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Do you need to redefine your information technology strategy?  Our friends at Panorama Consulting in a recent post point out several reasons you might, all of which we’ve found to be valid in our 30 years of helping guide client strategies.  They include:

 

  • You haven’t updated your technology in the last decade.
  • Your IT strategy is not aligned with your overall business strategy (a big one!)
  • You haven’t considered all your strategic options — It’s not just about ERP… What about smaller initiatives? What about Internet of Things (IOT), or Business Intelligence (BI) reporting?
  • You don’t have an action plan for replacing your enterprise and software technology.
  • Your IT strategy doesn’t meet your organization’s ROI thresholds (does your IT strategy fit the costs, tolerance of risk and benefit objectives of your firm?)

Following are six good guidelines for developing your strategy that any company should consider.

  1. Define your company’s overall strategy. You need a written document that summarizes the company vision and where you’re headed in terms of growth, product lines and transformation.
  2. Define IT’s role and purpose in your organization. Does your organization view IT as a commodity or as a competitive differentiator that provides unique value to your customers? This will determine whether your IT team will be in-house or out-sourced, and that in turn may answer further questions about where your tech resides and which type of solutions you consider, from on-premise to hosted.
  3. Assess your IT department’s competencies. A sophisticated IT department can handle a sophisticated ERP system. Less sophisticated IT departments may consider simpler, cloud-based solutions.
  4. Consider all your digital transformation options. There is a nearly bewildering array of options available to companies today. You can piece together best-of-breed solutions from multiple providers, or opt for a single-source solution. Aside from technology, you can transform your organization by reengineering your business processes or reimagining your business model.
  5. 5. Develop a long-term strategy. Some organizations rush into a short-term technology decision without considering the long-term impacts. An example is implementing a CRM system without first determining how well it fits into your overall back-end accounting system. Sounds like a small consideration, but in reality, it’s a deal-breaker.  Keep an eye always toward the long-term view.
  6. Consider the non-technical aspects of your digital strategy. Always keep the people and processes first in your thinking, and make sure the IT strategy serves the business strategy – and not the other way around.

Good tips all, all worth heeding.

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