Your IT strategy is the technology vision and plans documented for your business.
With 89% of all companies already having adopted a digital business strategy, the time to ensure you’re staying at the head of the pack is now.
The goal of IT strategy development is to align technology with your business to help work towards your overall goals. It’s a small piece of the larger puzzle that is your business’s success. It also allows for proactivity and creates a unified IT approach for everyone at the company.
By creating an IT strategy, you’re making a roadmap to gain buy-in, align expectations and serve as the guidepost to your success, so that you can be sure you’re making the right IT strategy and business decisions.
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How to Develop an IT Strategy
Be prepared to dedicate time to developing your IT strategy. You’ll be glad you took extra time to plan ahead, as this will cut down on planning throughout the year and streamline your overall IT process.
While these steps are just the framework for creating an IT strategy, if you follow this list you should be in good shape when you get to the final step of putting your full strategy together.
1. Outline Business Goals
You probably have a good idea of what your business wants to achieve over the next one, three, and five years, but listing out the high-level items will help you to frame your wants and needs when it comes to your IT strategy and planning.
2. Speak with Your Operations and Executive/Management Teams
Everyone should be keyed into creating an IT strategy for your business, as it affects your entire organization.
Your management and executive teams can help keep the strategic planning process in line with larger business objectives, while the operations and technology teams help the entire team understand the more granular details of your IT.
They can make you aware of current technology trends you may want to leverage (or avoid), and they know the ins and outs of your current technology stack. Having this level of information helps with the details of your project planning, such as your digital transformation interests and more.
3. Understand Current Technology Tools and Solutions
This is a critical step in the process. In order to know where you can go, you need to understand where you are.
What does your existing information technology stack look like at the current moment? How scalable is it? Are there any technologies that have already or will soon hit end-of-life and no longer be supported?
Do you have the tools in place to understand cybersecurity risks within your environment? What safeguards do you have in place? This level of detail will help you understand any gaps you may have, identify strengths, realize what specific technology is supporting your business goals, and assist with budgeting throughout the year.
Your operations and technology teams, who should already be a key part of the process at this point, can help you understand this further.
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4. Understand Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to Measure Success
You must pick key metrics to measure if your strategy is successful or not. Like any metric, these should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and anchored within a timeframe (SMART goals).
5. Create and Document Your Business IT Strategy
Now that you’ve done the legwork, it’s time to actually create the full strategy document.
This should include a timeline, with one-off projects and long-term goals. You’ll also need to map out how IT will be managed, and who will manage it, both overall and for specific projects.
Of course, everything you researched previously needs to be summarized in this document as well – a section should be dedicated to your KPIs, another for current and planned technology solutions and so on.
Getting Help with Your IT Strategy Development
Your IT strategy development should be a comprehensive, in-depth look at both your business and its technology.
This means involving many people within your organization and doing work to plan what you want and need for your IT in the future. It’s important to note – your business needs will change over time, and so will your IT strategy.
This should not be a static document that never changes. It needs to be a living, breathing entity that is consistently monitored, reflected on using KPIs and altered as you see fit.
If you want to feel confident that you are taking a proactive perspective on your technology needs, we can help.
Talk to us today for a free consultation for developing an IT strategy that works uniquely for your business.