As a leading remote IT support partner, we often raise the subject of IT strategy with clients who run small to medium-sized businesses, and we equally as often see their eyes glaze over. They believe they already have too many important things to worry about to enable their business just to survive, let alone thrive, in today’s uncertain economic climate. BUT we’d argue that in our post-Coronavirus ‘new normal,’ a clear, comprehensive and effective IT strategy as well as having the right technology in place are no longer ‘nice to haves.’ Both are now essential to the success of your enterprise as more and more of us work from home. So in this article, we’re going to clearly set out why an IT strategy is crucial to your future success.
Turning your vision into reality – why an IT strategy is crucial to your future success
The old business cliché goes that falling to plan is planning to fail. And an IT strategy is just like any other plan for your enterprise – if you don’t know where you’re going, how are you ever going to know if you’ve arrived or how you fared getting there? So, as the UK’s business community goes through unprecedented change, now is the time to better understand why an IT strategy is crucial to your future success and how you go about devising one. Read on to discover:
- Our definition of an IT strategy.
- Creating an IT strategy that fits your business.
- How to check the effectiveness of your current IT strategy.
- How to improve your IT strategy.
- An IT strategy can drive your digital transformation.
Our definition of an IT strategy
Like much strategic planning, working on an IT strategy is all about stepping back from your day-to-day operations and asking where your business is headed, what its priorities should be, what its goal are and what part IT plays in helping you and your colleagues achieve them.
However, an IT strategy isn’t just a dusty and dull document that outlines how technology and IT infrastructure will drive your business’s goals, operations and processes. Rather it’s about establishing a vision for your IT and a plan for how that will be used to create value for your team, your company and, most importantly, your customers, so that IT empowers you to deliver competitive advantage.
Your IT strategy might typically include:
- Your vision for the business and the technologies that can help you turn that into reality.
- A roadmap outlining what technologies are needed by when to support and deliver your business goals.
- Awareness of the potential impact of the technologies you name (and any possible new innovations) you’ll want or need to implement.
- Short, medium and long term deliverables and their impact on your goals.
- Estimated costs, budgets, timelines and implementation project durations.
- A clear understanding and explanation of how the technologies work and what they will do to help you achieve your business goals (this is particularly helpful for non-technological senior management team and staff members).
Once you’ve developed your IT strategy you should treat it like a living, breathing resource that needs regularly reviewing and adapting in the wake of your evolving business needs and advancing technological capabilities.
Creating an IT strategy that fits your business
There should be no demarcation line between your IT and the rest of your team and business. Instead, your IT strategy should be a fully integrated part of your overall business model, strategy, vision and plan. Your IT team – whether in-house or a managed remote IT support partner – are no longer just trouble-shooters and reactive problem-solvers.
Today technology underpins every aspect of your business operations and success and your IT infrastructure is crucial in protecting your company from cybercriminals, as well as opening up valuable opportunities; your IT strategy should reflect that truth.
How to check the effectiveness of your current IT strategy
Here are half a dozen sure signs that your IT strategy – if you have one – is ineffective and badly needs to be reviewed and refined:
You only call on your in-house or remote IT support partner when you need them (usually because something needs to be installed or fixed) and rarely meet them to discuss and review how technology could improve your business’s performance, operations and processes and deliver its goals.
Performance in this context has two threads – your people and your technology. Look out for two clues here. Your people are still completing tasks that could easily be automated and/or aren’t content with the tools they have to work with. And also your technology is either out-dated and/or isn’t being fully utilised.
The other tell-tale factor to look out for under this heading is reoccurring IT problems disrupting the productivity of your people and your business.
You don’t know where – or even if – your data is backed up and stored, and are not certain you could safely and confidently recover it if you had to.
Cybersecurity is mission critical for businesses of every size these days. A small to medium-sized business is no longer a safe business. According to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report, 43% of all cybercrime victims were small businesses.
So if you’re not confident in your business’s cybersecurity defences, strategy or staff awareness and training in the subject and its risks, you need get confident as soon as possible.
You haven’t developed a comprehensive IT strategy in place; don’t have a vision for how digital technology can enhance your business, operations and competitive edge, are not sure of the best way to utilise the latest tools to create organisational value and wouldn’t know who to discuss such topics with for expert, independent and objective advice. If you’re this is you, it’s definitely time to find a best-fit managed IT support provider (MSP).
Your team has been unable to function efficiently during the Covid-19 pandemic and your technology has hindered your people in working from home.
Let us give you an example of what your IT and your IT strategy should have allowed you to do. As the Covid-19 crisis turned into lockdown, we – working with our sister company, totality services – took more than 120 clients, including thousands of users, to fully remote home working within days of it starting. We’ve continued to keep those clients productive, safe and secure. No fuss, no drama, no hiccups. Just service excellence and peace of mind delivered as standard.
How to improve your IT strategy
The fastest, easiest and most cost effective route to developing an effective and affordable IT strategy is to seek out a remote IT support partner you can build trust, understanding and a rapport with. However, in light of today’s ‘new normal,’ do find an IT support partner that specialises in work from home IT support.
Such a partner will not only work hard to understand your business, objectives, requirements and the sector you operate in, they should be able to suggest ways that your IT infrastructure and processes can be adapted and updated to facilitate success and deliver your business goals.
When choosing your remote IT support partner, look for evidence of them being independent (so they recommend the tools you need, not those they earn most commission on!), proactive, responsive and customer service focused. Check out their social proof for objective evidence of their capability via whatever genuine customer reviews and comments they’ve garnered.
Choose your IT support partner carefully. As we said earlier because more of us a working remotely, choose one with an established work from home IT support capability. Pick the right partner and you’ll really benefit from the peace of mind they deliver, confident in the knowledge that your new IT strategy will help transform your business while keeping your technology, data, IP, confidential customer information, compliance with the latest legislation and hard-earned reputation safe with the right cybersecurity tools.
An IT strategy can drive your digital transformation
Digital transformation is a phrase you’ve probably heard many times. But it’s more than simply buying the latest kit. It refers to the implementation of technology to automate processes to improve your operations, culture, productivity and customer experience, ultimately adding significant value to the business.
What’s more, digital transformation is directly linked to your IT strategy.
Many organisations have already undertaken digital transformations, from industry giants like Microsoft and Nike to more compact, more agile small to medium-sized businesses in London and beyond. Experts believe that every successful business will need to consider digital transformation to stay ahead of the competition and drive their business forward.
However, the digital technology marketplace is complex and confusing with a bewildering array of choices – mistakes are expensive, and budget and time consuming to put right.
A highly experienced, expert, reliable, supportive and trustworthy managed IT support provider can help you navigate this minefield successfully, starting with your IT strategy. They will assess and analyse your business and any issues within your operation, suggest insightful and value-adding technological solutions, enhance your own ideas and ultimately transform your business.
Turn to London’s go to remote IT support partner help
The professional technology team here at WFH IT Support (short for Work From Home IT Support) was set up to provide innovative and remote IT support, services and solutions specifically for businesses that have people who work at home or remotely using Cloud-based solutions, such as Microsoft 365 or Google Google Workspace. WFH IT support can help you wherever you are in the UK.
We work in concert with the technology experts of sister company, totality services, and our clients, right from IT strategy upwards. We are proud to say we’re part of an business that has earned two consecutive Feefo Gold Trusted Service Awards, Five Star ratings from both Trustpilot and Google, a 98% client retention rate and certification to the renowned Cyber Essentials and ISO 27001 standards.
Why not give us a call for a confidential, no obligation chat about your IT strategy?