Why you need an IT Strategy
In today’s fast-paced, digital age, an IT strategy should be a critical part of every business plan. All businesses regardless of how complex or simple their IT systems need their systems operating effectively and efficiently.
A comprehensive IT strategy will help a business thrive, yet in reality there are still businesses who fail to implement a successful IT strategy. Why?
- The IT strategy is not achievable and impractical to implement
- The expectations for IT are undefined in the overall business plan and the goals and objectives unmeasurable
- No analysis or consideration has been given to identify risks to the business and the relevance of technology to reduce these risks
- Inadequate or improper communication or input to the strategy from all stakeholders
A weak IT strategy is pointless and a total waste of time.
Ask yourself these questions before planning your IT strategy:
- Are we properly utilising the company’s technology to address business priorities and consistently deliver value to the business and its customers?
Did you invest in an expensive copy of Salesforce that is underutilised? Is it integrated with your accounting system to give full view reporting of profitability of customers and communications to them?
- Are we investing in the right technology?
Is the technology you are currently paying for delivering to the business needs? Would other solutions work better? (E.g. Would cloud storage or software work better for scaling up and down and accessing from anywhere vs owning a server and licensing software?)
- Are we getting real value from our technology?
What’s your technology doing for you? Is it giving you actual productivity gains or growing revenue? Does it help you increase uptime and keep output high?
- Is our current IT flexible enough to continuously support our catalogue of services and projects?
Are your strengths and weaknesses clear to you? Are there any recurring IT issues? Are you still keeping and managing your data and applications in-house? Is your IT system easily scalable to cope with additional customer data, products, services or internal users in line with the growth of the business?
- Do we have a properly managed, well-maintained, secure, effective and practical IT environment?
Do you have a clear plan, process and procedure in place to monitor your IT, conduct back-ups, manage passwords, measure capacity and handle renewals, upgrades and updates to avoid disruption to your IT. An IT system that is constantly managed and monitored will keep you safe from disruptive threats that could cause your company to be less profitable or competitive.
- Can our strategy support current and future business needs?
Do you have an in-house IT team or outsourced IT support in Sydney? Is your IT team or outsourced company proactively managing your IT to cope with changes in business practices and technology? For example, do you have a plan to manage the influx of personal devices that are brought by your employees to work? Do you have an inventory of existing applications and the level of resources required to support them? Can your new strategy address the rising expectations of users?
- Will we be able to operate should you face a disaster?
Are you prepared with a disaster recovery plan that will enable you to maintain or quickly resume mission-critical functions should problems arise?
An IT strategy sets the future direction for the IT function within the company. That’s why planning it should be a thorough and documented process; and all the more so if your business operates with limited budgets, tools, knowledge and people.
Your strategy should be a constant work in progress, updated to reflect changing technology and business-related developments. Traditionally, IT strategies are done annually, to meet budget cycles. This should be the standard review period. Any longer than this and you risk having an IT strategy that is out of date and no longer delivering.
Lastly, any emerging technology that has the potential to enhance the business must be investigated. Remember, your company should be keeping up and not catching up with technology.
Centrix would be happy to visit you to discuss an IT Strategy for your business. Contact us to arrange an appointment.