Growing businesses face plenty of challenges, and a sound IT strategy is one way to ensure a company’s growth. This plan should outline how the business intends to use tech for expansion, including integrations with financial planning, recruitment, and more. It serves as a blueprint for the IT department and details how much resources the company will spend on IT strategy consulting and development.
Good strategies can act as a lever for your business, while bad ones could cause your enterprise to go south. All business owners want smooth operations and engaged audiences, but the path to it is through a solid strategy. Here are things that differentiate good IT plans from bad (and ugly) ones.
What Does a Good IT Strategy Look Like?
Before you develop a plan, you need to identify what will make you competitive in your field. Often, in IT, the proof is in the pudding—you know a strategy is good if it brings results. Here are five features to look for that can indicate a potentially successful strategy:
- Clarity: A brief yet comprehensive strategy is the gold standard in IT. Having a clear strategy allows managers to lead their subordinates successfully—it also gives new management an easier time getting in the groove of things.
- Adaptability: Besides being clear, a strategy must also be adaptable. It should allow for quick changes and responses to business decisions. You should be able to deliver new products or services, shift business priorities, and make significant changes to your overall business plans without overhauling your IT strategy.
- Alignment: A sound IT strategy supports future business needs. It ensures that apps and systems boost business and aren’t in place just so the company can claim it is innovating. An IT strategy consulting firm would be able to give you customized recommendations.
- Iteration: The strategy needs to be iterative or gradual; this kind of implementation makes it easier to assess performance. It also gives the managers control over the strategy and allows them to see weak points easily.
- Cost-effectiveness: Finally, a good strategic plan considers the company’s return on investment and prevents unexpected costs. You need to be able to identify excellent opportunities.
In summary, good strategies support daily operations and future development. A well-thought-out strategy also contributes to customer satisfaction and opens the enterprise to new prospects.
What Does a Bad IT Strategy Look Like?
Leaving out several significant aspects of strategic planning could hurt your development plans. Here are things to watch for and remedy:
- Overly Complicated Goals: For the most part, ambition is a good thing. However, seemingly robust strategies can often be too expensive or unrealistic. It can misdirect the company’s decision-makers and confuse managers whose focus is business support.
- Unaddressed Challenges: An IT strategy should be cautiously optimistic. It cannot afford to ignore challenges brought about by change. For example, in a merger and acquisition, cooperating companies deal with several IT-related concerns, like deciding on apps to use, uniting intranets and databases, and much more. The new company’s IT strategy should accommodate these realities and align all previous plans.
Following a bad IT agenda causes companies to lose human resources, money, and time. You’ll find yourself outclassed and out of step with current best practices in no time.
What Does an Ugly IT Strategy Look Like?
Even worse are “ugly” plans, ones that are essentially incoherent and isolated to-do lists. If your strategy consists of fragmented ideas, verbose, shallow statements, and multiple out-of-scopes, you don’t have a strategy. A deeper look at your IT plans will reveal if you have a solid action plan or not. If your strategy is cluttered with IT terms and phenomena without much in the way of actual steps or procedures to follow, it needs a serious overhaul.
Effective digital transformation starts with a sound IT strategy. It takes a lot to develop a great strategy, and even good ones need constant checking and updating for institutional fit. Having a consultant on board will surely steer you in the right direction.
With Seisan as your partner, your business will realize its potential in the digital space. We are an IT strategy consulting firm in Lancaster, PA—our Adaptive Project Framework approach to development provides everything busy executives need to leverage today’s information-driven economy. Contact us today for more information!