IT Strategy — why, what and how

Piotr Jurowiec
6 min readJan 31

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Introduction

IT strategies are sometimes known as technology strategies or IT strategic plans. An IT strategy is a formal plan that details how a company will use and invest in information technology. This strategy should serve as a foundation upon which the company can build and a compass for its long-term goals. In order to be effective, an IT strategy must take into account not just the financial and human resources involved in technology administration but also the hardware and software, vendor, and risk management aspects of the business. Companies generally generate a report or strategy map utilizing a balanced scorecard to formalize their IT strategy. IT plans should include agile development as well. Major changes in the business environment, like the 2020 pandemic, stimulate firms to revise their IT plans.

Why IT Strategy Is Important For An Organization

Technology is important in modern businesses because it can help with sales, customer service, employee engagement, productivity, and partnerships with vendors and other partners. Businesses require an IT strategy to attain their goals and remain competitive in today’s market. A well-planned strategy can assist you in dealing with both expected and unexpected challenges. Most organizations nowadays require an IT strategy to keep their business running and hazards under control. Your obligation as the firm’s leader is to ensure that your plan is completely understood and implemented for your company to remain competitive in today’s ever-changing industry.

How IT Strategy Should Be Aligned With Company Strategy

When designing a plan for your company, it is critical to evaluate and incorporate IT requirements. In this part of your IT strategy document, describe your company’s long-term goals. Next, describe how you want to achieve your objectives with the help of technology. If you were creating an IT strategy for a video streaming business, you could discuss how your plan will assist them in meeting their streaming, content creation, and membership goals. Suppose you were developing a plan for an automaker. In that case, you could describe how IT could help them enhance manufacturing efficiency, usher in the future of self-driving cars, or increase sales.

What importance is your company’s capability to create value by applying technology and its IT business assets?

The four main components that define the organization’s IT capability:

1. IT Strategy

Define the IT strategy for the organization. Plan how you will use IT to achieve organizational objectives and develop values.

2. IT Process

Describe your firm’s inventive problem-solving, efficient management, and tight oversight processes. IT processes include service management, delivery, and other related duties.

3. IT Organization

Define and discuss how your organization cultivates its business ties, staff, expertise, and policy structure.

4. IT Infrastructure

Incorporates all components required to increase IT capabilities, including architecture, hardware, and software.

What Are The Elements Of IT Strategy

Developing and implementing a strategic IT plan with priorities that are aligned with business goals is essential. The 14 core elements of an IT strategy are critical in supporting businesses in achieving their objectives.

1. Define a Vision

Vision is the most crucial aspect of information technology. Executives in charge of technology at a firm must have a long-term strategy detailing where they are now, where they want to be in information technology, and how they intend to get there.

2. Build an IT Strategy Roadmap

Following the creation of the vision, the following step is to create a specific strategy guided by your thinking. The IT roadmap will outline the organization’s strategy for maximizing IT’s value, staying current on trends, gaining a competitive advantage, and improving the customer experience.

3. Maintain Complete Awareness

To ensure the success of an IT strategy and possible implications for the firms. A tech-driven mindset and expertise with the most recent innovations in the area can do wonders for the productivity of the IT department.

4. Business Alignment

It is impossible to adopt an IT strategy that does not consider the demands of the entire organization. Because IT touches every aspect of a business, IT and business objectives must align so that the IT staff understands what the business is attempting to do and can work to achieve it.

5. Instill Guiding Principles

The IT division is built on core beliefs and concepts like any other organization. The IT strategy must outline the constant, unique, and unchangeable concepts that serve as the foundation of the IT infrastructure.

6. Financial Evaluation

Organizations that establish a financial assessment of IT systems and processes based on past investments and future estimates can significantly impact their firm’s performance.

7. Understand Your Competitive Advantage

An IT strategy should highlight the organization’s competitive advantages in a highly competitive market. This may motivate organizations to invest more time, money, and effort into strengthening their competitive position to maintain their advantage.

8. Map Out Short-Term Objectives

While developing an IT strategy, it is critical to have short-term goals in place. The IT strategy should clearly state what the organization intends to accomplish shortly. To attain these goals, it may be essential, among other things, to assess the current state of IT, identify inefficient systems and procedures, tighten access control measures, and retrain current workers.

9. Set Long-Term Goals

When designing an IT strategy, long-term goals are just as crucial as short-term ones. Every company must have a clear image of its IT goals, ideally over several years. Among these goals are retiring obsolete systems, updating the website, relocating apps, implementing artificial intelligence, and implementing cutting-edge IT security measures.

10. Keep Strong People Around You

The success of an IT strategy is entirely dependent on the competency of those charged with putting it into effect. To guarantee that any IT strategy is effective, personnel from each department must prepare a list of their IT requirements and ensure that the overall plan covers those needs. Companies could achieve their IT objectives with their assistance.

11. Continuous Assessment

The IT landscape is always changing; an ongoing evaluation must be incorporated into the entire strategy. This enables organizations to assess their current status and identify what changes are required to achieve strict adherence to the strategy.

12. Governance is Key

Governance is as important to the success of an IT strategy as security. The most significant constraints on an organization’s IT strategy can be found in its governance, which ranges from decision control to business-process integration. Businesses can take the appropriate activities or handle the issues associated with adopting new technology through excellent governance.

13. Capability Development

Firms should seek to maintain and develop their IT personnel and focus on accomplishing IT goals. Developing advanced data strategies, introducing cutting-edge business platforms, encouraging experimentation, and collaborating with vendor and technology ecosystems will yield the best results. They also include actions such as recruiting and training new personnel.

14. Infrastructure

Finally, IT projects’ success depends on the IT infrastructure itself. The infrastructure is how IT keeps its promises and assists the business in meeting its objectives on schedule and within budget. The infrastructure component includes all the equipment, software, programs, systems, and networks (which connect everything) the business requires to run properly.

Achieve Results Through IT Strategy Formulation

A strong IT strategy currently includes more than just a list of technologies to install; it also includes a variety of tasks that must be completed to get the most from IT. Executives must deviate from traditional IT techniques in order to give enough support for the IT-driven projects that drive modern enterprises. Administrators should create adaptable strategies, often updated and based on business requirements. Businesses must guarantee that IT strategy planning is thoroughly established in the entire business strategy to maximize IT is potential and turn it into a source of revenue.

Conclusion

The importance of information technology in modern organizations has gone much beyond that of a traditional administrative support function. In this age of digital transformation, IT plays a far substantial role in both the creation and execution of business strategy. Companies must discard old approaches to IT planning in light of the faster speed at which business and technology are evolving. If you do not adapt, your outdated ways will quickly become apparent. So, developing and implementing a comprehensive IT plan with priorities aligned with business goals is essential.

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Piotr Jurowiec

Business adviser and senior manager fascinated by how new technologies, like blockchain and AI, revolutionize the economy and create new business models.