Many organizations have a documented business strategy which serves to guide their business decisions. An effective IT strategy is also an important requirement for any size business, helping the business to define the technology, people, and processes necessary to meet the business requirements.
An effective IT Strategy can help your organization answer important questions such as:
- How can we be sure that our current budget for IT is sufficient and effective?
- What IT investment should be made to deliver the business strategy?
- Are we secure and do we have the technology infrastructure in place?
- Have we got the right structure and governance to deliver IT solutions to our organization?
- What IT-enabled capabilities are required to deliver the business strategy?
An effective IT strategy clearly defines how all IT services, as well as the processes necessary to deliver the services, align with business goals. It also outlines a future state where the organization’s IT services directly contribute to the business sustainability and growth. In summary, it provides a roadmap or blueprint for direct contribution to the success of the business.
Aligning Your IT Strategy with Business Initiatives
The alignment of business and IT strategies is necessary to create and improve efficiencies, reduce costs, create barriers to entry, improve customer and buyer/supplier relationships, and to generate new products and business solutions. Organizations that fail to strategically align IT and business strategies face increasing financial and opportunity costs as well as other consequences including:
- Inability to invest IT dollars wisely and to create mechanisms for investment and funding;
- Inability to proactively provide value-added services to the business;
- Inability to attract, retain, and resource the appropriate skills;
- Inability to measure IT’s contribution to the business; and
- Inability to communicate strategy to employees and link strategy to budgets.
Information technology plays an important role in delivering value for a business and supporting organizational transformation. To achieve that, Chief Information Officers (CIO) have become key members of board teams developing and delivering strategic solutions for the business. The aim is to make an organization more competitive by aligning business strategy with IT strategy.
Organizations that want to improve their innovation capabilities and develop new products or services for the market can use cloud computing to speed up the process. Cloud computing enables organizations to rent additional IT resources during the development project on a pay-as-you-go basis, rather than investing in fixed resources. Organizations can use the additional resources to run pilot programs or speed up development. This provides an important strategic advantage by enabling the organization to get new products to market quickly, ahead of the competition.
Cloud computing enables organizations to scale up their IT resources quickly in response to changing market conditions. Organizations that offer products and services online may find it difficult to handle a surge in traffic, which could result in lost business. Adding resources from the cloud provides a strategic advantage by enabling them to respond to changes in demand, increase revenue and maintain customer satisfaction.
IT solutions that improve collaboration in an organization can provide an important competitive advantage. Issuing field service teams with smartphones, for example, enables service engineers to provide a faster, more efficient service to customers. Engineers working on a customer site can set up voice or video conference calls with product or technical experts at headquarters to discuss and resolve a complex issue, rather than delaying a repair. Offering customer superior service provides a strategic advantage by differentiating an organization from competitors.
Enhance Customer Insight
Collecting and analyzing data to gain greater insight into customers’ needs and preferences provides a strategic advantage. By using powerful analytics software, organizations can develop customized offers and personalized communications that help to increase customer satisfaction and foster loyalty.
Introduce New Business Models
Organizations can use IT to make strategic changes to their business models. A company that traditionally sold products through retail outlets might use IT to develop an e-commerce model that enables it to reach a wider market, reduce its distribution costs and offer a more convenient service to customers.
The Litcom Approach
Litcom provides an IT Strategy and Roadmap, enabling an organization to most effectively leverage technology. Our comprehensive IT Strategy approach helps organizations shape the direction of their IT.
To see how Litcom can assist with your organization’s IT Strategy plans, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.