It can be a challenge for most companies to take a step back and do a critical deep dive into their business operations to better understand and identify why things aren’t working. And a lot of the time this means many avoid their IT strategy.
There are several reasons for this, from an IT skills gap to how engrained technology has become in your organization or the thought of making such changes when things are just working fine can be very daunting for some businesses.
But to help your business achieve its objective, your IT strategy must be well-considered, strategic and planned. It’s also important to understand some of the key reasons your strategy may fail and here are some considerations outlined below.
1. Your IT strategy and business strategy goals aren’t aligned
In order for your IT strategy to be successful, you must consider your overall business needs, vision, goals and objectives. It is imperative your business strategy must always drive the IT strategy. All too often, IT can implement new systems or solutions that conflict with the longer-term goals of your organization.
When defining your overall IT strategy, it’s helpful to identify at least 3-5 overall strategic business goals to ensure your IT strategy is aligned to them. These may span departments or underpin everything the organization does but ensuring the IT can deliver for each will pay off dividends in the long term.
2. Emerging technology could be a game-changer
We see new technology emerging daily that may have significant business benefits. This could include artificial intelligence, machine learning development, IoT, 5G, robotics and automation which could all have long-term advantages for your business. To ensure your organization has a competitive advantage, it is important you keep up to date with the latest technology and emerging developments, especially those that will have a profound effect on your industry.
It can be challenging to prioritize and assess the impact these new technologies would have on your business, especially as they aren’t likely to be many examples of similar companies that have adopted these technologies for a sufficient amount of time. But your business must understand that it needs to adapt and be agile, so you’re not left behind while your competitors forge ahead and leave you behind.
3. You don’t have the IT and digital skills
It is critical that IT leaders are no longer siloed away from the rest of your team. They need to be involved with the broader business leadership team, gaining a deep understanding of the business. Your IT strategy will fail if they don’t understand your business needs.
The ability to change and adapt is vital for your CIO. For example, can artificial intelligence such as automation help you process orders with fewer errors or mistakes? As anyone will testify, human intervention in processes can make mistakes from time to time. You’re at an even higher risk of error if you’ve got a manual keying process for orders.
It’s essential to ensure your team anticipates technology changes, whether internal, external or a hybrid mix. If you aren’t getting any guidance on new technology, it may indicate that you don’t have the right people with the right skills in place.
4. Adopt best practices
As your business evolves, so does emerging technology that you’ve accessed or read about. While it may seem easy to swap to a different software or infrastructure provider, it doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. You need to develop best practices for each area to deliver long-term results to future-proof your business.
How you use your IT systems will directly impact your overall customer value proposition. Making your internal processes as good as possible will also provide you with a competitive advantage over your rivals. Similarly, if you work with an outsourced Managed IT services provider, like Cyonic IT Professionals, they will ensure to check best practices are at the heart of what they do. It’s IT best practice for a reason. Microsoft recommends IT best practices as it’s the right way to do things in different environments.
It’s easy to cut corners but not so easy to recover when something goes disastrously wrong.
5. You haven’t reviewed your IT strategy for years
It’s quite easy to be critical when your leadership or Executive team hasn’t reviewed the overall IT strategy for several years. Other conflicting priorities take precedence, or you just haven’t felt the need to activate it before or don’t have the necessary skill set.
If you haven’t gone through this process, it’s time to start now! You’re likely missing out on productivity gains, increased resilience or heightened IT security needs. The current demand for remote working is a good case and point. With today’s technology advancements and changes in working culture, there should be no restrictions on where and how you work. Access to critical systems and data should be available to anyone at any time within your organization.
Remember, if you aren’t consistently assessing your Information technology position, your competitors will be ahead of you!
The final process of aligning your business and IT strategy is an iterative and continual process and this is where Cyonic IT Professionals can help with this. Your IT Strategy should be reviewed by your Executive and leadership team regularly, with an open and honest mindset to determine how it is delivering a return on investment for your organization. It’s always challenging, but the insight and knowledge you will gain will in the long term will ensure you help your business achieve its overall goals and objectives from a short and long-term horizon.