In the world of business, strategy is an important concept. It is the plan that outlines how you will reach your goals. Even if you have defined your aims and objectives, without a strategy, you won’t know how to reach them. You might have an overall business strategy but do you have an IT strategy? The two should go hand in hand as most organisations rely so heavily on IT to survive that without it, there would be no business. If this is the first you’ve heard of IT strategy and you’re not sure if you need one, this blog is for you.
What Is An IT Strategy?
An IT strategy should outline how technology aligns with your overall business goals. It should show what your business goals are and how IT can help you to achieve them. You can use it to set objectives for how the various technologies should be used to help you achieve your overall business goals as well as detailing how you will manage your technology to improve and grow your business.
Why Does Your Business Need An IT Strategy?
Without an IT strategy you might not be able to provide the right level of service or equipment to the business in order for it to reach its objectives or meet customer demand. Consider that many IT tasks and issues are reactive – i.e. you don’t know when they might occur but you have to deal with them there and then. By developing an IT strategy, you can alleviate some of these problems by detailing who will deal with what, when and how. You can detail elements such as:
- IT budget – overall estimates and how this spend will be allocated between equipment, departments and projects
- Infrastructure – how it works, who is responsible for what and how that infrastructure will help your business achieve its overall objectives
- Applications and services – what programmes and systems you will use to help you achieve your business goals
- Sourcing and integration – what IT services and support will be handled inside the company and which will be outsourced and how this will be integrated
- Security – what security you will need in place to protect your IT infrastructure and data to enable you to meet your business goals
The great thing about developing a strategy like this is that it forces you to audit your current procedures and equipment and can be a good exercise in finding weaknesses in your business IT. It can also go some way towards future proofing your business as you will need to consider how your requirements might change in the future.
What Makes A Good IT Strategy For Small Businesses
If you are a small business thinking about developing your first IT strategy, then here are a few tips:
- Ensure your plan details how your IT is scalable and flexible to meet current and future demands and goals.
- If your IT will add value to your business make sure you document it
- Make sure your strategy includes details on how your IT is managed, maintained and secured with who is responsible for each of these
- Include short term, medium term and long term IT objectives and how you will reach these
- State how you will measure performance so you can be sure your IT investments are worth it
How Can Matrix IT Help?
Unless you have IT expertise, it can be daunting to know where to start when developing a plan and that’s why IT strategy consulting is so popular. By using the services of the experts you can not only develop a strategy that meets your business needs but make sure it is going to be useful to you going forwards. If you don’t know your endpoints from your VPNs or don’t understand the difference between phishing and ransomware then you need an expert to help you develop your strategy.
At Matrix IT we specialise in developing IT strategies and can help your organisation to create a plan that is useful, practical and achievable. If you need help getting your IT objectives down on paper give us a call on 01329 888 444 or click here to find out more about IT strategies.