There are very few wrong answers when building an IT strategy for the future, but with so many right ones, it can be paralysing. Here our Director of End User Sales, Terry Storrar, shares his views on how to approach the often-overlooked task of IT planning.
Set clear goals and objectives
The key thing to consider when setting out your annual IT spending plan is to focus on the end goal and what it is you are trying to achieve. Technology changes as do business needs and any plans can be adapted as you go, but it is important that the whole business buys into and acknowledges these changes and the effects it has on the original plan. IT is a facilitator which helps businesses to achieve their business goals, however it shouldn’t be the determining factor and should never hold it back from achieving those goals. Understanding and articulating the objectives and milestones is key to understanding what success looks like and to maintaining momentum.
Assess team skillsets
When devising your IT plan, you need to look closely at the capabilities you have within your team to deliver the plan and to factor in any outside assistance that you may require. It is key to include any 3rd parties in your initial workshops, as this will help maintain clear thoughts and ownership over all deliverables and that everyone understands the end goal and what needs to be achieved.
Before you plan your annual IT budget you need to listen and watch what’s going on in the IT environment as new technologies are evolving daily. Cloud technologies for certain workloads, business continuity that utilises pay as you use models, consumption-based infrastructure, are just some of the ways that budget planners can make sure that they are getting the most from their budgets. It is safe to say that doing things the way you have always done them without exploring and calculating the best delivery model will almost certainly leave you doing less than is possible and falling behind your competitors.
Make sure you know your variables and ensure these are clearly defined in your plan. Nobody likes surprises when it comes to spend, so try to fix your costs for the deliverable you are trying to achieve. If the business focus changes then that is invariably going to incur changes to your IT and budget, but if status quo remains then you should be expected to deliver your plan to the budget that you set.
When done right, an effective IT plan and strategy can be a powerful tool to drive growth and efficiency in your business, supporting your goals and your staff directly.
To find out how we can help you with your IT needs why not talk to one of our experts on 01628 810977 or contact us here