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Building an IT Strategy

Jeff Dotzler
08/25/2021
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Fortune 500 companies build an IT strategy roadmap with research and analysis from well-compensated IT consultants. They also have the luxury of taking bids from an endless list of eager potential partners and vendors.

If you are a small to medium-sized business, how can you hope to achieve the same kind of results with a fraction of the resources and staff? The answer is to have a flexible roadmap and IT strategy that can be continually updated and revised based on the current needs of your business.

Creating the Flexible Battle Plan

In the military, there is a saying that no plan survives first contact with the enemy. That is true of your IT strategic planning as well. Traditionally, most organizations update their IT planning documents annually. But with the speed at which modern technology and small businesses evolve, today’s highly effective strategy may need updating by next quarter.

In addition, if you’re just creating your new official strategy, you’ll need to review it based on how it performs in real life and make optimizations over the coming months. Be prepared to treat your IT strategy as a living document and use it as a framework for your business’s IT operations.

IT Strategies Align Technology with Business Goals

Rather than designing IT systems to support your existing business goals and requirements, effective IT strategies work to align with them on a fundamental level, often requiring the updating of your current systems and processes and new definitions of business goals.

Rather than continuing to do things the way you have been because “they work,” your strategy may require updating the way you do things to improve your business’s long-term efficiency, productivity and IT ROI. This may sound like a lot of work, but in the end, you will have systems in place that can move your business forward in a more efficient and cost-effective way.

An IT Strategy Supports Optimal Business Performance

Your documented, reviewed, and regularly optimized IT strategy supports your business outside of the direct application of technology in the workplace. It ensures your budget is used to create value, both in your technology spend and in ensuring that spending supports the rest of your business to perform at its best.

Furthermore, it holds your team accountable for sticking to implementation of technology systems that will empower your long-term business goals, growth, and success.

Forward-looking companies are throwing out their calendar-driven, business-unit-focused planning processes and replacing them with continuous, issues-focused, data-driven decision making, using technology to enhance internal communication and collaboration.

By changing the timing and focus of strategic planning, you change the nature of top management’s discussions about strategy—from 'review and approve' to 'debate and decide,' meaning that senior executives seriously think through every major decision and its implications for the company’s performance and value. In place of rigid road mapping, flexibility and co-innovation become organic, continually adapting as the future unfolds.

What This Means in the Real World

For a small to medium business to stay ahead of the technology industry, they need a strategic partner. For many of our competitors, that means having one person in this role, often the owner, who simply meets a vendor at a conference and evaluates the product’s profit in deciding to resell it.

To us, that insufficient. A true strategic partner offers expert advisors in technology management. Technology management is Elevity’s detailed and methodical approach to managed IT. For example, Elevity offers a cross functional team that uses a scorecard that rates the technology and solutions we are considering adding to our solutions. This scorecard rates whether a technology is cutting edge, as well as its impact, value, support structure, vendor financial strength and market position.

We also review industry-leading data sources (Forrester, Gartner, and others) and analyze the solutions those industry bellwethers say are emerging. Using this data as well as the scorecard results, we carefully evaluate how these solutions fit the clients, industries and markets we serve. The clients that we work with that value IT as a strategic differentiator are adopting the most advanced versions as they become available.

If you’re looking for a modern technology management partner that can be a strategic resource for any organization, contact us to learn more.  

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