What is an IT strategic plan?
An IT strategic plan is a document that sets out an organisation's technology-related goals and objectives and how it plans to achieve them.
What's included in an organisation IT Plan?
An IT plan should consider the organisation's security posture, current position, resources and capabilities, and the external environment - such as competitor analysis summary and taking advantage of technology opportunities.
It should also identify key areas where IT can add value to the business' overall short, medium and long-term goals, and set a roadmap with how to get there including timeframes.
For some businesses, this might include moving to the cloud, investing in a new CRM, or scheduling when to retire and replace old laptops. The plan can also identify weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual activities.
Cyber security is likely to form a significant proportion of IT goals, due to its evolving nature. This may entail working towards becoming Cyber Essentials certified or identifying that 'Exercise in the box' should be conducted quarterly to test your organisation or business resilience to cyber threats.
If you outsource to an IT company with managed IT support, then a strategic IT review should take plan at least annually. The IT company will get to know your business, understand your business' aims, conduct a business review to identify strength and weaknesses in you IT and cyber security, then provide a strategic roadmap based upon the review.
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Why do businesses need a strategic IT plan?
A well-executed IT strategic plan can help an organisation better to align its technology investments with its business goals and make more efficient and effective use of its resources.
As businesses and organisations strive to be more productive, reduce downtime and find more cost-effective solutions, an IT strategic plan becomes essential. Let's have a more detailed look at some of IT planning benefits.
Five benefits of a Business IT strategy
1. Prevents Unexpected Emergencies
One of the IT strategic plan goals is to ensure that the organisation is able to take advantage of new opportunities and mitigate possible risks.
Some organisations that adopt a reactionary position to address problems often play catch-up, which can be costly and disruptive.
By anticipating the issues before they happen, companies can take proactive measures to avoid them. This may include investing in new technology, updating software and systems, or providing employee training.
2. Boost in Operations
A company's IT infrastructure can provide a competitive advantage and help to improve operational efficiency.
A good strategy will address the business's specific needs and outline a clear implementation roadmap. It should also identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be used to measure success.
This way, decision-makers can ensure that budgets and resources are allocated effectively, leading to improved business outcomes.
3. Business Longevity
Sometimes, businesses make the mistake of not having a good plan and fail to modernise their business. But with careful planning, businesses can ensure their IT is up-to-date.
Without a concise plan, they are more likely to make decisions that are not in their best interests, leading to financial ruin.
Additionally, they are more likely to miss opportunities for growth and expansion.
A well-thought-out IT strategic plan can help them avoid these pitfalls and succeed in today's competitive market.
4. Response Against Threats
In today's digital world, cyber security is more important than ever. With the rapid advance in technology, new threats are constantly emerging, and businesses need to be prepared to prevent them.
An IT strategic plan can help address these potential attacks before they occur. By identifying potential vulnerabilities and developing a good plan, businesses can reduce the risk of a successful attack.
A strategic plan can also help ensure that adequate resources are allocated to cyber security and can protect data and their reputation.
5. Provides Parameters for Creative Thinking
A well-conceived strategy provides more than just a roadmap for implementation; it can also serve as a framework for creative thinking.
By outlining the organisation's objectives, a promising IT strategy can help to focus the team's efforts and ensure that everyone is working towards the same purpose.
Also, it can help identify potential improvement areas and create opportunities for innovation.
The first step in creating an IT strategic plan is understanding your business needs. What are the areas of your business that need improvement?
Once you've identified these areas, it's important to research what technologies can help improve them. After you've gathered the necessary information, it's time to create a budget and timeline for implementing a good plan to set you up for success.
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Get in touch with us to find out how our managed IT support packages can help your business.