Do you know the strengths and weaknesses of your IT infrastructure or are you in a reactionary mode – hoping to react when a problem arises. Do you have at your fingertips, predictions regarding the evolution of IT in your industry and how your business can adapt? What changes would you have to make to your IT architecture to ensure sustained growth over the next three years?
If you cannot answer these questions satisfactorily, chances are, you do not have an IT strategy – at least not a comprehensive one.
From database systems to social media engagement, your IT architecture has a profound effect on the success of your business, particularly in a world that is gradually becoming a full-fledged digital economy.
Unfortunately, a significant chunk of businesses do not have a comprehensive strategy that governs their IT. Granted, every business has, or should have, a business strategy and more often than not, an IT strategy is drowned by other seemingly pressing plans.
What is an IT Strategy?
An IT strategy, also known as Technology Strategy, is simply a written document that details the goals, processes, standards and protocols that govern an organization’s acquisition and use of technology. It provides a blueprint that ensures that shapes IT in the immediate and the long term.
Crucially, an effective IT Strategy must ultimately mirror the overall business strategy of your company. Here are five ways an IT strategy can give your business the X-factor and give you an edge over your competitors.
Objectives, Strengths and Weaknesses
While a business should have overarching goals and visions, a tailored IT vision, in tandem with business goals should be made available. This vision should include clearly stated objectives as well as an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of a business. These can help ensure that all your IT processes work to achieve a common goal.
Streamline your business processes through an effective IT strategy
No IT infrastructure comes cheap. You would have to expend a significant sum building a robust IT system as your company grows. However, the best way to get value for money regarding your expenditure on IT is to plan ahead. Budgets and spending forecasts should be available for multi-year timelines. For instance, if your IT strategy recommends databases to be upgraded daily, this information can help ensure there are appropriate budgetary allocations. Additionally, you can get a discount with the company that provides the upgrades if you choose to work with them year after year.
Human Capital Management
Computers are computers at best. Not even artificial intelligence can preclude human involvement. An effective technology strategy details protocols for hiring and firing of personnel. It should also focus on how standards for as well as training and equipping of employees to ensure they are up to task always.
Whether it’s the purchase of new equipment or outsourcing a project, you are likely to deal with vendors of all kinds. A comprehensive strategy guiding your technology use should outline protocols and standards that will ensure that you are never shortchanged in the market.
Future Predictions and Recommendations
Having a futuristic outlook is key for making strides for any business entity. To ensure your competitors do not outpace you, you must keep in step with them through innovative solutions, improved productivity and better customer experience. The way to do this is to have foresight concerning your market to help guide tactical decisions.
No matter the kind of business you run, if you lay it threadbare, you’ll realize that your business rises and falls on technology. Thus, streamlining your business processes through an effective IT strategy is a step every business must take without delay.