, your organization stands to benefit from quick reaction time if technology does not work as expected. Plus, through the Think, Build, Run organizational model, you’re in a position to embrace emerging technologies that not only improve productivity and organizational performance, but also engage new business opportunities.

 

Tags: IT strategy, it management

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