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Why your business needs an IT strategy

Michael Hamer Oct 11, 2021 9:30:00 AM
Group of multi-ethnic business partners discussing ideas

Do you have a plan for your IT other than just facilitating your day-to-day operations? Many businesses lack a solid, effective IT strategy. And without realising it, they actually hinder their growth because of it.

In a world where technology is more important to success than ever before, an effective IT strategy is invaluable, because it aligns your IT and technology capabilities with your business objectives and maximises your return on investment. In addition, strategic IT planning ensures a business is accountable and stays on track with its IT and broader business goals.

After all, the majority of our jobs heavily rely on IT and technology in various forms. So, having a solid strategy is essential. Today, we talk about the basics of having an IT strategy in business and the advantages it offers. Ready to get started?

What is an IT Strategy in Business?

Put simply, an IT strategy is a detailed plan defining how technology and IT processes should be used to align with your business goals. If you are serious about success and growth, you need to ensure to align IT strategy and business strategy to work together towards your goals.

You can compile the details in the form of a document or roadmap noting the various things that affect a business’s use of IT and technology.

An IT strategy can help you invest your business resources more effectively and ideally covers all areas of IT management. This could include hardware or software, cost, risk, human resource, and vendor management.

Does your business have an IT strategy? Check out our 5 pillars for building an  effective IT strategy

What’s the purpose of IT strategy?

Ultimately, an IT strategy in business aims to guide IT and technology processes, software, hardware or infrastructure decisions.

It’s essentially a roadmap for businesses and helps you understand and get to grips with all IT areas, enabling them to make smart, informed business decisions to drive growth.

And it should identify and explain three main things:

Where is the business currently?

  • What are the goals and ambitions of your company?
  • What does your current technology service portfolio look like?
  • What are the challenges that you need to overcome?

Where the business wants to be (Often in line with the company's mission statement)

  • What capabilities and benefits do you want to achieve in the future to support the business?
  • What does the future-state landscape need to look like?
  • What are the gaps between now and then?

How can a business reach its objectives

  • What resources do you need?
  • How will the future state be operated?
  • What partners do you need?

In a nutshell, it’s the who, what, where, why and how. And you’ll need to identify and answer all of these to create an effective and robust IT strategy in business.

If you don’t plan, then you won’t succeed. Businesses without goals or specific objectives in mind will not only lack direction but are destined to fail.

In fact, according to the strategic software company, Cascade; 67% of strategies fail due to poor execution. That’s over two-thirds! And it highlights the need for an effective IT strategy that’s guided by experts.

The benefits of a well-designed IT strategy

Creating an IT strategy is an organisation-wide effort, and it’s well worth the investment.

Here’s why:

  • It offers a unifying approach to processing and sharing information to increase efficiency, improve collaboration, and minimise errors.
  • Lower IT costs with an effective IT strategy.
  • It enables data collection, processing, governance, and analytics. Many new technologies driven by AI and big data for business intelligence require a large amount of reliable data to produce accurate insights.
  • It allows for a holistic and thorough approach to cybersecurity so you can effectively protect customer and employee data. This is particularly important if you’re in a regulated industry and need to stay compliant with security standards.
  • It helps improve IT resilience that will minimise the high costs related to extended downtime.
  • It allows your IT department to take a hands-on role in resource distribution and project planning. Thus, allowing decisions to be made to prioritise long-term benefits.
  • It helps improve communication between IT and other department leaders to achieve better alignment and investor buy-in for IT initiatives, resulting in better overall business strategy and business processes.

Kick off your IT strategy with an audit

All good IT strategies start with a complete audit of your business and IT systems.

An IT audit is an in-depth analysis of your company’s IT policies, operations and entire infrastructure. It investigates whether the current systems are actually up to scratch, in line with industry best practices and align with your business goals. The audit should also uncover any risks associated with your IT infrastructure and provide you with the next steps to help reduce these risks.

Learn about IT audits and why they're important

An IT audit takes a high level of skill, time and investment in auditing software and lays the foundation to build your IT strategy on. So, if you have an in-house IT team but don’t have the right resources to complete your IT audit to the correct standard, you’re best off seeking outsourced help.

At Netitude, we have helped hundreds of businesses build their IT strategy. Learn more about our IT audits here of book in a meeting with our experts below. We promise we don't bite!