Put simply the goal is to have a plan that fits the right technology to your business in a coherent manner. It needs to be both cost effective and ‘a planned for’ implementation that suits the business goals.
Whilst large business depend critically on their computing and communications systems, it could be argued it is just as valuable to the smaller business. Large businesses can afford full time highly skilled IT staff. To maximise the benefits of these information systems for the smaller business, and enable them to adapt, an experienced IT Manager can bring insight and advice. The landscape of what is available with Virtualisation, Office365, Cloud adoption, and networking rapidly changing, having a viable, comprehensive and up-to-date IT strategy can be beneficial to business of any size.
There are thousands of information technologies addressing thousands of business issues. It’s a good idea to sort out those that a relevant to your business needs and concentrate on what your business needs to function properly. That’s the job of an IT Manager to sort this out and put forward the technology solutions that will help your business.
But the information systems a business employs are a means to an end, not an end in themselves, therefore any IT strategy needs to be closely integrated with the wider business strategy if it is to be fully effective.
Why might I need an IT strategy, or review the one I already have?
Smaller businesses without dedicated full time IT might not be aware of what they could be using. Or how much this new technology would cost. Most are surprised to find out the costs can be low and the benefits high. But if you are busy running your business, when you going to find time to do market research and do the analysis?
What does an IT strategy review involve?
Firstly, it is necessary to have clear understanding of the business needs and the key results. From this solid foundation the relevant information system technologies required to support the business can be identified.
These requirements need to be compared with the existing systems and the gap clearly identified, thus defining the scope of change.
The technology market is likely to offer many potential solutions. These need to be identified and subjected to a balanced appraisal covering cost, benefits, risk profile and their ability to satisfy the business’s particular requirements.
This appraisal provides the means to prioritise and agree the phasing of the various elements of the strategy. Once the priorities and risks become clear the new strategy can be documented, including an overall plan for change.