Information technology (IT) has grown to play an integral role in every aspect of business, impacting internal and external stakeholders including employees, customers, constituents, suppliers, and more.
Despite the pervasiveness of IT, many companies struggle with silos that have been created over time as departments accumulated systems that are duplicative and don’t talk to each other, processes that are inefficient and fraught with ‘work-arounds’, and infrastructure that doesn’t support the current and future needs of the business. To break down the antiquated silos, a holistic and well-aligned strategy is required.
An IT strategy is a critical part of the business strategy that outlines how to align technology with the business to drive and support its goals. This written plan includes specific objectives, actions, investments, resources, and timelines that are prioritized and sequenced to meet key business outcomes.
Learn why developing an IT strategy is vital for all businesses.
The Key Components Of An IT Strategy
There are several essential elements of an IT strategy, including:
- Mission — A statement that articulates the alignment of business and IT.
- Goals — A list of short-term and long-term desired outcomes.
- Roadmap — The steps the business must take to achieve goals.
- Budget — How much time and money it will cost to execute items on the roadmap.
- Assessment — How the business continuously evaluates and monitors progress toward goals.
- Governance — A structure for managing the effective and efficient use of IT resources to achieve business outcomes.
What Makes An IT Strategy Important?
Without a strategy to direct a business toward its goals, it can be nearly impossible to attain them. Creating a holistic IT strategy enables a company to look across all areas of the business and identify how technology can best support the needs and goals of the organization. It also helps to prioritize initiatives and reduce inefficiencies and redundancies that exist across the business today.
What Happens If It Does Not Align With The Business Strategy?
An effective IT strategy is key to the success of the business strategy. When a company’s business strategy and IT strategy do not align, the silo’d approach is perpetuated and it becomes increasingly difficult to achieve business objectives. The lack of alignment between business and IT strategies often means that the IT strategy is more focused on technology than business and leads to wasted time and money.
The Benefits Of Implementing An IT Strategy
Implementing an IT strategy can have countless benefits for businesses, including the following:
Encourage Company-Wide Collaboration
Companies where business and IT work together to create and execute the strategy perform better than those where IT operates on its own. This is especially true with the implementation of the strategy, which requires business leaders to play a key role in execution and change management.
Gain an Edge Over The Competition
Today, every business depends heavily on technology to operate. This has resulted in growing competition between companies striving to mature their IT operations and shift IT from tactical to strategic. Companies that take the time to develop a strong IT strategy can gain an edge over the competition by leveraging technology to achieve their business goals.
Mitigate Business Risks And Vulnerabilities
Every business carries some amount of risk. Having a solid IT strategy in place helps companies better identify areas within their current technology portfolio that may be posing a risk or not supporting internal or external requirements, such as compliance.
Better Allocation And Utilization Of Resources
Creating an IT strategy enables companies to better allocate and utilize resources, but what happens when unexpected needs or requests pop up that aren’t part of the strategy? A formal IT governance structure helps an organization with prioritization of IT initiatives, resulting in better decision-making, process optimization, less duplication, cost savings, better allocation of resources and reputation security. IT governance is a core component of a well run business and an effective IT organization.
Develop An IT Strategy With Hartman Executive Advisors
IT strategy consultants can help you create a comprehensive plan in an objective and efficient manner thanks to their extensive experience in the field. By working with an IT consultant, you will be able to quickly establish a detailed plan that aligns with your business needs and helps to propel its growth. Contact the IT consultants at Hartman for more information about how they can help you create an IT strategy and roadmap for your business.