Perhaps no department has undergone more change in the past few years than IT.
And change is far from slowing down. Every day new technologies fall into place, allowing businesses to work faster, better, and far more efficiently than ever before. But with change comes both opportunity and threat.
This is the year to take the reins and move forward with effectiveness. Lead with innovation instead of reacting to problems. Become focused on improvement rather than fixing what no longer works. With these IT strategies in place, you’ll help your organization be far more successful in everything it does.
1. Budget for growth and innovation
Far too many companies today discover the majority of their IT budget is used to maintain the system already in place. Which means very little is left to invest in innovation. Take a look at your budgeted allotments. Chances are they are being trapped by band-aid solutions that no longer meet your needs. You’ll find underutilized storage resources, unproductive data centers, labor intensive integration requirements, to name just a few. With this endless list of systems, processes and supply vendors, inadequacies are in abundance. If you’re willing to reinvent your system, and tackle the entire issue in a fresh new way, you’ll find simple ways to transfer spending allocations to things that make a difference immediately.
2. Build systems for the engagement economy
The IT department has the benefit of being involved in every aspect of a business, from manufacturing to production, to marketing, to customer delivery. Technology is built in everything we do. Yet operations are often are often pieced together because of demand, giving various levels of access and security depending on the situation. While traditional systems provided results on an as needed basis, the future will be built around engagement at all levels in all kinds of ways. How can you construct a system that allows more to be done and transferred from place to place? If front-office can be merged with back-office systems, creating more transparent flow-thru processes, business will win every time.
3. Shape your IT structure for the future
Think back to a short five years ago. Could you have predicted the way we use technology today? In some cases, things change fast enough that it’s hard to see what’s coming next. But in most cases, we update and merge technologies together to meet our bottom line objectives. We don’t think about how a new program or app fits our overall intentions, rather how well it will help us complete the task at hand. Instead, look at every addition as how well it will help build a strong base for the organization. How can it merge with existing programs to meet evergrowing needs? What new technologies are being added that can replace and make the overall process even better? A fresh new perspective can often help lead the way to better choices to help you now and in the future.
4. Upgrade your cloud strategy
Without question, cloud computing is one of the strongest transformations currently provoking change within an organization. Your employees are leading the way. They have a need, find a solution, and download it to every device they use. Then you’re left to navigate the environment that is created. If you’re still viewing your cloud strategy based on a plan written years or even months ago, you may be missing the most crucial pieces. Social, customer engagement, analytics, and security are all changing at warp speed. Cloud projects will continue to impact deeply the value of a company and how well they fare against their competition. IT leaders who focus on transforming cloud projects to encompass all aspects of the business will come out on top.
5. Lead with innovation, standardize integration
From the dawn of the Internet age, IT managers have been experts at finding technology to perform individual functions, then integrating, testing, modifying, patching, upgrading and monitoring them over and over again to make them do the required work. It worked, for awhile. What’s left in its path is poorly structured applications that can’t perform at peak levels. That’s where innovation comes into play. Non-standard integration methods and hodgepodge setups no longer work as systems become increasingly complex. While application integration will remain a crucial and viable part of business, learning the new “standard” for integration will transform today’s IT leaders.
The future is coming quicker than you think. The only question is how prepared you’ll be once we get there.