Don’t have an IT strategy in place yet? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about what an IT strategy is, why it’s important to have one, and how to create an excellent plan.
An IT strategy is essentially a strategic roadmap that sets out your vision for the use of IT within your organization. Your strategy should be a document, which describes how your organization will use IT to create value.
Value can mean many things, and IT can create such values in many ways. Technology can be used, for example, to improve efficiencies, boost productivity, enhance the customer experience, lower costs and much, much more.
So, how do you get started? What should you include, and why? Let’s dive in below.
While IT is undeniably technical in nature, your strategy document is a business one not a technical one. Your leadership team should be involved in the creation and approval of the document, meaning you’ll want to explain things without jargon, and tie any suggested initiatives back to measurable KPIs. Here’s how to do this step by step.
Your IT strategy needs to tie back to your organization’s vision and goals. Innovation for innovation’s sake never works. So, think about what your organization needs to achieve, the challenges you face and how you’d like to solve them, and then consider how different digital tools could be used to help overcome these pain points.
A great strategy is nothing without time limits. You should think about how long you’d like your strategy to be in effect for, with an eye to the long-term. The best IT strategies are at least five years, and you should regularly review and update your strategy in line with changing business requirements.
Before you get caught up in all the cool ways you can use technology in your organization, you should also think about your compliance and security requirements. PCI DSS, GDPR and CCPA are just some of the regulations you’ll need to contend with.
It’s better to bake-in security and compliance from the outset, rather than retrofit it, so make your plans don’t violate any compliance requirements.
This step is also an opportunity to think about any security standards you might want to achieve as part of your strategy. ISO 27001 and SOC 2 are popular, well-regarded standards within the B2B space, known to improve vendor-supplier relationships.
This is the intro to your strategy, a chance to inform the reader of your high-level vision and how it will create company value. Don’t focus on what you plan to do, focus on the effect. THis will make for a more compelling read that is likely to get executive buy-in.
In this section, outline the projects you would like to pursue, listing them based on their significance and urgency from top to bottom. Explain why certain projects should be prioritized over others by tying each initiative back to business objectives and deliverables.
Remember, too, that this list is fluid. Organizations’ needs change day to day. A project that was high priority when you wrote the plan might be superseded a week later.
Here, you should explore the timelines for individual project deliveries. Be specific about when you’d like to start, how long the project will take and when you expect to deliver results.
This part is all about the ‘who’. Will your employees undertake these projects? Will you outsource to an IT provider? Who will oversee and steer the projects? All of this should be noted in this section.
Lastly, you’ll need to include estimated budgets and costs for the IT strategy. We advise including estimates for at least two years of your plan. This will help your executives understand the costs of implementation.
After following these steps, you should have a highly-compelling IT strategy that your leadership team is keen to sign off. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to get started, using your strategy as a guideline for implementation. Keep revising your strategy regularly and updating it to ensure it remains current and relevant.
If you don’t have the time or resources to create an IT vision and strategy, don’t fear! We’re here to do the hard work for you.
At Vudu, we are technology wizards who want to bring IT magic to your business and achieve supernatural results.
Want to learn more about creating an excellent IT strategy? Tell us more about your goals.