Lock your doors, draw the curtains and hunker down, soldier; it’s time to define your IT strategy! Wait, what do you mean you haven’t got one yet? Are you aware that an IT strategy is one of the cornerstones of a successful business? Regardless whether you answered yes or no to that question, you’ve found yourself on the right site on this vast digital expanse we call the internet. Here’s 5 easy steps to get your well on your way to forming an IT strategy.
Step 1. Understand Your Business Strategy
What is your business about? What are your operational goals? This may be the easiest question for you to answer as a business owner, but it’s one that requires clarification in forming the foundation of your IT strategy; as a crucial part of your business, it will be directly contributing to your objectives. Ask yourself questions, such as will your operational goal be feasible for the foreseeable future? What are the most pressing threats you’ll encounter? Finally, identify the programs you’ll be using most, see if they require updates or if there’s a more desirable alternative.
Step 2. Look at the Current State of IT
Do your research. Unleashed have covered IT reports going into the new year in the past which we advise as a good place to start. What software are similar businesses using? Is your hardware up to date? What OS will you primarily be running? These are a few very basic questions you should be asking yourself as you assess the current state of IT. As you do so, more relevant questions will come to mind and you’ll continually grow a better understanding of what your IT strategy will eventually shape into.
Step 3. Define Target and Gaps
You’ve confirmed your business’s operational goals. Now it’s time to finalise your IT goals. You should create detailed action plans for application, infrastructure, followed by plans for your main project management office as well as your service desk. Finally, wrap it all up with a conclusive action plan encompassing your overall IT strategy.
Step 4. Define Your Road Map
It’s time to plan your journey, and don’t be afraid to ask for directions. The road of IT strategy is a long and winding one and has quite a few potholes along the way, and maybe a minefield or two. Defining your road map includes thinking about your budget, what your money will be spent on and how the hardware and software you purchase will fit into the business. Above all, have a good think about whether what you’re investing in has real meaning. For example, that shiny new piece of software might be all the rage on social media, but what impact will it truly have on your IT strategy.
Also whether you’re spending modestly or investing a small fortune, make sure your social media presence is tip top! Facebook, Twitter, even Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube if you’re feeling ambitious. The best thing about social media is that there’s no repercussions to setting up accounts on as many outlets as you can. Just make sure your staff can handle community management!
Step 5. Communicate Your IT Strategy
Here we are; the final frontier. You are Captain Picard (or Kirk, if you’d prefer) transmitting your orders to your loyal crew. Step 5 is arguably the most crucial element of your IT strategy: communicating it. The worst thing you could hope for within your business is a breakdown of communication. If your staff are running around like headless chickens, or at the very least aren’t as up to speed on the IT strategy as you yourself are, then it can and will fall apart. With poor communication you’re simply setting the business up for failure, as it destroys itself from the inside. Make sure not to let that happen! Communication equals success!