IT is big business these days, and in many companies around the world, it’s growing into a department the size of HR, as leaders look to get the very best use out of their hardware and software. With so much happening digitally each day, a lot of support is needed too, which is why it’s essential that any business of a reasonable size has a sound IT strategy and associated processes and policies to take them forwards.

Now, an IT strategy doesn’t actually need to be overly complicated – after all, the smaller details will be dealt with day-to-day by managers and support staff – but it does need to give a good overview of the department.

Setting out a framework

At a top-level, the strategy will deal with objectives, as any department would look to do. Business leaders will decide how they want IT to benefit the company, which may include things such as improving end products, improving employee productivity, and better responsibility and security. From then on, the strategy will explain how these objectives are going to be met, and in many cases, an external pair of eyes, such as Landmark Technologies, will lend a hand.

Taking stock

This will include for instance, looking at what the current capabilities of the company are. How many members of IT staff are there? To what level are they trained and what are they capable of? Are the resources there to bring in external help if necessary? All this will help shape the plan of action. When taking stock, you also want to make sure that organisational structure and responsibilities are clearly set out.

Dealing with challenges

Of course, any strategy will also be met with its fair share of challenges, and a good plan will account for these too – looking at both internal and external factors and how these risks can be mitigated and eventually overcome. Finally, a sound IT strategy will include milestones and deliverables. That is to say that while there are initial objectives set, there are stages in between that need to be fully documented and covered.

To conclude, an IT strategy is essential for business leaders to work out where they want their company to go in terms of the hardware and software that supports it. Without one, an IT department can become aimless, doing little more than helping people resolve their issues with things like email and basic office applications.

Contributor

This post was submitted by a contributor. Check out our Contributor page for details about how you can share your ideas on starting a business, productivity or life hacks with our audience.