If you’re a business leader, you have a vision and strategy. It’s the core of everything you do. It was there in the beginning when you explored options, calculated risks, and took the dive into a competitive world to build something of your own.
It’s still there keeping the business moving forward. Do you treat your IT the same way? As your key operational asset, you should.
When treated as a strategic tool in your arsenal, managed IT services have the potential to take you where you want to go, but it’s up to you to pick them up and use them effectively. That’s why strategic IT planning is a crucial element in your overall business strategy. It ensures you’re prepared to handle the next thing.
COVID Proved Just How Critical IT Strategy Is
Companies that had solid IT partners were prepared for the COVID lockdowns that started in March of 2020. While many businesses were left scrambling to navigate restrictions, work-from-home setups, and remote collaboration tools, businesses that had the right IT strategy pivoted quickly and nimbly. Their teams seamlessly adapted to remote work operations and were able to focus their attention on more pressing matters, like strategizing how to keep business moving during a global crisis.
Ensure That Your Business Is Protected
Strategic IT planning is the foundation of managed IT service offerings. There is no one-size-fits-all approach – your business is unique, and your business IT strategy has to be tailored to your distinct operations.
That's why we start every engagement with a comprehensive Foundational IT Assessment, designed to identify your needs and create a solid IT strategic plan. It includes a few key areas:
- A team survey to determine the health and efficiency of your existing system.
- An executive interview about your organizational values, priorities, and strategic ends.
- Network discovery that evaluates your existing physical and digital infrastructure through onsite examination and digital detective work that maps networks and data nodes.
- A comprehensive IT audit that gathers information and measures it against a checklist of best practices, comparing the results to your provider’s understanding of your values, goals, and options.
Developing Your Strategic Roadmap
The IT audit serves as a fact- and research-based foundation for making strategic decisions about IT planning and goals. This leads to development of the all-important strategic roadmap.
Great managed IT service providers identify and present a comprehensive set of recommendations and options for every aspect of your system. They’ll engage with you as decision-makers and work through cost-benefit and time-to-value decisions across the next several years. They get ahead of the curve and serve as your CIO to guide executive conversations and attain alignment across the team.
C-level Involvement Is Paramount to Success
No one knows your business, your team, your workflows, and your pain points better than you.
C-level involvement is critical throughout the strategic planning process. IT planning is all about evaluating business goals, considering what it takes to achieve them, then defining the tools and processes necessary to make it happen.
The final roadmap is only strategically actionable through C-level consensus. It includes timelines, necessary resources, project and initiative descriptions, a clear projection for budgeting needs, and a replacement schedule for the coming years.
The Right IT Strategy Will Grow Your Business
Just like your business, workplace technology will only continue to evolve and advance. Strategic IT solutions will always play a key role in the growth of your business.
A strong IT strategy facilitates growth in several ways:
- It enables your team to work at full capacity. By building IT systems around your specific goals and creating a plan for continued evolution, you reduce friction in processes and give your teams the tools they need to reach maximum productivity.
- It ensures that every element of your IT system aligns with your organization’s goals. To meet your strategic ends, you need to ensure you’re on the right trajectory at every step. Make sure your IT isn’t set to veer you off course.
- It decreases waste and maximizes ROI. With a business IT strategy in place, you know exactly how each device and system contributes to your goals. Every element serves a purpose, and every purchase is part of a plan.
- It lays out a proactive budget to prepare for and understand expenses. A strong IT strategy allows you to plan and gauge expenses in advance quarter by quarter, year after year. It gives you the facts you need to make strategic budgetary plans.
- It allows you to scale. Strategic IT planning is scalable because it looks beyond the next device purchase or the next software update and creates an integrated system that can grow and adapt with your business. It cuts disorder and looks to the future.
IT Strategy = Good Business Strategy
An IT strategy isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity. Without it, you run the risks of falling behind, wasting resources, and losing focus. You leave your business vulnerable to inefficient processes, security risks, and operational sprawl.
With an IT strategy, you have the tools you need to stay ahead of your competitors and grow your revenue. You can attract and retain the team members you need to excel. It’s a big deal.
Review your existing IT system. Do you have…
- Unified communications systems in place?
- Cloud-based file sharing?
- A highly trained and mobile-ready workforce?
- Remote access solutions?
- Strong security that protects your people, your data, and your business regardless of where your team works?
- A plan for building and replacing your existing IT infrastructure as it ages over the next three to five years?
If the answer is no, it’s time to set a plan in place.