The world of IT offers a host of benefits to businesses that are looking to grow. Creating an effective IT strategy is a big part of the puzzle, and it’s often worth hiring IT services Brisbane to deliver the project. Your IT strategy is a roadmap that details how technology is used in your business and how those systems will support your long-term goals. In this article we’re going to go over the 5 steps to developing an effective IT strategy for your business.
Identify Your Business Goals
This is the most important step in the process. Developing and implementing a new IT strategy is a major investment. To make sure you’re getting value, you need to focus your efforts in the right areas, and that means tying the project to specific business goals. You don’t need to provide a detailed plan like you would for a business meeting. Rather, you simply need to set out high-level goals for the short, medium and long-term future. This often includes things like:
- How you plan to grow business
- Revenue projections and targets
- Whether the market will change in the coming years
- Any challenges your business will face
Define the Scope of Your IT Strategy
An effective IT strategy is specific, measurable, achievable and time bound. That means you need to define the exact scope and timescale of the project, as well as the stakeholders that will be responsible for each part of the process. Defining the scope provides useful information that can be distributed to employees and external stakeholders (such as IT service providers) to communicate how the strategy will affect their work. This scope should also provide detailed timescale information. While your IT strategy is likely to be a long-term undertaking, each stakeholder needs to know when and how each phase will be implemented, activated and reviewed.
Consider Your Existing Systems
IT tools and systems are a big investment, and your new strategy should incorporate existing elements wherever possible. Conduct an audit of your current capabilities and take stock of hardware, software and other systems that are already in place. During this process, make a note of any areas of improvement.
It’s a good idea to consult with each of your teams to document which systems they use, how they use them and whether any areas are particularly successful. Rolling out a new IT strategy is likely to create teething problems, so leaving successful systems intact may be your best option.
Develop the Strategy
This is often the most difficult part of the process. You can simplify creating your strategy by breaking it down into individual steps:
- Identify which hardware, software and IT systems will be included in the scope of the strategy. Include existing systems as well as any new technologies that you will be purchasing and implementing as part of the strategy.
- Consult with team leaders to ensure the new strategy incorporates specialised tools like accounting or marketing software.
- Working team by team, consider how each part of the strategy will be implemented and activated. Don’t forget to keep the project budget in mind so that money can be allocated to each area of concern.
- Determine which stakeholders will be responsible for implementing changes and addressing any issues with the new systems.
- Assess the complexity of new systems to decide whether employees will need training.
Following these steps should allow you to methodically identify and document each stage of the process, as well as which resources you’ll need to activate the strategy.
Set KPIs and Measure Success
If you’re investing in a new IT strategy then you’ll need to see a return on the money you’re spending. This can be challenging given that IT systems often improve business performance in small ways. To monitor the success of your new IT strategy you may want to track KPIs like:
- Inbound enquiries
- Revenue versus projections
- Employee capacity
- Customer satisfaction
- Qualitative feedback from employees and customers
Each business will need to develop its own KPIs. To ensure your new IT strategy provides as much benefit as possible, try to choose metrics that align with the high-level goals you identified at the outset of the project.
Incorporate Cyber Security Measures
Don’t forget to spare a thought for how a new IT system will affect the security of your business. Cyber threats are a major challenge for businesses of all sizes, and you may need professional IT services Brisbane to address the issues. Incorporating cyber security measures will require you to identify potential threats and develop solutions. In some cases that may be as simple as educating employees on what they should be doing to protect company information. In other cases, you may need to implement specialist hardware and software solutions.