Running a business without a business plan is like trying to steer a ship without a rudder. It is unimaginable to operate a company (or a large seaborne vessel!) without a plan in place. The same is true of your IT. Small businesses can use IT to manage costs and stay ahead of the competition.
Here are some useful steps for Small Businesses and their IT strategies:
- Identify your company’s strategic goals and then align your IT objectives to achieving these goals. Ensure you have executive sponsorship for your objectives, and list mandatory activities such as adhering to legal mandates.
- Find opportunities to recycle information and reduce redundancy. For example, standardize business operations to implement a data warehouse that allows applications to share data, such as a customer’s address. Use this information to improve customer support, target marketing campaigns and analyze customer buying trends.
- Prioritise your business investments before finalising your IT strategy. Although upgrading your current IT installations may seem expensive, strategically-planned upgrades and optimisations will do wonders for your small business in the long run.
- Evaluate your IT strategy on an annual basis. Validate data accuracy, acceptable levels of customer satisfaction, and cost and time savings incurred by newly implemented processes. Adjust your investments if success criteria are not met.
IT supports the fundamental functions of a business; it can also be used as an agent for change, helping businesses gain a competitive advantage within their industries. When IT fails, the cost implications are devastating and therefore need to be avoided through clear strategic planning.
Many organisations choose to hire specialist IT consultants to create their technology strategy. Not only do they have dedicated resources and expertise to create a plan efficiently, but they also bring the objectivity needed to provide a solution that will work across the entire business. The advantage of this is the outsourcing of expert, in-depth insight while businesses focus solely on their day-to-day while still benefiting from strategic IT systems and strategy and added support.
To download the full guide, ‘How to Create an IT Strategy for your Business’, visit: https://www.conosco.com/itstrategyguide/