Businesses are heavily reliant on their information technology.
When information technology isn’t performing optimally, a company feels the pressure.
Perhaps that’s why some of the most successful businesses formulate their IT strategy around a solution-centric infrastructure. A comprehensive approach that ensures business strategy and technology initiatives merge harmoniously. For companies wishing to operate for the long-term, an IT roadmap serves as the blueprint to IT business continuity.
To learn more about how a strategic roadmap can help you achieve your business objectives, our blog covers technology roadmap examples, the benefits of an IT portfolio roadmap, and how to meet your strategic goals with a cross-functional managed service provider (MSP).
What is an IT Strategy Plan?
An effective IT strategy plan helps organizations facilitate resources for IT projects that will most benefit their company. When you consider how 90% of organizations fail to execute strategies successfully, a well-conceived strategic plan can be the difference between that success and failure.
More than that, a good IT strategy communicates plans in an actionable way, allowing team members to more effectively carry out their responsibilities. This in turn helps ensure business goals are being met and that accountability is maintained across the organization.
Example of an IT Strategy
At a high-level, your IT strategy should include:
- Your goals
- Proven IT strategies
- Tactical insights on how to implement those strategies
A solid roadmap shows an organization on how to reach its strategic goals.
But what makes a good IT plan?
Let’s take a look at the criteria you can use as a planning template for your own IT strategy:
- Best Practices – The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) helps ensure organizations stay in adherence to best practices. It identifies gaps in adherence to best practices and shows businesses how those gaps may be filled. This is an adoption process, requires expertise in IT best practices, and may take years to fine-tune.
- IT Governance – IT governance relates to the policies and procedures used by an organization to accept, evaluate, deploy, and manage new initiatives. Similar to best practices, IT expertise is recommended, especially for organizations in highly regulated industries.
- IT Service Catalog – Supporting an organization’s IT means outfitting its infrastructure with a catalog of IT services that align the business with its needs. The more complex an organization’s processes, the more comprehensive and expensive the IT strategy will be.
- Long-Term Initiatives – Three to five-year business plans help ensure an organization stays aligned with its big-picture strategy. A good example would be an organization developing a mobile app to improve its customer service.
- Technology Roadmaps – Technology is constantly changing and improving, therefore, an organization’s IT infrastructure and strategy should continually be evolving. A comprehensive IT strategy plan helps businesses continually meet their evolving business needs with IT strategy plans that help them remain competitive.
- Communication Planning – Transparency is an important part of a successful IT strategy plan and helps ensure an organization’s team understands their current infrastructure state, the upcoming changes (why they are required), along with providing a way to monitor the statuses of those initiatives.
How to Create an IT Strategy Roadmap in 5 Steps
Your business goals play a large role in the development of your IT strategy roadmap.
From covering your most immediate infrastructure needs to ensuring ongoing technology and business goal alignment over the long term, your IT strategy roadmap acts as your guide to peak performance and business continuity. And while every business has unique needs, here’s how to create an IT strategy roadmap in 5 steps:
1. Mission Statement – Every IT strategy plan should allow an organization to align its infrastructure and overall business strategy through company-wide guiding policies (a mission statement).
2. Infrastructure Analysis – Now that your goals are set, it’s time to deploy the SWOT analysis to assess the state of your infrastructure.
SWOT Analysis Example
|Strengths||Your company culture embraces new technology adoption and your data center has enough capacity.|
|Weaknesses||You don’t have enough IT support for your business needs and you don’t have time to research, maintain, or upgrade technology solutions.|
|Opportunities||You can reduce IT operating costs through a successful cloud migration, improve communication between employees, and ensure proactive data backups for maximum uptime.|
|Threats||Industry regulation changes and more competitors entering the market.|
3. Remediation Steps (and Prevention) – After your SWOT analysis, you should create actionable steps to fix your current weaknesses. In addition, you should address what’s required in regards to the skills, tools, or processes needed to prevent future issues. Lastly, it’s important that these steps align with your mission statement and IT needs.
4. Create and Deploy a Technology Roadmap – Combining all the information from the steps above into an IT strategy plan (including specific deployment and action-item timeframes), is considered your calendar (and blueprint) to ensure ongoing alignment between your IT and goals, and adherence to your budget.
5. Infrastructure Monitoring, Performance, and Metrics – To measure the success of your IT strategy roadmap (and improve your customer satisfaction and IT support), it’s ideal to use key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge your performance. Common KPIs to keep in mind include:
- Average ticket response times
- Average help desk response times
- The number of supported help desk calls
- Average CSAT or customer satisfaction rating
- The channels used for support and communication
What Should You Keep in Mind?
Not all IT strategies are set-in-stone. Meaning, that as the needs of your infrastructure evolve, so also must your flexibility to allow changes to your IT strategy plan. For instance, in the future, you may face unexpected downscaling that results in unexpected layoffs and loss of in-house IT talent – as an organization, you need to remain agile with your IT strategy to remain competitive.
The Benefits of Following an IT Strategy Roadmap
Organizations that invest in their IT strategy improve their capabilities as a business by:
- Better controlling IT costs
- Improving operational efficiency
- Delegating better IT decision making
- Streamlining communication to leadership
- Allowing themselves to operate more proactively rather than reactively
- Improving the durability, scalability, and efficiency of their business processes
A comprehensive IT strategy or plan can positively impact an organization for the long-run, helping to minimize IT disruptions, improve uptime, and ensure all of an organization’s IT needs are met.
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Meet Your Business Goals With Our IT Strategy Best Practices
Your information technology plays an essential role in your business.
Should your business often have trouble controlling IT costs or experience recurring IT issues, then chances are your IT strategy plan is outdated.
Remember, your business is only as powerful as the technology you use. By failing to maintain, upgrade, and procure new technologies through an IT strategy plan, your technology turns into a liability – not an asset.
To ensure technology stays on your side, to better control IT costs and IT task outcomes, and gain complete control over your IT, consider equipping your business with our IT strategy plans.
Having helped more than 60 businesses and supporting more than 2,000 devices, our comprehensive IT strategy plans help businesses see a 29.9% reduction in their IT support tickets from year one to year two. Best of all, our IT strategy plans help your business stay on track and streamline the alignment of your technology and business goals.
Ensure your business and technology needs are met today – contact us to find out more.