Business IT Strategy: How to Focus On Your Business Goals

November 9, 2021

IT Strategy

goals

IT infrastructure

IT architecture

IT design

network security

Running a business isn't easy, especially in the 21st century. More so than ever before in history, IT (information technology) plays a large part in everyone's lives. Technology is a beautiful thing when it works, but it can often quickly lead to frustration when it does not. As a result, implementing IT is often seen as complicated and confusing for many businesses to wrap their heads around.

With so many elements of IT to keep track of, including all the components of IT infrastructure, IT architecture, and IT design, it's very easy for business owners to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount to keep track of while developing a business strategy. It is clear that IT is essential but can often be a significant hurdle for many executives and employees at businesses.

Fortunately, there is a way for organizations to focus on their business goals and business strategy while also having a clear picture of how their IT infrastructure can help them. The method is known as IT strategy, and it is an effective way to unify IT design and IT architecture with practical decision making.

While it may sound complicated at first, creating an IT strategy is far easier than one initially might think. If organizing a plan to improve a business through technology seems appealing, read on to see how IT strategies have helped countless companies improve multiple aspects of their day-to-day operations.

What is IT Strategy?

IT strategy, simply put, is a plan put together and used as a guideline for using technology to meet both IT and business goals. An IT strategy is usually a document that describes all relevant elements that impact a business's use of and investment in technology. It should be non-technical and should be easily readable by any employee.

It will also include all components of IT infrastructure, IT architecture, and IT design inside the company. IT design, or how a system is designed and implemented into a business's network, is vital for understanding how a company's system operates on a general level. 

While many might assume that IT strategy is only crucial for large businesses with thousands of employees, this is far from true. Small businesses also benefit from having a clear IT strategy in place. As long as they rely on IT, companies of all sizes benefit from having an easy-to-understand documented plan.

Why is IT Strategy Important to Companies?

Having an IT strategy is vital to providing clarity and a clear goal for an organization's business strategy. Having a solid plan will allow a business to identify the key steps they need to take to plan for their business goals, provide them a clearer picture of what resources they can allocate, will help them focus on their competitive advantages in their industry, and more.

Beyond this, an IT strategy also works together seamlessly with developing an operating strategy for a business. Some operating strategy examples include:

  • Improving a business's supply chain.
  • Developing methods for improved marketing.
  • Creating new and innovative products and services. 

What are the Components of an IT Strategy

An IT strategy document should include several aspects regarding the management of technology. Some of the information that should be included in the document will be specifically related to the business. This will consist of elements like goals for your organization, the limitations in place, timelines for projects, and more.

Beyond this, an IT strategy should also discuss all of the IT infrastructure components and items related to management. This will include things like the following:

  • A listing of all inventory. This will consist of various items, including servers, power supplies, wireless access points, and more.
  • Requirements for security and governance. Most IT environments will require a basic level of security to operate efficiently. This will include items like firewalls, having multi-factor authentication, anti-virus and anti-malware protection, disaster recovery planning, and more.
  • Information about costs and budget. Since businesses will need to define the prices of organization-specific items, they will need to take note of things such as costs of equipment, maintenance costs for hardware and software, employee payroll, and more.
  • Positions and structure inside an organization. Having a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of IT and non-IT staff inside an organization is crucial to fully provide a clear picture of the IT-related goals of an organization.
  • Information related to customers and services. The majority of businesses have a website, but many others will have other communication methods with end-users. Whether through a web portal for a ticket system or access to a virtual desktop, having clear, easy-to-understand documented information on services provided to clients is critical for businesses to stay organized.

Is my IT Structure in Danger with an IT Strategy?

As the components of IT infrastructure, IT architecture, and IT design have become so prevalent in business in modern times, organizations without a solid IT strategy are liable to encounter a wide range of problems. While many IT-related aspects are easy to keep track of, the vast majority are complex and require careful documenting to mitigate risk and damage.

Not having an IT strategy can be fatal, as many different problems can occur without having one. Here are just five of the countless issues that businesses can face without a clear IT strategy in place:

  • Having vulnerable network security. Hackers and social engineers are more prevalent than ever before in today's business world. A business with a plan that defines its network's design and ways to mitigate security risks can drastically reduce the number of successful attempts of their business becoming compromised.
  • Not having a straightforward way to protect or recover data in case of an emergency. Unexpected things frequently happen to companies. Something like a lightning strike damaging equipment or a hard disk drive simply failing to continue working happens all the time. Having an emergency plan and data backups is vital to continue operations when the worst-case scenario occurs.
  • Not clearly defining who has and does not have access to specific data and equipment. Employees sabotaging a business from the inside happens more often than it should. While most employees act rationally, disgruntled employees are more likely to undermine and exploit security vulnerabilities within an organization. Defining roles and permissions and making them clear can reduce the number of cases.
  • Not knowing the location of specific data or services. Businesses, especially huge ones, often have hundreds of computers they need to track. Servers and PCs can host virtual machines, manage licensed software, and back up data. Not knowing how to locate information at any given time quickly can lower an organization's productivity.
  • Not knowing how and where to plug in specific cables and devices. While it is easy to plug a PC into a surge protector, knowing which cables should be plugged into a firewall or switch and where is often not clear. A business documenting the locations where specific cables should be plugged in can save them confusion and frustration.

What is the Best Approach to IT Strategy?

The best approach to tackling IT design, architecture, and strategy is to consult with an expert. Fortunately, we here at House of I.T are experts at creating and implementing IT strategies. We have worked with countless small, medium, and large-size businesses to assist their IT needs for more than 15 years.

We are also ISO certified, meaning that we have met international standards for following best practice protocols and procedures to protect customers' information and meet customer expectations. This means that we know how to effectively implement an IT strategy for your business and how to implement it well.

Our experience spans many industries, including logistics, finance, hospitality, retail, medical, manufacturing, legal, BPO/IPO, telco, and real estate. Rest assured that we are flexible and can implement an IT strategy for virtually all industries. If you need help with implementing or maintaining your IT infrastructure, we would advise you to contact us to assist you as soon as possible.

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