In this age of rapidly evolving technology, businesses are really in a battle for survival: survival of “the most technological.”
The graveyard of company failures is littered with businesses that were caught napping while the technological landscape shifted. Ask Blockbuster, Kodak, Polaroid, Yahoo, and others. The stories of their demise mirror the need for businesses to evolve, innovate and adapt to technology.
But such technological innovation does not just happen: it must be carefully thought-out, planned and executed. That is what an effective IT strategy is all about.
Here are three questions to ask yourself while implementing an IT strategy.
What really is an IT strategy?
It’s one thing to hear about a concept. It’s another thing to fully grasp it.
Margaret Rouse defines IT strategy (information technology strategy) as “a comprehensive plan that outlines how technology should be used to meet IT and business goals. An IT strategy, also called a technology strategy or IT/technology strategic plan, is a written document that details the multiple factors that affect the organization’s investment in and use of technology.”
While a business/corporate strategy focuses on plans to achieve the overarching goals of a company, an IT strategy focuses on how to accomplish these goals using technology. Thus, an effective IT strategy must be firmly rooted and aligned with the business goals of a company.
Take UnityPoint Health – a 30,000 employee healthcare system – for instance. Their overarching strategy is to deliver “value-based healthcare.” Consequently, their IT strategic plan zeros down on aiding the organization to move from being reimbursed based on service volume to being reimbursed based on the quality care rendered.
Do I have the right team?
Regardless of how elaborate an IT strategic plan is, it requires personnel who can implement it. It’s only a good team who can drive an IT strategy right from the start and sustain it. Such a team should have the right mix of experience, expertise, and desire.
Even if your IT strategy is outsourced, you will still need people in your IT department who can develop the right framework, monitor success and provide recommendations. For instance, if a company’s business strategy is to invest in digital transformation, for example, IT must determine what that means for existing architecture, operating processes, skills, sourcing, governance, and culture and what changes need to be made.
What about experts in the field?
Thousands of IT projects are launched every day – and more than one-third crash before they get off the ground. So, if you’re going to get your hands dirty with IT strategy, you might as well do it right – and who better to help than the experts in the industry who have spent years researching, practicing and churning out results with regards to IT strategy?
That is why outsourcing your IT strategy might actually be a good idea. However, the challenge often lies with where to find top-rated companies to outsource to. One of the easiest and most foolproof ways to find top-rated companies is by going through IAOP’s The Best of the World’s Best Outsourcing Advisors list.
Companies on that list have a reputation for delivering optimum results. Case-in-point WGroup, a company that has helped many other companies, including several Fortune 1000 companies, implement effective IT strategies.
As you draw up your business goals, don’t forget about the fulcrum of business growth: your IT strategy. To implement an effective IT strategy, ask yourself the right questions regarding understanding the concept, building the right team and engaging experts in the field.