Why are you still just sticking with the status quo?
There is no denying in the digital age that IT and technology have become a crucial part of your business. With that in mind, there are way too many IT companies and IT departments out there that are not even thinking about IT strategy, let alone implementing one.
Your IT is intertwined with every single aspect of your business, from sales and marketing, to customer service, to accounting and human resources. Currently, there is very little a typical company does that does not involve some type of technology.
You strategically plan to grow your company, to implement new products and services, to reach new market segments, and to solve organizational problems. Why aren’t you strategizing with the one function that ties it all together?
Is your IT partner keeping you up and running? Good, they should be. Do you rarely have to call your IT partner with issues? Great, that’s status quo, any decent IT company will be proactive and preventative, so that you don’t have a constant myriad of technical problems, keeping you happy and retained as a customer.
But is your IT partner giving you a competitive edge? What about ROI? Are you seeing a return on investment in your IT investments? Has your IT become a valuable asset to your company? If you answered ‘No’ to any of those questions, then it is time to start looking at your IT strategy.
While you may have heard before that IT should align with your business, you need to know what that really means. Not only is it a good tool to keep up with industry trends and gain a competitive advantage, but also it has become a crucial aspect of innovation and growth. Many times when your business goals are not aligned with your IT, your company will be flying blind without a clear focus on the context IT is being used for growth, sustainability, and the company’s bottom line.
With the rapid evolution of technology, business leaders sometimes (or even often), find themselves in the position of making IT investments based on immediate needs, like a server breakdown or software licenses for new staff. As your business scales over the years, the basic investments for infrastructure, hardware, and software grow, too.
Without any type of confirmation that the IT budget also provides value or gives a return on investment, business leaders struggle as seeing IT as a value provider and instead get themselves tied up in a cost-centric model of IT support. When that happens, there are no IT strategies being executed and the business doesn’t flourish on the IT front.
So, what are the signs that you need an IT strategy?
There are new and better ways to do things and even if you met industry standards five years ago, you may not meet industry standards today. Here are ten sure-fire ways to indicate that you need an IT strategy change:
Your IT Partner is Constantly Putting out Fires
If your IT partner or IT department is constantly putting out fires instead of working on projects to promote operational growth and efficiency, then more than likely they are simply working on a reactive model with no plans and no strategy for improvement.
Your IT Services Aren’t Cost-Effective
When it comes to IT, are you getting the most value for your money? That doesn’t mean bargain shopping for the lowest IT support cost, (you will almost always regret that later). Instead, that means are you seeing a return on investment from your IT network and processes?
The value from IT should come in the form of operational excellence, exceptional customer relationships, or product innovation. When your IT is working hand-in-hand with your business, all other valuable assets will thrive and excel.
Your Technology is not scalable
The technology that you invest in for your business should be future-proof. If your business grows and expands, then your entire IT network should too. Your infrastructure, hardware, and software should always be progressive and scalable, that way it covers all growth that you will incur over the next three to five years.
Shadow IT on Your Network Has Become a Problem
If Shadow IT on your network has become a problem, then that’s a very good indication that you don’t have a solid IT strategy in place. When you have a solid IT strategy in place, shadow IT becomes a lesser problem because users get what they need from IT.
Software License Compliance and Physical IT Assets are Not Being Managed
Your IT support resource should be managing and organizing the technical functions of your business in the same way that any other department organizes its business functions. If the technical functions of your business aren’t being properly managed, then you run the risk of having out of date software, causing problems with files and applications, costing your business thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses.
Most of Your IT Resources are going towards Maintaining Legacy Systems
If the large bulk of your IT spending is going towards the maintenance and upkeep of your legacy system only leaving a small percentage for upgrades and new projects, then you may need a new IT strategy. It is not uncommon for businesses that are 30 or 40 years old to be using software built before most of their entry-level staff were even born. In most cases, these legacy systems are not scalable and strain to support all of their functions. These limitations can stop organizations from growth in their industry, cranking out new products, or even expanding their customer base.
Staff is Constantly Complaining about IT
If your employees and management are constantly complaining about IT, about what your IT partner has done or hasn’t done, how they aren’t getting the things they need, or timely responses, then that’s a good indication that there is a disconnect between IT and business. Your IT support organization, whether it is staffed by internal staff or an outside resource should be doing everything that they can to make sure IT is elevating your business to a position of increasing efficiency, higher productivity, and lower costs.
IT Projects are Sluggish and Often Delayed
When you have a project that IT is supposed to deliver, how quickly are they delivering the solution? If new solutions are frequently delayed, you run the risk of delivering the solution to slowly to be cost-effective, continue to fit your immediate need, and you may be missing out on opportunities altogether. You should build your IT strategies around timeliness, as technology advancements progress, the IT delivery must progress as well.
Crickets can be Heard Chirping between IT and Leadership
When the strategic and operational players of your business wouldn’t even recognize your IT partner if they bumped into them in the hallway, that’s a signal that there is no form of communication between these two entities. Without communication, one may be unaware of what the other is doing and how it will affect their aspect of the business. These two sides of your business should be joined together in a seamless partnership that cohesively increases productivity and ROI.
IT is not Addressing Improvement Opportunities
A good, solid IT strategy will always look for ways to improve your business. Improvements can be made through cost reduction, increasing efficiency, finding ways to grow customer satisfaction, or perform operational tasks better. Your IT partner should be meeting user expectations and at the same time meeting your organization’s ROI goals.
In today’s modern and tech-driven world, a dynamic IT strategy is more crucial to a business’ success than it ever has been before. Your company’s efficiency, productivity, and growth revolve around the management of your IT systems.
To learn more, contact us today.