Ian Snow, MD at CT, explains how a strategic IT plan goes beyond having the right software or kit – and can actually transform your business
Technology is one of the most crucial elements of business success. Sarah Rowland, partner at BRM Solicitors, knows the value of transforming working through the smart use of technology.
‘By carrying out a strategic review with CT we have created a clear plan to build an IT system that is future-proofed and designed to meet our demands over the next five years. Together, we have proactively identified any potential risks and will be working together moving forwards to ensure we have continued reassurance of system availability and data security.’
However, many businesses, regardless of their size or market sector, fail to get the full benefit out of the technology they have invested in. It’s not just about having the right software or kit – a sound IT strategy is necessary for major functions of your business. It has a bearing on your ability to do everything – creating new products and services, marketing, improving customer experiences, growing revenue, and keeping your workforce productive.
Here are the important steps to consider when developing a strategic IT plan:
Review your current IT strategy
A strategic review of IT infrastructure will help you gain a deeper understanding of how your teams use technology, what is and isn’t working and any future requirements. You may even be able to develop an IT strategy based on some of the resources you already have.
Outline your business goals
Technology is evolving quickly, so be smart about the investment into IT that you make. This is why your IT strategy should be closely aligned with your business objectives. Consider looking at your sales targets and plans for growth – you want your IT strategy to grow with you and not hinder success. Are your systems scalable? Can you easily add or remove people, teams, or service lines? Think carefully now about making the right investment in a system that can grow as your business does.
Develop an IT roadmap
An IT roadmap is essentially a plan setting out your requirements for any new technology investments, helping you to keep control over the costs and mitigate the risk of IT failure and disruption. This includes a review and audit of the technology your business currently has in place, and recommendations to ensure the company technology is fit for purpose, fully optimised and configured to industry best practice.
Educate and communicate
You can’t adapt if your teams aren’t fully behind the change, so educating the business on the need for IT transformation is critical. You might find some resistance, particularly if you’re removing software that your people are used to using – communicating plans clearly will ensure your employees are happy with what’s going to change, and once you’ve implemented the new systems, training sessions will help them adapt to new technologies.
Keep your strategy up to date
You’ll need to continually update and develop your IT strategy as aspects of your business change. Outsourcing your company’s IT infrastructure and IT strategy can not only improve efficiency and reduce cost (versus keeping the expertise in-house), but it also has the potential to revolutionise your business operations and improve the customer experience.
Whether you are integrating a new cloud system or upgrading the company to a new software platform, contact us today to chat about how we can help you with your IT transformation.
You can contact us by calling: 01246 266 130 or by emailing email@example.com