As a business owner you know the importance of planning and strategy. Without it, you have no aims, no goals, and in reality no direction.
While you probably spend a lot of time working on your strategy every month, quarter, or year, how much of that time is actually spent on your business’s IT strategy?
Most business owners will admit that it is “not very much”, but now is the time that should change.
Your business’s IT is one of the most powerful and crucial tools in growing your business, keeping your team productive and giving your customers a great impression of you.
It makes sense that you have a plan for how:
- your IT will work for you now and in the future.
- you will need it to grow with your business.
- it can help take your business to the next level.
If you have never created an IT strategy before, here are a few key elements you need to include:
1) Your Business Goals
Your IT infrastructure is there to work seamlessly alongside your business. It should complement everything you do, or plan to do and make reaching your business goals easier.
Will your current IT be sufficient to support your future business goals? Will it accommodate any future partnerships or acquisitions you plan to make? What about the different departments within your business; do their needs differ?
2) People and Time Considerations
Do you have an inhouse person responsible for delivering your IT strategy or will it be created and driven by external experts? Internally, who needs to be involved, whether that’s liaising with external experts or overseeing the entire plan?
As to any plan, you need to set deadlines with both take both long and short term goals taken into account. Do your plans rely on reaching a new level of turnover or will they be based on your people adapting to the changes?
3) Your Current Infrastructure
How is it working for you right now? What would you change and what needs to be updated or removed?
It’s a great idea to speak to people in different departments about this, because what works for one group may be totally unsuited to the another. If possible try and tailor your infrastructure to work well for everyone and keep all of your department feeling happy and motivated.
4) A Technology Roadmap
This is a worth while step but may be more challenging than the others.
Think about your whole IT architecture here, including your hardware, software and any other tools that you want to utilise. If you need assistance here, a good IT support partner will be able to make recommendations to fit your needs.
Break your roadmap down into departments and include everything that each will need. This will allow you to see how everything fits together.
5) New Metrics
While your infrastructure needs to be functional, it also has to be cost effective. What is the point in making all of these changes if it doesn’t include a financial benefit?
Look at how your current KPIs and forecast will improve with the changes you are making. Make sure they are realistic – change won’t happen immediately. Allow some time for your people to adapt to the new tools. You can not only measure performance, but your KPIs should also help you to identify issues before your end users are affected.
It may sound like a lot of work, but with a robust business IT strategy in place, you will soon start to wonder how you managed for so long without one. Need a hand? Just get in touch and we can help you get started.