Why is an IT Strategy So Important?
Information Technology (IT) plays an important role in the day-to-day operation of today’s businesses, probably more important now that we are facing a global pandemic. Businesses are starting to realize the importance of IT to keep things working, not only here in Hong Kong but around the world.
IT is generally defined as the study, implementation, support, or management of computer-based information systems and typically includes software, hardware, networks, and servers.
IT has its benefits, such as:
- Expense reduction through Automated Tasks
- Electronic Data Management
- Better Collaboration
- Data Sharing
- Knowledge Management
but it also brings different challenges to organizations:
- Over budget and delays
- Not delivering the expected value
- Security Risks
- Creates new threats
This brings us to the importance of an IT Strategy for your business.
What is IT Strategy?
An IT Strategy is a comprehensive plan that defines how technology should be utilized to meet IT and business goals. It is a blueprint of how technology can support your overall business strategy.
It should encompass all facets of technology management, including cost, hardware and software management, vendor management, and risk management.
Key Elements of an IT Strategy
To ensure objectivity when creating a strategic IT plan, many organizations utilize consultants to carry out the process. However, if you believe that your organization has the resources or expertise to develop the plan in-house, its recommended to include stakeholders outside of IT to assist with fairness and buy-in across the company.
IT is no longer considered as a support function but as a foundation on which a successful business is built. Executing and developing a clear and strategic IT plan can play a major role to help you achieve business goals.
Vision and Mission
The most important component where you need to come up with a vision that outlines where your business aspires to be, with regards to IT and how you can get there.
A detailed roadmap where it will include the steps your organization has to take to drive more value from IT and achieve a competitive advantage.
Given the deep integration of IT with every aspect of your company, the alignment of IT goals and business goals is crucial to have an awareness of what the company expects to achieve and what can be contributed to these goals.
Your IT Strategy won’t be complete without knowing the budget your company has and the cost you would allocate to reach your business goals. Developing a financial assessment of IT systems and processes can give you control over the company’s performance.
Ensure you always have the edge against competitors by conducting a competitive analysis and specify what advantages the company has with respect to its competitors.
Your IT strategy should state what your organization is looking to achieve in the short-term. This can include training staff, assessment of current IT structure, and identification of non-valued systems and processes.
In addition to your short-term goals, your IT strategy should also have a long-term IT goal. Your long-term goal should be clear and well-aligned with your vision. This can include modernizing your website, embracing AI, or integrating new technologies.
Continuous Assessment and Monitoring
We are all aware of the changing rate this new era presents and the chances of going off the direction of your roadmap are high. Continuous assessment should be part of your IT strategy to help you evaluate your current position and what adjustments are needed to ensure you are going in the right direction.
It signifies the limitations your business can place on your IT strategy. Through effective governance, your company can execute the right actions or tackle issues that come with technology adoption.
This component presents all the software, hardware, application, networks, and systems necessary to run the business. Your IT infrastructure will help your business achieve its goals on time and budget.
Why is an IT Strategy important?
If you don’t know where you want to be in 5 years, what are the chances of you getting there? How can you empower your employees to make decisions and move initiatives forward without being involved in every step?
A strategic plan can help you address unexpected emergencies and allows you to create a system for achieving what is important. An IT strategy is essential in most organizations today to maintain the business strategy and manage risk.
As a business leader, proper understanding and implementation of your plan will ensure that your business is well-positioned to engage in a vigorous business environment. Incorporate the components above and leverage your IT to achieve positive results. Contact us today and let us help you create an effective IT Strategy plan.