Aligning Technology with Business Goals
A long-term IT strategy is essential for providing direction across every pillar of the Framework for Successful IT. Your organization’s goals, challenges, and opportunities continue to evolve, and the landscape of available technologies continues to change too. To stay competitive in your industry, your IT strategy should be proactively evolving to support your business initiatives now, and in the future.
What is an IT strategy and why is it important?
An IT strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines how technology should be used to meet IT and business goals. Creating the plan is about more than just knowing how to fix your technology when it breaks, it allows you to be proactive in resolving issues to keep everything running efficiently. With this strategic plan, your business can accomplish its goals and facilitate growth by implementing the right technology solutions at the right time.
Why should a CIO lead your IT strategy?
More often than not, you need a Chief Information Officer (CIO) to lead your IT strategy. However, most small and medium–sized organizations cannot afford to recruit, hire, train, and maintain a full-time IT executive with the right skills and expertise for the job. Fractional CIO Services is a cheaper and more efficient way for your business to have access to an experienced IT leader who can drive your organization’s IT strategy and enable your business to get the most out of technology.
A CIO will help you understand your business initiatives, current IT policies, and current risks so you can make informed IT decisions. They will work with your leadership team to develop an IT roadmap that aligns with your vision for the business and supports the needs of your team. Their combination of technical and business expertise enables them to use what they learn about your organization to paint a clear picture of where you are today, where you want to be tomorrow, and how you can best use IT tools and services to help you get there.
How do you implement your IT strategy roadmap?
Once you develop an IT strategy, your CIO will help you determine how to implement the standard IT policies and procedures to support your strategy while minimizing resistance from your staff. It’s important to educate your employees about your IT policy framework by providing collateral that conveys the purpose and value of the new direction. From there you can create your own security and operating settings that align with your plan and protect your business.
How do you know if your IT plan is aligned with your business?
Once your IT strategy is up and running, your CIO will be responsible for reporting on its success with measurable KPIs. These metrics will help you understand what the IT strategy is doing to protect your business-critical information and processes. They will be held accountable for meeting the appropriate KPIs around IT expectations such as Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO), two of the most important parameters of a disaster recovery or data protection plan. These are objectives that can guide your business when handling threats like a natural disaster or security breach.
Why should you review your IT strategy plan?
Many companies believe that once you have an IT plan, that’s all you need to reach your goals. However, a CIO has enough real-world experience to know businesses evolve and will need to continuously review and adjust their IT strategy to stay on track for success. An in-depth assessment of the current risks and opportunities facing your organization is key to helping your business determine the best-fit technology and processes for a seamless IT implementation.
Your CIO should hold quarterly business reviews with your leadership team to report on the established KPIs and remain informed about your upcoming business initiatives and needs. Watch our video to learn more about what should be covered and who should be involved.
Ready to start building your IT strategy?
Most small and medium sized businesses do not have the time to understand and execute on the numerous components of an IT strategy. And if they do, they likely lack the in-house IT expertise to identify potential pitfalls that can limit business growth. Complete IT Outsourcing gives your business access to a qualified CIO who can provide the IT consulting you need to make informed technology decisions. A strategic IT plan builds the foundation for the successful implementation of an IT solution that accounts for all four principles we cover in our Framework for Successful IT.