Having your IT Strategy mapped out makes it easier for you to stay on schedule and on budget. Your IT is the heart of your business, so investing more into it creates a ripple effect throughout your organisation, allowing your business to flourishing with the right technology. But where do you begin? We’ve put a list together of the key 5 steps you should take when putting your IT Strategy together, we’ve also included what you shouldn’t do when it comes to organising your IT Strategy.
Step 1. What are your business goals?
Before you start building your IT Strategy, you need to think about what you want from your business and where you want your business to be, whether it’s in the next year or even 5 years’ time. Do you want more flexibility, improved teamwork or better security? Knowing your business goals helps you identify what you need to change or implement in your organisation.
If you need to improve your security immediately, you’ll know that’s what you should focus on rather than spending time on another project that could wait until later down the line. Having a clear plan of where you want your business to be makes it easier for you to focus and have a clear mind on your immediate goals.
Step 2. Budget
Assign your budget – making sure you have a budget for your IT means you can ensure you implement the projects you want, and not just the ones you can afford at the time. When organising your budget, make sure you include the expenses of resource as well as the budget needed for your upcoming projects.
Always budget yourself more than you might need – you never know what might’ve been forgotten or if certain technologies need upgrading.
Step 3. Create your Technology Roadmap
Your Technology Roadmap is your guide for your IT Strategy – they keep you on target and help you achieve your goals. So, if you wanted to start a Digital Transformation your Technology Roadmap might look like:
IT Audit – Upgrade hardware/software (if needed) - Upgrade to Windows 10 - Migrate to Office 365 – Teams Rollout – Cloud Back Up – Staff Training – Become a Modern Workplace
Having a Technology Roadmap helps you align your IT with your business goals - they’re helpful guides for your IT team, whether you outsource or have an internal team.
Step 4. Resource
So, now you have your business goals and your Technology Roadmap planned, do you have the resource to implement your new technology?
Do you have the resource in house to implement your goals? Do you need to outsource? Do your IT engineers have the right qualifications to successfully implement your new technology?
When thinking about your resource, also think about how long it may take to implement your changes and if this will impact your IT team’s general day-to-day. Outsourcing for projects helps lessen the disruption to your business, allowing your internal team to focus on their everyday tasks and prevents taking up your internal resource.
Once you have your resource organised, you can begin scheduling your IT projects.
Step 5. Schedule and Implement
Now you have your goals, budget, resource and Technology Roadmap together, you can begin scheduling your implementation.
When can the projects begin? How long will each take? Factor in your other projects or adhoc work you may have going on at the same time, and if either will impact the other. Don’t forget about whether weekend or evening work can be completed, especially when migrating to new operating systems or email servers.
Once you have your schedule complete and aligned with your Technology Roadmap, your IT Strategy is complete and you’re ready to begin implementing.
What not to do when building an IT Strategy
1. Act in the moment
Most SMBs like to act in the moment and not plan ahead with their IT, taking a reactive approach to IT rather than proactive. However, not planning ahead usually means when you need to implement something such as, disaster recovery, software upgrades or a new operating system, you won’t have the budget or time available to implement them.
Your IT should align with your business goals - if you know where you want your business to be in the next few years, such as achieving certain ISO accreditations, having a carefully planned IT Strategy will make your life easier.
2. No budget for IT
Keeping your business at the forefront of technology is crucial in this modern day – so not having a budget set aside for your IT already puts you behind your competitors.
Furthermore, not having a thought out budget could mean you’ll end up overspending on solutions, projects and software.
3. Implement technology unsuitable for your organisation
Not planning your IT Strategy means you could end up chasing technology that isn’t suitable for your business. It may be the next best thing for one industry, but would it be a game changer for yours?
Just because something seems like a great idea, doesn’t always mean it will work for you. Not planning your IT can cause you to panic and jump into new technology without thinking it through and knowing how it will integrate with your business.
Make sure you research and get advice from experts if you’re going to implement new technology as one solution doesn’t fit all in IT.
If you’d like help constructing your IT Strategy, get in touch. We can help align your IT with your business goals, providing advice and guidance on the type of technologies that can benefit your business.
If you’d like to find out more, schedule a free consultation with one of our specialists.