In the business world, having a business strategy is a must. Today, IT and business strategies are inseparable, together providing a critical tool in assuring businesses are poised and prepared to deliver value to their employees and clients.
What is an IT Strategy?
An IT strategy is an integral part of your business strategy that aims to align technology and operations with business goals. It clearly sets goals and objectives for how those technologies will be implemented and used, as well as articulates how the technology strategy supports key business objectives. By having this strategy in place, everyone within your organization knows and understands that as business needs change, technology must evolve as well. An IT strategy enables business outcomes, competitive advantage, and customer value.
Why have an IT Strategy?
An IT strategy gives IT the opportunity to have a seat at the table to discuss business plans up front and eliminates the fire drill that would happen without this foresight. It gets IT recognized as an overall contributor to business development and aligns IT staff with the company mission.
Of course, having a strategy is one thing; making sure it is efficiently implemented and able to evolve is equally essential. Here are some important ways we’ve seen businesses benefit from a fully formalized – and evolution-ready – IT strategy:
1. An IT Strategy assures you’re leveraging technology to its fullest
Organizations spend a lot of time analyzing how a new or emerging technology might help achieve a goal. The objective is to make IT proactive versus reactive. With an IT strategy in place, IT establishes itself as a contributor to the business plan versus reacting to it.
This isn’t always easy. It’s hard for IT organizations to allocate the time needed for technology research and discovery because they are too busy or consumed with day-to-day operations. It’s impossible to look out because you are so busy looking in. This is where outside resources can help assess the big picture: what’s happening both outside AND inside.
2. An IT Strategy gives you a competitive advantage
A critical element of an IT strategy is that it must be valuable both to the core technology team and the business in general. The strategy must be clearly aligned with how your organization operates and your users consume. This gives businesses an advantage to grow and be more profitable since their technology is often more streamlined, nimble, and efficient.
3. An IT Strategy assures you’re meeting – and driving – business needs
By going through the process of developing an IT strategy, organizations will have a clear understanding of the current state of IT. There will be clarity from a financial management perspective. They’ll understand their current technology capabilities. They’ll have a roadmap of where that technology may be going. This can create an awareness of possible gaps and areas of consideration.
To shift this thinking, you also want to shift how you’re communicating the strategy. The best IT strategies look at IT from a non-technical perspective to provide insight into how well IT is performing for the business. The business isn’t interested in widgets and gadgets – they don’t care about whether you’re in the cloud or not – they care that you are meeting needs and creating value.
About Plow Networks
Plow Networks is a leading IT services provider, connecting businesses to technology since 2012. With deep expertise in network, cloud, and end user support services, we partner with clients to leverage technology in ways that simplify operations and fuel growth. Plow Networks is based in Brentwood, Tennessee.