If you started a long car journey without knowing where you were going, whether your car ran on petrol or diesel and with no directions, you would almost certainly end up getting lost, running out of fuel and stuck in the middle of nowhere.
It’s the same when it comes to using an ICT system to support your business’ activities. For a successful growth journey, you need to identify your long terms plans and the specific requirements which should be considered along the way.
Developing an ICT strategy is important for businesses of any size. It provides a structured approach which takes you from your current position to where you want to be, whilst controlling costs, managing change and improving effectiveness.
By starting with a framework, you can make informed decisions about the technology you need and use to support your objectives. By keeping an eye on your future plans, you can also make sure your ICT systems can grow and adapt with your business.
What benefits could you expect from an effective and well thought out ICT strategy?
Solid framework – Your ICT strategy will help to establish key standards within your business such as the operating systems to be used or the security and disaster recovery policies that are in place. This gives staff a key point of reference to adhere to.
Improve processes – Aligning the ICT you use with your business’ requirements means you can choose and invest in the technology that will really support your business, rather than hoping for the best.
Successful integration – Understanding the technology you have and how you’re using it will remove the issue of ‘islands of information’ where specific applications can’t ‘speak’ to each other. You can make sure you choose tools which collaborate, making your life much easier!
Better investment decisions – Referring to a strategy means you will understand what your business needs and how these systems will work together. Armed with this information, you can make sure investment in your ICT infrastructure is more likely to be positive. You can make better decisions and avoid procuring technology that might meet short term needs, but not fit into your long term plans.
Increase efficiency – Developing integrated business systems as a result of your ICT strategy can help streamline your processes and boost staff productivity by removing wasted time from duplicating or transferring information manually.
In today’s fast changing digital marketplace, it’s important, however, that your business strategies are flexible, giving you scope to change direction and take new opportunities that suit your business needs as they come around.
It’s essential that you build this flexibility into your ICT strategy so that you can seamlessly support regular change to your business as it grows.