Despite how essential technology is within the work place many companies still relegate their IT systems to the bottom of the priority list.
This outdated approach is apparent when an IT strategy hasn’t been devised by the business and IT leaders.
A lack of communication and coordination between the IT leader and the different departments usually results in large inefficiencies.
By contrast, a “fit-for-purpose” IT solution put together off the back of an IT strategy aligns IT systems with the business needs, whilst ensuring that each department is supported now and for the future.
The result is greater transparency, better allocation of costs, whilst working in line with the company’s mission.
Perhaps more importantly an IT strategy ensures the company prioritises its disaster mitigation and recovery efforts, reducing the potential financial and reputational implications of an outage.
So who is going to devise an IT strategy for the business? One thing is certain, it needs to come from the top down to guarantee it is in line with the company’s mission.
An IT strategy requires coordination among business and IT leaders.
What steps do I take?
Firstly, the company must conduct an analysis of the existing IT infrastructure and functionality, to establish if the systems are fit for purpose.
Secondly, the IT systems must be mapped to suit the overall business strategy, to ensure IT systems are easily scalable as the business evolves.
Thirdly, a repeatable process must be created to ensure a constant adaption to changing market priorities, evolving strategies and new technologies.
Most IT managers (that is if you have one) are happy managing the IT systems on a day to day basis but putting together an IT strategy for the next 5 years, including costs, can prove quite difficult.
Below we have outlined 6 key areas that need to be considered when generating an IT strategy:
Is your company data backed up? Do you have offsite backup? How is your data transferred? Ultimately is your data secure?
Can your current servers handle demand and storage needs? Are you prepared for growth? How quickly can you create a new account? Have you considered the cloud? How good is your spam filter? How many outages do you have a month?
Is your network stable? Have you hosted telephony? Do you support video conferencing? Have you thought about supporting ‘bring your own device’? Can you support flexible, remote or home working?
Are the applications you provide ‘fit for purpose’ for employee opperations. Are your applications integrated or have you tacked new applications and processes onto old infrastructure? Are your applications stored on premise or in the cloud?
What kind of firewall do you have in place? Do you monitor your network for unusual behaviour? How do employees access applications – can they connect via nonsecure networks like public WiFi or do you have a VPN?
Do you have a business continuity plan? In other words, do you have the ability to recover easily from a disaster or challenge in your business? Have you considered hosted replication should your in-house infrastructure go down? Is your hardware fast enough? Are you constantly fixing problems? Have you set your own internal service level agreements for acceptable downtime etc? And are you and your IT meeting them?
Constructing an IT strategy is extremely complex.
Have you ever thought about outsourcing this vital requirement to the experts?
Why pay someone to do what we have already done?
Development of systems and process is costly and time consuming. Why not go with someone that has already tried and tested it?
We outline the prioritisation of short, medium and long term IT requirements and provide an effective method for managing long term support and strategic advice.
For more information on our strategic reviews visit our website, alternatively contact one of our experts today on 01329 239900.