5 Must-Have Agenda Items your IT Strategy Should Address
Having a robust IT strategy is critical to the success of any business, whether they realise it or not. No longer is IT just an enabler for businesses to run software, answer emails or take phone calls – IT has transformative effects on their ability to grow effectively and efficiently. However, for this to ring true, IT must be aligned with the business, and this comes from a carefully thought out IT strategy. Yet many businesses are moving forward with a poorly designed IT strategy or with no strategy at all.
The IT strategy serves as a road map that will help businesses understand how to leverage existing and emerging technologies to support business objectives. Below are five must-have agenda items your IT Strategy should address:
Agility and flexibility – The IT strategy should be agile and flexible to address changing technology needs
Agility is an essential factor for a business to survive in fast-moving and dynamic markets. Business strategies should be flexible, and businesses should be able to reprioritise, change direction and include or exclude capabilities quickly based on market conditions.
To compete in today’s world of dynamic and disrupted technology markets, SMEs should be able to operate swiftly. They should be able to respond quickly and efficiently to changing technology needs of customers and the market. As such, the IT strategy should be flexible enough to address regular changes in SME's strategy and technology needs. SMEs mostly operate in a dynamic environment which requires an agile plan.
People and process – Your IT strategy should consider the non-technical aspects of your business
Many businesses focus on the technical aspects of their IT strategies without considering the process or employees involved. Your IT strategy should address organisational change management and business process reengineering both of which are necessary to realise the full benefits of technology implementation.
Support business goals – IT strategy should align with your business strategy
To create a successful IT strategy enterprises must make sure it is aligned with their overall business strategy. In many cases when SMEs decide to implement a new IT strategy, they have good intentions, but sometimes, those intentions are not aligned with the business’s overall strategy. Before creating an IT strategy, enterprises should first define their strategic business goals, then outline specific IT risks, opportunities and objectives that support those overarching business goals.
Improve business performance – IT Strategy should support optimal business performance
The IT strategy should address the businesses most important priorities to improve performance. The strategy should help the business outside of the direct application of technology in the workplace. It will guarantee that the budget is used to create value, both in technology and in supporting the rest of the business to perform at its best.
Affordability – The IT strategy and support should be cost effective
Should our business outsource IT strategy development and IT support services or develop it in-house?
This is the one question which most SMEs ask before they begin with the IT strategy development plan. In-house IT strategy and systems are built based on the businesses requirements born from a day to day knowledge of business operations. Whilst this is valuable in meeting real challenges and daily objectives, it can often cause the IT strategy to be misaligned with the overall business direction.
On the other hand, outsourcing the development of your IT strategy to an IT provider is not only cost-effective, you are getting a truly subjective review from somebody who is not concerned with or bogged down by these daily challenges. Not only that, but outsourced IT providers often bring them with a plethora of highly specialised skills and extensive partner networks in key areas such as security, disaster recovery and cloud computing
Has your business decided to build or revamp your IT strategy? Do you even have one?
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