Many companies are not really concerned with an IT-strategy. That’s strange. They appear to have a lack of knowledge on IT and its necessity. A recent study by MyCademy shows that 29% of Dutch companies won’t exist anymore within three years if they don’t invest in IT. The reality is, though, that in many cases a non-IT person is responsible for the company’s IT-strategy.
So how can you, as a non-IT person, build a successful IT strategy?
These tips below will help you. It will give you the necessary tools to build up a successful IT strategy for your company.
Are you not an IT person, but you are responsible for the IT strategy of your department or company? Don’t worry. The right online information will help you on your way.
Tip 1 IT strategy: set goals
The trick is to write down the company’s goals and to align the IT goals with the company’s goals. IT does not stand on its own, but is part of a larger unit, the company.
Or in other words: How can IT contribute to the company’s goals?
Construct a plan in which you write down both the company’s goals and the IT contributions to achieve these goals. Try to construct measurable goals for the IT department, to actually have expectations and ways to measure results.
When you finished this, you’re able to map the steps you need to take to achieve these goals.
Tip 2 IT strategy: Define the process
An important characteristic of IT is that your co-workers use IT to work efficiently, easy and quickly. However, what does this actually mean within your company?
- What do your co-workers expect from efficient, easy and quick work processes?
- What do they need?
- How can their work processes be improved?
- How can their productivity be improved?
Tip: Walk around the company and ask your co-workers directly what they expect from IT and how the IT processes can be improved to make them more productive.
Take the resulting list back to IT and design the work space that focusses on these points and tips.
Go sit down with your IT team and produce the best possible workspace that meets the requirements, wishes and necessities of the co-workers. An IT strategy provides the right solutions and a well functioning, safe and efficient work environment. More then ever, these are essential characteristics in company’s. Think about online efficiency, using the right tools to improve communications between workers and with clients and using technical solutions to have better results. This is all related to IT.
Tip 3 IT strategy: Include IT in company plans
IT and the company’s management can actually complement each other. Did you realize that? They should be working closely together. However, IT is often not included in business plans at all. Somewhere along the way an IT strategy is included in the company’s strategy.
Often, IT is not recognised by management for its full potential. It is more often seen as a burden. Only when IT and management work together from the start, both can complement each other. So yes, management can profit from IT solutions. And so yes, the company overall can grow much faster when using IT in its own advantage.
So the trick is to involve IT into the company’s strategy, plans, problems and solutions. In our age, IT can give solutions and propose improvements.
Tip 4 IT strategy: What does IT need to do?
Ok, as a non-IT-er it might be difficult to keep up your game and to see the opportunities of IT within the company’s strategy. Avoid having to guess or make assumptions. Ask a specialized IT professional for his/her point of view.
Ask about the most recent developments in software, hardware of devices that answer problems or opportunities within your company.
- What are the advantages?
- To what extent does it contribute to the company’s goals?
- Does it comply with legislation and regulation?
- It solves problems noted by your co-workers?
- Does it fit within the company’s business strategy?
A lot of questions. Point is: if you don’t know it, someone else will be able to help you with it. You can’t have all the knowledge in the world. Asking others to share their knowledge is actually pretty smart.
Tip 5 IT strategy: The future of IT
Technology and IT are constantly evolving. We all know that. Constantly new devices, software and solutions are introduced. As a non-IT IT manager: how do you keep up with all these developments?
Be on top of your game. Don’t sit back thinking you have it under control. Today’s solution is obsolete by tomorrow. The goal of the IT department is not to spend all day solving problems of your co-workers. It is to improve productivity by always applying the newest IT solutions to the company’s business processes. So stay up to date, stay informed, read and visit IT events.
So don’t focus on today’s IT in your IT strategy, but rather on future IT solutions. What IT solutions might be introduced in a year, or 2 years, or 5 years? That’s something you can work towards.
Remember tip 4: If you don’t know the future of IT within your company, then ask others who can help you with it. The worst thing you can do, is staying behind. This means: if others are already using IT solutions, you shouldn’t copy them but rather apply the newest, most recent solution. Never stay behind, because technology, software and IT are always evolving. And this goes in a deadly pace.
Tip 6 IT strategy: Roundtable discussion
IT is not the boring department in the company. Stay on top of your game, also within the company. Ask you co-working, include them in the IT strategy. But also take part in roundtable discussion and events outside the office. So in fact you need to be the social IT person you never expected to be.
Good luck, enjoy!