Why Do You Need an IT Strategy?
A wise man once said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” The relevance of this quote has stood the test of time and is as appropriate in today’s business world as it has ever been.
With every business looking for a gap to gain a competitive advantage, the need for an IT strategy has never been more critical.
By using an IT strategy, you will be able to actively improve your businesses’ productivity and efficiency. Following the plan will make it easier to accomplish the businesses’ goals.
How Can an IT Strategy Help Your Business?
- Increase Innovation
With the business technology world continually changing, there are always great opportunities to innovate with new and better products or services. This will keep your business moving forward.
An IT strategy focused on innovation and invention within the company, allows you to stay fresh and gives a boost to your organisation. This, in turn, allows you to stay ahead, enter new markets and broaden your offering.
Nokia, one of the world’s largest cell phone manufacturers, is one such beneficiary. Having started as a pulp and paper company, the company diversified into the rubber industry and soon into electronics.
Their involvement in electronics lead them to innovate in what was, at that time, the new and highly profitable market in mobile communications.
- Increase Profitability
Maintaining profitability is a vital goal for your business to be successful. A good IT strategy is often at the heart of ensuring that your business flourishes and if delivered effectively will maintain or even increase your profitability.
Consider that Netflix started as a DVD rental home delivery service. When they looked ahead, they could see their market dwindling, so they seized the opportunity to shift the business model into online streaming. This required a massive investment in technology but saved their business. They were then able to move down the supply chain and produce their own content thereby cutting costs and increasing their margin significantly. The rest, as they say, is history.
- Keep Up with Change
With the advancement in technology, the world is quickly changing, and people have a constant need to get the latest products or services. With a sound IT strategy, you will stay ahead of the curve and avoid becoming obsolete.
The New York Times is a great example of keeping up with change. After smartphones hit the market, the number of consumers purchasing newspapers declined significantly. The New York Times introduced online subscriptions, with a raft of new ways to consume their content allowing their readership to read their stories at a time and place of their own choosing.
If they hadn’t been aware of the changing market and made the plans to invest in new digital technology, the New York Times could easily have become obsolete.
- Stay Ahead of Your Competitors
To stay ahead of your competitors, you need an IT strategy that includes insight into understanding what innovations are happening in tour market. Without it, you risk being overtaken and losing market share to others.
Walmart saw what was happening with online giant Amazon expanding into the online grocery market. Walmart reacted by making significant improvements to their online presence to allow their customers to buy without visiting their shops. Without making such changes and having the technological means to do so, Walmart could have easily been left behind by Amazon.
- Keep track of how you are performing
A good IT strategy will offer a guide on how your business is performing internally, and this is supported by KPI’s. Clear KPIs are incredibly important to integrate into any IT strategy as they enable organisations to understand whether or not the organisation is on track toward its stated objectives. It is also important to choose the right KPIs for your business as these metrics will be the focus of effort in your organisation. People can easily make avoidable mistakes including defining, organising and tracking when creating a KPI. These mistakes can lead to ineffective KPI management which in turn can reduce the speed of the company’s progression.
We hope this article has offered some insight into the potential benefits of implementing an IT Strategy for your business. If you want support to create an IT Strategy for your business, our flexible approach to IT Strategy is worth considering. Whether it’s a facilitated workshop to help you and your management team to define the challenge, or a virtual CIO working for a day or two a month, bringing an experienced technology voice in your management team, we can help.
Get in touch by booking a free consultation call with one of our team.