Computers today occupy a place of choice in the daily life of modern companies. Faced with the rise of digital technology, companies must put in place an effective IT strategy to gain in competitiveness. The vertiginous evolution of information technologies does not, however, make their task any easier. To comply with current digital requirements, each company is therefore required to adopt a well-thought-out strategic policy. How is an IT strategy defined? What should be done to successfully implement it?
Understanding of IT strategy
The IT strategy brings together all the means and methods used to help a company in its business processes through IT. It allows organizations to respond to the specific challenges of their industry or sector. The IT strategy refers to an operational plan put in place for this purpose. This aims to support the company in the definition of its objectives, taking into account the initiatives taken.
An IT strategy has several areas of work. These are defined according to the objectives set by the company. All aspects of the company’s IT infrastructure should be considered when developing the strategic plan. Concretely, the IT strategy concerns:
- business processes of the company,
- the different software installed,
- web apps,
- the jobs available within the company…
The implementation of an IT strategy facilitates governance within the company. This promotes operational decision-making and ensures the maintenance of the organization’s key performance. You will thus be able to prevent security breaches in your information systems, which gives you a competitive advantage. To achieve such ends, you still need to do careful work. It is necessary to improve the customer experience, to create work flows (workflows), to reduce costs while opting for the appropriate automation tools.
How to implement an effective IT strategy?
The IT strategy to be implemented must align with your company’s business objectives in order to help you create value. To succeed in this operation, you must develop a precise IT master plan for your company. You must analyze your information systems, define objectives, and above all opt for concrete actions.
Analysis of the IT environment
The IT environment designates all the system software and hardware necessary for the development of your IT policy. The implementation of your IT strategy must go through the analysis of the IT environment (internal and external) of the company. Some factors must be taken into account for this purpose:
- the needs of users (CIO, consultants, project manager, etc.),
- technological trends,
- market competition,
- business goals…
Taking these elements into account allows you to develop an operational IT plan adapted to your needs.
Establishment of IT strategy objectives
The plan to be developed must respond to the business strategy of your company. This is why it is necessary to define precise objectives. This can be, for example, the improvement of processes, the optimization of costs, data security or even the innovation of your services. These objectives must however be SMART, that is to say specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. If these conditions are not met, you will have difficulty implementing an effective IT strategy.
Definition of concrete initiatives and actions
The implementation of an IT strategy is part of the digital transformation of your company. Initiatives and actions to be carried out must take into account current digital requirements. Migration to the cloud is proving to be an interesting option, for example. You can also implement an integrated management system.
Do not forget above all to invest in the training of your teams (employees and collaborators). In addition, to better manage the decision-making aspect of your company’s IT department, it is possible to set up a board of directors. The IT department can possibly replace the latter.
IT strategy management and monitoring
Once the IT strategy has been developed, do not rest on your laurels. You must do everything possible to manage it. Then adopt governance and monitoring mechanisms that will allow you to keep the IT strategy on track.
It should be based on performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the effectiveness of the project. Depending on the results obtained, you will know if your objectives have been achieved or not. This will give you the opportunity to consider a possible optimization of the IT strategy.
Companies are required to develop an operational and adapted IT strategy. This approach aims to help them achieve their business objectives without spending a fortune. The implementation of an IT strategy, however, requires good organization and consideration of their needs, which are essential in the digital age.