Are Your IT Services Aligned With An IT Strategy?
Every successful application of IT services has one thing in common: IT strategy.
This is precisely what a recent study by Wakefield Research is all about – they surveyed 250 business “decision-makers” at companies that have an annual revenue of $5 million – $50 million to find out the role that IT plays in their work, and how they’re planning the future of their IT:
- 93% of surveyed businesses recognize that IT is strategically and operationally critical.
- Surveyed businesses said they would rather lose half their annual revenue than lose half their data.
Despite this, these businesses aren’t investing in or planning effectively for their IT:
- 66% find that the amount they’re budgeting towards IT isn’t enough to keep up with what they need from it.
- 77% of those with less than 100 employees have found that their investments in IT are too limited
- A third of those surveyed said that less than 10% of their strategic planning was about IT
All of this goes to show that your technology plan cannot be overlooked. Everyone knows that IT is important and that planning the future of their IT is a necessary undertaking – what are you doing about it?
What Questions Should Your IT Strategy Answer?
- Where Are You Now? To best understand your current situation, it’s important to audit your IT infrastructure, perform a risk assessment, and analyze your high-level 5-year plan.
- Where Are You Going? To figure out where you want to be, it will be helpful to consider where you are in your technology refresh cycles, learn about new technology trends and how they could be applied to your business, set expectations for your entire IT team to strategically mitigate risks, as well as invest in consultation as to how IT can drive your business.
- How Do You Get There? Lastly, you combine all three levels into a single robust IT strategy. This includes identifying strategic objectives as well as business goals, building scorecards to track progress, and beginning to execute your strategy.
How Do Effective IT Services Lead To Effective IT Strategy?
IT Strategy Aligns IT Services With Your Organizational Goals
Sometimes technology is an afterthought, and the investments don’t deliver the results expected because they haven’t been planned and strategized properly. You can’t afford to make significant technology investments with an already-constrained budget.
Most businesses operate on tight budgets, and the cost of current technology can seem prohibitive. But the effective use of technology can help you do your work more effectively, so it often justifies the cost.
It’s critical that you align technology with your organizational goals. But, how do you know what the right technology is? The easiest way is to ask your IT services company – they should have experience working with businesses like yours.
Your IT services company can provide an IT assessment that will examine the technology you use and what’s lacking in relation to your culture, process, and financial requirements.
IT Strategy Evaluates Your IT Services To Determine If You Need A Change
Many businesses continue to use legacy technology systems that are inefficient and less than user-friendly. With today’s newer, cloud-based and more flexible IT infrastructure solutions, your business can have the technology you need at a fraction of the cost of purchasing it.
Plus, you’ll no longer need to worry about technology solutions going out of date. With cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, you can add or delete the number of seats you pay for, and because you pay on a monthly subscription basis, it makes technology easy to plan and budget for.
There are IT services that deliver customized, industry-specific cloud solutions that can help you remove data silos, optimize your resources, and improve operations and efficiencies. By exploring these new cloud innovations, it’s possible to leverage business intelligence that will help you overcome some of the challenges we mentioned above.
IT Strategy Keeps Your IT Services Focused On Security Best Practices
Information security should always be a priority. You could be doing everything else right, but if you don’t mitigate risks and protect your business’ confidential data, you could be the victim a costly data breach. Just one breach could result in hefty fines, penalties, expensive litigation and a ruined reputation that scares clients away.
IT strategy-focused cybersecurity policies should have three main objectives:
- Confidentiality of data and information assets and to confine these to only those authorized to access them.
- Integrity of data to keep it intact, complete and accurate, and to keep IT systems running reliably.
- Availability so data or IT systems are accessible to authorized users when required.
Does your business do annual technology plans? Do you review them on a quarterly basis? Do you have an IT partner helping you align technology to your business goals or are they just recommending replacing tech when it’s old or broken?
Ask us about our Technology Strategy Overview system and how it’s providing results for our clients by getting in touch at 800-875-8843 x1122 or ITsolutions@kimidatlantic.com.
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