Strategy. Planning. Purpose. Tactics.
Everybody talks about the importance of having each of these things in place. Yet how many businesses are upfront with what their strategies truly are? How many employees are on board with each key tactic, and know how to move forward when challenges arise?
Strategy is a strange thing. Everyone agrees that having a strategy is an important part of operating a business. But what should it include? Who should understand the policies in the plan? How well should they be monitored? How effective are they at running the business?
Is it a solid strategy that is used before every purchase and before every decision being made? Or is it simply something that looks good on paper, and is referred to only on occasion, and usually when problems arise?
Lots of questions, I know. But as you read through and asked each of these questions to yourself, hopefully you started to see a pattern. You either began nodding your head, knowing you’ve developed a strong plan that your company adheres to very well; or you’ve seen holes in your own approach to developing a strategy, and recognize that you need improvement.
A solid IT strategy is important for many reasons.
Provides guidance for your company and industry
We are in a world of change; keeping up is not an option. Not only is new technology being developed every day, government regulation is also changing quickly, putting more requirements in place for the end user. A solid strategy helps everyone in the organization understand their core capabilities, identify where the trouble spots are, and spot risks before they arise. It helps everyone stay focused on what truly matters, and helps deliver the best performance now and as things change in the future.
Operate in a changing world
Every day, new technology is being created, digital devices become available, and equipment and programs become more effective. How do you keep up with it all? In the world of IT, it can be very confusing. Especially if you run a large organization that takes months to get things from concept to implementation. How do you implement something that is out of date even before the final user is in place?
The key in many cases isn’t about the final product or system you choose, its about how well you adapt. Whether a change is implemented due to a new policy, a new regulation, or simply as a way stay on top of technology, the importance comes from seeing the big picture first. Technology will always grow and adapt; having the keys to allow you to do so effectively will keep you relevant in a changing world.
Creating direction for the future
What is your ultimate goal? All organizations need to make sure their staff understands that purpose, and what it will take to get there. Every business has a specific purpose, a specific “thing” they offer to their clients and customers. IT is only a part of the picture. Customer service, resources, operations, even engagement all play into perception. The customer is there for an end result; not for the way you use technology, or how fast you can implement. It all comes into play in the way you perform your ultimate task and reach your definitive goal.
While its important for your staff to be trained to be as efficient as possible, its equally important for them to remember what the end goal is, and how you use that knowledge as you move and build towards the future. Clients are your ultimate purpose. If you can find a way to keep them happy, while at the same time staying relevant in your industry, that’s the perfect union of a solid IT strategy.