What Happens When You Put Your Tech First?
Roughly every year, computers double their capabilities.
Information technology (IT) is now the cornerstone of the modern business, and the ability to properly manage this function can either make or break your company. In order to perform well in this ever-changing environment, technology must be put on the forefront of your daily business operations.
This means it’s time to make a plan, an IT plan to be exact.
Investing in IT strategic planning has proven to be very profitable for businesses around the world. In fact, there are some Fortune 500 companies that have made returns on their investment as high as 700% after creating an IT strategy.
Start by bringing the techs up from their caves and have them interact with all the departments, so that everyone is on the same page. From this point the planning process can begin.
Write Down Your Mission
The heart of every business is its mission statement: a clear, precise message that separates your organization from the competition. A mission statement should outline your company message and overall goals. At one point in time, this simple statement was enough to get the ball rolling, but as our dependency on computers and technology increases every year, it is no longer the case.
Formulating an IT mission that supplements your already defined company statement will go a long way in creating a cohesive workforce. The statement should be simple and have the longevity of at least three to five years minimum. It should also outline the expectations of day to day operations, making it easier for employees to develop good daily work habits.
Assess the Current State of Your IT Department
After creating a clearly defined mission statement for your IT department, it is now time to see where the department is as a whole. Look at your hardware, software and operating systems to see if anything needs to be upgraded or replaced. Technology is increasing at a rapid pace and it can be easy for organizations to fall behind the technological trends.
Knowing the exact state of your department is the best way to determine where you would like the department to go in the future. It enables you to find gaps and areas that need fixing. With this information in mind, creating an effective IT strategy will come with ease.
Create a Roadmap
This is the hard part: talking to people and asking questions. Having a strong IT leader is essential for this part of the development phase. Your chief technology officer (CTO) or chief information officer (CIO) needs to collaborate with the other departments, such as marketing or accounting, and understand their wants and needs in regards to the technology they use. This also means looking at the budget to see where to allocate the company’s limited amount of resources.
Transparency and collaboration between departments is the best way to show where you want company to go, in terms of IT. With this information, you are now able to effectively set goals and deadlines for your IT department.
Talk It Out
Now that you have set goals and created a roadmap, bring everyone else up to speed. Communicate your mission statement, goals and overall technology plan to the rest of the organization. This is the most essential part of the planning process. If you do not communicate well, nothing will get accomplished. An IT strategy works best when it has been fully disclosed and everyone is on the same page.