Business is getting even more dynamic and fluid than ever before. Rather than just react to the demands of business, IT organisations need to have a structured view of the future, generally called an IT strategy. IT organisations need to regularly review, update and refresh their IT strategy and future roadmap to remain aligned with the business needs.
So how should you go about reviewing your IT strategy – if you have one? Here we outline three areas that will help you identify room for improvement and spot opportunities to get more from your IT.
1: Engage the business stakeholders
To many in the business, IT is a ‘dark art’; hidden, complex and full of buzz words. This means that for many in the business, they do not fully understand the importance of the IT services to their organisation until something goes wrong. In addition, in many cases, the business may not appreciate how technology can be used to increase productivity and performance.
Some IT organisations have created teams of “IT business partners” whose role is to engage with key areas of the business; understand their needs and requirements; share the IT strategy and gain insight to future business direction. In addition, they may be involved in supporting the general day-to-day IT operations, helping to create a bridge between the IT teams and key business users.
This team is critical to your IT strategy engagement – both from a create, as well as review, update and refresh perspective. Use a review as an opportunity to explore what business stakeholders need to meet their future targets and objectives, and to collaborate on potential IT solutions to meet their needs.
2: Business & IT Strategy Integration
As with any functions specific strategies, your IT strategy needs to be aligned with high level business goals. Over time, and as a response to internal or external factors, the business strategy may have evolved without the IT strategy keeping pace.
Work with key business stakeholders and the latest business strategy, identify where IT fits in. It is highly likely that IT plays an important role in all business areas; whether it is to support business growth, cost reductions or other business strategies. Review where there is potential to support these with IT solutions.
3: Carry out an IT Audit
With everything going on currently, it is very likely that taking the time to complete, review and share an IT audit, is probably the furthest from the IT organisations agenda. However, it is exactly the right time to carry one out. Why? The business direction is changing faster than ever before. Whether it is automation of key business processes; digital transformation of services; consolidation of businesses; you name it; you cannot continue on the same IT strategy without taking into account these changes.
An IT Audit will provide you with the in-depth knowledge required to understand what needs to be developed and improved to be able to deliver improvements in IT across the organisation. As well as what IT services need to be stopped or retired as they no longer fit the busines needs. In addition, it gives a vehicle for you to share the current IT landscape of solutions and services to the business, so that they can understand what can and cannot be achieved.
Now that you have completed these three areas it is time to revisit your IT strategy and see how it is aligned with the overall business strategy. Look for opportunities to drive through business objectives using technology or by streamlining IT services.
Here at MDB Service Consulting, we have worked with IT organisations to help them develop strategies in each of these areas. Effective business engagement that supports an aligned business & IT strategy are critical areas. It’s only through collating this with an IT audit, do you start to see the real value of your IT strategy and future roadmaps. Get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or visit mdbsc.co.uk to find out more.