As a business leader, you want your organization to be as profitable as possible. You also want to ensure your company, customer, and partner data is secure. Did you know these two objectives are related?
While it might not immediately seem like a tangible asset or investment, information technology (IT) drives these and other mission-critical aspects of your company’s operations—from customer service management and inventory control to HR functions like payroll and benefits administration. In fact, your IT strategy can have a significant impact on your company’s ability to scale.
So what’s your plan for making strategic decisions when it comes to IT?
As you know, both short- and long-term planning are essential for any successful business strategy. If you’re thinking, “We’ve tried to apply traditional strategic planning methods to IT in the past, but it hasn’t worked well for us,” it’s time you found a method that works.
Because here’s the thing: A strong information technology strategy is not optional if you want your business to grow.
Strategic IT is Critical to The Growth of a Company
According to Harvard Business Review, “A company’s information technology (IT) systems may be the single most important factor determining its strategic success or failure.”
It is critical to invest in an IT strategy that not only improves your operations but also provides a competitive advantage over other companies in your industry. By setting a solid foundation when it comes to IT, your organization can scale more easily, and your team can focus on what they do best.
The first step in creating an IT strategy is to establish an IT organization as an integral member of your business planning conversations and strategic plan development. They can provide strategic guidance along with recommendations on how to leverage emerging technologies to achieve any new business goal or aim.
This can include an IT strategy development team skilled in strategy consulting to facilitate planning discussions, develop strategic frameworks, and make sustainable recommendations based on thorough research into the approach that works best in specific contexts and industries. They have access to industry experts and service providers who understand your business needs and can offer insights into the latest trends and changes, so you don't have to worry about staying current in this rapidly changing field.
What Should an IT Strategy Include?
IT strategy consists of technology strategy, IT services, business models, business processes, and IT systems, including a cloud strategy. An effective IT strategic plan should align with and support your company's overall business vision and business strategy.
A successful IT strategy starts with your company’s goals. What are you trying to accomplish? Once you establish these goals, it's time for a feasibility study.
The initial phase of your IT strategy should identify the potential benefits and challenges associated with implementing an IT solution in order to determine whether your investment will be worth it. In other words, you need an IT strategy roadmap.
In developing your roadmap, it is essential to use an effective organizational business model—which includes IT governance, innovation, industry trends, and visibility of current IT projects—as the basis.
Bottom line: Your business needs an IT strategy that is focused on providing reliable and secure technology that works for you, yet also allows you to adjust your plan in real-time, even if technology trends and the market are changing around you.