What is an IT strategy?
IT strategy refers to the governing document that outlines how technology and IT infrastructure will drive business goals and processes. It involves establishing an IT vision and constructing a plan for how technology will be used to create value and manifest organisational goals.
IT strategies include:
- Details of projects and technologies that will be implemented
- Budgets and estimated costs
- Timeframes and estimated durations
- Explanations for how new technology will drive business goals
An effective IT strategy involves constructing a comprehensive IT roadmap that determines what technology is needed to support organisational goals and how this will create value for the business.
At Netstar, we discuss 3-year IT roadmaps with each of our clients, whereby we learn about the goals of their business, providing them with the technological solutions they need to succeed. Their IT strategy is then regularly reviewed and adapted to meet the ongoing needs of their business.
How should my IT strategy fit into my business?
In modern businesses, an effective IT strategy is fundamental to the long-term success of the company. IT should be fully integrated into your business model. Traditionally, IT departments were separated from other departments within an organisation. As such, IT departments were not directly involved in business planning or working towards business goals. Similarly, other departments likely viewed IT professionals simply as trouble-shooters.
However, in the digital age, it’s essential that IT professionals (whether internal or external) are actively involved in planning for and achieving business goals. Technology underpins every aspect of business success and your IT infrastructure is crucial in protecting your business from risks, as well as opening up valuable opportunities. Your IT strategy should, therefore, be entirely intertwined with your overall business plan and regularly reviewed and adapted to meet the demands of your business.
How effective is my current IT strategy?
We’ve listed below sixteen signs that your IT strategy is ineffective and needs to be reviewed as soon as possible.
- You only receive IT support as and when you need it
- You don’t have regular meetings with your IT consultants to discuss how technology can improve business processes and add value
- You don’t review the technology that you’re currently using
- You don’t know where your data is backed up and stored
- You’re not confident that your data would be safe in the event of an emergency or data breach
- Your team hasn’t been able to function efficiently during the pandemic
- Your technology is outdated; it works for now but wouldn’t be able to cope with future growth
- Your team aren’t satisfied with the tools and technology in place
- You aren’t fully utilising the technology that you do have in place
- Employees are completing tasks manually that could be automated, leading to productivity loss
- You’re not confident about your business’s cyber security strategy
- Your team aren’t trained in cyber security awareness and could be putting your business at risk
- You keep experiencing reoccurring IT problems which is disrupting the productivity of your business
- You don’t have a comprehensive IT strategy in place and wouldn’t know where to refer to for information on future technological projects
- You don’t have an IT vision or plans to pursue digital opportunities in the future
- You don’t know the best way to use technology to create organisational value
If you’re still unsure about the effectiveness of your current IT strategy…
What can I do to improve my IT strategy?
1. Partner with an IT Consultancy that you trust
Your IT support provider will be key in establishing an effective IT strategy. They will be able to suggest ways that your IT infrastructure and processes can be adapted and updated to facilitate success and drive business goals. Which is why you need to partner with IT consultants that you trust.
When choosing an IT partner, look for evidence of proactiveness, responsiveness and client satisfaction. Ensure that they’re knowledgeable in your industry and take the time to learn about your business and its specific needs.
Paul Squirrel, Director at London based advertising and creative agencies network, thenetworkone, was looking for exactly that. He was worried about the reoccurring IT issues that he’d experienced with his previous provider and needed an IT partner that could guide him in making important decisions related to IT strategy. By partnering with Netstar, Paul gained reliable 24/7 IT support, as well as the expertise to implement the right IT systems for his business. Paul noted that “the primary difference now we work with Netstar is that I actually get to sleep at night, and I don’t have to worry.” You can find out more about why thenetworkone chose Netstar for their IT support in this video.
For more information on how we’ve helped our client’s to establish effective IT strategies that have transformed their businesses, check out our case studies, here.
2. Digitally transform your business
Digital transformation is directly linked to IT strategy. It refers to the mass implementation of technology and automation of processes to improve operations, culture, productivity and customer experience, ultimately adding significant value to the business.
Many businesses have already undertaken digital transformations and have reaped the rewards, including industry leaders such as Hasbro, Harvard University, Microsoft and Nike. Whilst others plan to digitally transform their businesses in the future. Regardless, in an increasingly competitive digital space, all successful businesses will need to consider digitally transforming in order to stay ahead of the competition and drive their business forward.
Digital transformations make having a reliable, supportive and trustworthy IT support partner even more vital. You IT partner will assess and analyse problems within your organisation, suggesting insightful and valuable technological solutions, enhancing your IT strategy and ultimately transforming your business.
For more information on digital transformation and the number one secret to ensure it’s a success, click here.
For more information on how you can improve your IT strategy, undergo digital transformation and drive your business forward, download our eBook on Modernising your Workplace in 2020.