Like flat-pack furniture or Yorkshire puddings, a well-developed IT strategy can be hard to get right the first time. After all, how do you prepare for the next big tech disruption, or future-proof for a service you never predicted?.
Developing your organisation’s IT strategy might feel uncertain, if not overwhelming, but it’s an opportunity to reinvigorate your company’s capabilities or kick-start a major new business goal. That’s why it’s worth grabbing the opportunity with both hands. Here, we’ve outlined the key considerations for an adaptable and efficient IT strategy.
Compliment Your Business
Less an instruction and more a golden rule: your tech should always, always be tailored to your goals. It’s been argued that your business plan and your IT plan are simply one and the same; that in our tech-reliant workspace, one cannot exist without the other. Therefore, it helps to develop your IT strategy with your company’s future and long-term aspirations in mind. How does your new infrastructure compliment your service goals, your client retention, your top investors and your bottom line?
Don’t look at your new technology as an expense; treat it as an investment and have both it and your business compliment each other. Invest in tech with your long-term goals in mind and ensure that it can be built upon once you exceed your aspirations.
Know Your Strengths – and Restrictions
Your IT is invaluable, but it’s no magic wand. Knowing your business strategy in advance means you can prioritise your requirements – because, much as you’d like to, you won’t have the cash to do everything. Start with your key processes. It pays to know your staff’s regular processes and your clients’ needs, and both will drive the future of your business.
Discuss current processes with your staff and where these might need improving, as anything that affects their work is likely affecting the client experience too. This is a stage teeming with possibilities for constructive consultancy.
Get to Know Your Current Setup
With all the information you’ve collected, now’s the time to really get to know your current infrastructure. Whilst it’s tempting to invest in the Next Big Thing, you might not be getting the best out of what you have right now.
Provided your tech isn’t totally antiquated, it might be in a technical sweet spot – years away from redundancy, but old enough to have a wealth of compatible systems available. Get to know your current systems and you could avoid splashing out on superfluous tech; you don’t need a bulldozer to build a sandcastle.
Conduct an IT Assessment
However well you know your systems - from your server’s specs to your makes, models and numbers - it doesn’t always reveal the gaps in your infrastructure. There could be major gaps in your security or, as we see fairly often, you have just a single device supporting your entire infrastructure.
An IT assessment means vigorously searching for gaps such as these, all whilst considering the important changes, the cost efficiency and the resources available. A Managed Service Provider can conduct the assessment for you, with a clean pair of eyes spotting the flaws you may have missed. They’ll also devise a plan of action for your IT’s next steps.
Review Your Strategy Regularly
Your plan in place, you’ll want to conduct regular reviews of your infrastructure. To keep up with new regulatory changes – like the introduction of GDPR last year – you might want to reassess a particular system or service.
Your roadmap in place, you could also pre-empt important dates or financial changes, and adjust your services accordingly. Again, a Managed Service Provider can help with this, ensuring your systems are managed and monitored with ongoing support.
It’ll take a lot of planning and persistence, but a considered and constructive IT strategy pays off far more than you need to put in.