Today we are going to talk about all kinds of computer lingo and technical terms. Terms like RAM, processors, DNS, DHCP, and Active Directory. Are you all excited about that?!
I am just kidding—I know no one wants to be bored reading about all that technical lingo. I also know that since most of you are owners, executives, and IT professionals that this is how most tech experts talk to you. Well, the good news is that I’m going to talk about the importance of an IT strategy and planning, and I am not like most technical people.
Yes, I have a technical background as a drafter, mechanical engineer, computer admin, network engineer, manager of process improvement, VP of continuous improvement, and VP of technology, along with 26 years in consulting businesses and a degree in business. Basically, I have been there and done that!
Having this broad background means I have seen what works and what does not work. I have tested, touched, used, and kicked every IT tool that has either been the most beneficial for businesses or a waste of money and time. So, I have a few questions for you about IT…
If you are saying to yourself, “I have a good IT person and they handle everything just fine,” I’d like to ask the following: How do you know? On the other hand, you may handle your IT needs yourself and feel your company gets by just fine. The question I have for you is, again, how do you know?
If you are satisfied with “fine” or “just ok” for your technology, then you will be just “fine” in today’s business world. You won’t be great! Instead, you are going to be left behind.
Let’s take Uber for example. Uber utilized technology to improve the user experience to make them one of the most used ride share brands. I like the fact—and I am sure you do too—that you can open an app and request a car. Not just any car, but you can request a luxury car if you heart desires. You can watch your car on the map as it approaches you. And, you can pay and leave a review through the app. Technology drives the business! (No pun intended.)
How does the concept of technology driving business affect you and your organization? Do you have an IT strategy or are your IT needs reactive to your business needs? Working with a company who provides IT strategy consulting and helps you put an IT strategy in place will be much more effective for your business.
3 Reasons You Need an IT Strategy & Planning
There are 3 Important reasons why you need an IT strategy:
- It assures you’re leveraging technology to its fullest
- It assures you are meeting and driving business needs
- It gives you a differentiator over your competition
What I have witnessed in today’s business world is a ton of software applications that all do different jobs for each function of a business. It is great that we have all these tools available. But the manufacturer of that software does not care what other systems you are using. They only care about what their system does. You most likely will have a CRM, inventory system, accounting system, an app that does this, an app that does that, etc. In most companies, this creates inefficiencies in the business operations.
Did you know that most businesses only use 10% of a software package’s functionality? This is usually because they bought the system for a particular purpose or they did not explore what else the application could do. Many businesses don’t investigate how the software interacts with other systems. This oversight causes them to spend large amounts of money on other applications to do the jobs that their current software may be able to do. Also, when the different software packages don’t talk to each other, that creates data silos, more work and more inefficiencies. Creating an IT strategy that aligns with your business plan will eliminate many of these issues.
Most companies have a finance plan, operations plan, growth plan, and sales plan. When a company launches these plans, everyone gets excited about the new opportunity for growth and change, only to find out later in the year that they have unnecessary segmentation. Why? Because they didn’t get their IT team involved until after all the plans were launched. Each department leader went to IT with different needs. Now, that company has created a 10-headed siloed monster that needs more people to manage it than you could ever imagined. This company may feel like they are growing because they’re hiring more people to do the work. Revenue may be going up, but so are your expenses. You won’t notice you profit margin is getting smaller until it is too late. With an IT strategy, you’ll be able to cut out a lot of extra spending.
Now let me paint a better picture for you. A different company has all those standard plans plus an IT strategy. That IT strategy lays out tools and integrations that automate processes, create data processes, implement controls for systems, and more. Not only that, it aligns with their overall business plan and vision. The company will find themselves operating much more effectively and efficiently later in the year. All of their software systems talk to one other, and there is a single source of truth of company data. The departments will spend less time entering and copying data and more time working on the core of the business. Now doesn’t that sound like a better way to go?
I have seen so many companies not prioritizing technology. I have watched owners, presidents, and executives all go their own ways with technology systems that are not encapsulated by an IT strategy. When looking at a business, I envision what could be for that organization if they would just have the right IT strategy, make it a priority, and listen to someone who can show them how it can benefit the business.
Need IT Strategy Consulting?
Does this lack of IT planning sound familiar to you? It’s not too late to implement an IT strategy. A partner like TKG can help design, create, and implement an IT strategy that aligns with your business plan. Our IT Services team does what we do because we believe we can truly help companies take a step forward in both their technology and their business’s success.
We can help you provide your employees and customers with a better user experience while helping your company become more efficient, accurate, and secure. Curious as to what this would look like? Reach out to us today to learn more.