Feeling lost? How to align IT to future goals
4 min read
17 October 2013
IT should work for, not against you. It should help increase operational efficiency and provide a platform from which further advances can be made. Unfortunately, many businesses find that IT is a hindrance as much as a help, meaning that IT strategy extends no further than keeping things running.
But when implemented properly, IT business strategy should provide a springboard to greater success.
Your IT systems should:
- Allow you to focus on business tasks, not the technology behind them;
- Reduce manual intervention inefficiencies by automating common tasks; and
- Support activities that create revenue for maximum profit.
If your current IT business strategy is not focused around these tasks, it will never be the tool for success that it could be.
“Although all business activities depend upon IT infrastructure, planning and projects to ensure their effective management, these are typically undervalued to the detriment of the organisation.” – David Aston, director of service assurance at CA Technologies
Changing IT strategy
If your current IT strategy exists apart from wider business goals, it is time to draw up an IT business strategy to unite the two. By bringing IT into future plans you can:
- See how technology creates new efficiencies and cost savings;
- Use software features to introduce new, more efficient ways of working;
- Cut down physical paperwork and other time consuming working methods;
- Quantify the cash value of IT and any savings created through better use of technology; and
- Ensure you get the best from the systems you already have in place.
At this point your business may lack the IT knowledge or skills to create a unified IT business strategy. To get the best from your computing spend, you should investigate IT strategy consulting to identify a business partner who can ‘fill in the gaps’ to create a workable plan.
“Spending on IT will rise on average by just 0.5 per cent worldwide, but IT budgets in the UK, Europe and North America are declining.” – Computer Weekly.
“In place of an IT strategy, every firm bigger than a lemonade stand must have a living, dynamic business technology strategy. It will be this strategy that drives future results of the organisation and also that defines the future technology road map.” – Nigel Fenwick, analyst at Forester Research.
Getting IT business strategy right
Simply having an IT business strategy in place is not enough to guarantee success however. IT strategy consulting services will help you create a plan that:
- Grows as your business does;
- Puts in place a stable IT core on which future developments and expansions can be built;
- Provides flexibility to adjust to changing business priorities, goals or circumstances; and
- Leaves the door open to introducing new technologies that can further improve operations as they become available.
“Companies would do well to design an ongoing corporate strategy-development process that explicitly tackles key corporate-level issues, such as resource reallocation, and that drives on major economic trends and other external factors.” – ‘Creating more value with corporate strategy’, McKinsey Global Survey results.
The key is to create an IT business strategy that can adapt in the same way that your business does by supporting, not hindering, operations and profitability.
Mark Walker is business development director at Ubertas.