CREATING AN IT STRATEGY
We all hear that we need an IT strategy. You may be a business owner, a Senior Executive in a business, an IT Manager, or a Line of Business Manager. When creating an IT strategy, where do I start? It seems practicality and reality are disconnected. So many messages are thrown at decision makers, and confusion follows. There is a need to break this down and look at the following aspects.
The first question you need to ask yourself is the following. “What are my business objectives?”. This must be the starting point for any discussion around IT strategy. Without business objectives, whatever they may be, there is no point in spending time building an IT strategy, as there needs to be alignment.
Are you looking to:
- Increase revenue
- Decrease your cost of sale / operations
- Provide your customers with a better experience
- Create efficiencies through process and procedure
- Engage and empower your staff
All the above are some examples of business objectives that can be reached or improved through a well thought out IT strategy. Once you have a business outcome in mind, then you can start looking at an IT strategy to complement the business outcome.
What do you need to do when creating an IT strategy?
Once you have established the business outcome, or the problem you are trying to address, then you need to look at your current state of play.
The usual questions come to mind. What, why, where, how and with whom. One of the biggest aspects that needs to be considered is “how am I going to measure this?”. Having a baseline allows you to measure the success of your IT strategy. This will differ between organisations, as every organisation is different with different strategies.
An important aspect of any strategy is to make sure that you have alignment within your organisation on the business outcome / problem you are trying to achieve / solve.
What do I need to consider?
Organisations often overlook some of the basics when creating an IT strategy. Make sure you consider the following:
- How will people react to the changes?
- What are the potential security implications?
- What will be the impact on our external customers and our internal customers?
- How long will this take to implement?
- How will this affect our speed to market?
- How much is this going to cost?
- How are we going to fund this?
- Is this a “band-aid fix” or a long-term fix?
- Do I have the resources internally to achieve these objectives?
- If this is implemented, is this going to affect any other parts of the business (either positively or negatively)?
- What is the TCO | ROI | NPV | IRR (whichever measure you use internally) if we go ahead with this?
These questions are paramount as a starting point to understand what you are trying to achieve.
What about all the buzzwords?
All of us hear everything, from Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, On Prem, SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, HCI, etc. These really should not mean anything in your decision-making process, as these are the vehicles to achieve your business objectives, not define them.
One thing that needs to be remembered is that the IT sector have created a situation where solutions are product led, not outcome led. This is slowly changing, and those organisations that have aligned themselves with trusted advisors to get through this minefield are reaping the benefits of those partnerships. This is reflected in businesses growing even in lean times, as the organisation is staying relevant, and providing their customers with a unique value proposition, be it speed, quality, consistency, or competitive price.
So what next?
Many organisations do not have the resources or knowledge internally to either execute on their business outcomes or how to apply an IT strategy to their business outcomes. As stated previously, work out what you want to achieve as business outcomes, or the problem you want to solve. If you need help in getting to the next step, reach out to Netier, and we shall take you through the process and assist you with the planning and execution stage.
We have you covered. Call us on 1300 638 437 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us help you achieve your business outcomes with the aid of an IT strategy.
For more information, call us on 1300 638 437 and one of the team will be happy to assist.
Email email@example.com and one of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.
Written by Walter Olson, 18 May 2021.
“Do not let your IT strategy be the master to your business strategy. Make your business strategy the master, and your IT strategy the enabler.”