By partnering with an MSP, your business can move confidently into the future
- Choosing the right tech can give you an edge over the competition
- It is important to implement a step-by-step process for your IT planning
- You’re an expert in running a business. Hire an expert at building the tech you need to run it
- You supply the vision, mission, and overall goals; your MSP develops an IT plan that meets them
Confidence! It’s a necessary leadership quality and an inspiration to others. Forging ahead with confidence is what builds nations and your business. Confident leaders are decisive and assertive and are not afraid to make decisions. They also are not afraid to ask for help when they need it.
Technology is quite a double-edged sword. Do it right, and you will have happy, productive employees and delighted customers, a stellar ROI, and a clear path toward meeting goals. Do it wrong, and you have quite a mess: productivity suffers, efficiencies go out the window, and money is spent without providing any results.
IT planning can be extremely challenging. You can’t get anywhere without a plan, especially with IT. But how can you be confident that your planning will bring success? Planning offers many benefits, not having a plan is risky, and your IT plan impacts business success. Lack of confidence? Here’s how to increase your confidence with your IT planning.
Why is strategic IT planning important?
What is an IT strategic plan? It defines your IT vision and offers a strategic roadmap for creating organizational value using IT, digital assets, and technical know-how. It answers the question of what IT changes are needed to align it with goals, support business strategy, and add value.
A well-defined IT strategy plan aligns technology and operations to meet business goals effectively. It sets clear goals that enable organizations to meet objectives, differentiate themselves from competitors, and provide more customer value.
Your plan details the technology-enabled processes that guide operations and serve as a decision-making guide.
While your overall IT strategy focuses on how IT will help your business succeed, the IT strategic plan provides the roadmap to implementation. Your plan should align with your overall business strategy but be agile – flexible enough to accommodate changing business priorities and the technologies that have the best potential to drive business growth.
What happens if you don’t have a strategic IT plan?
If you don’t do strategic IT planning, you will likely invest in the wrong software, hardware, and network services, and your business will either have the wrong or lack the technology needed to support it. Your workforce will be inefficient, innovation will suffer, opportunities will be lost, and your competition will overwhelm you.
IT strategic planning is simply essential for modern business. Choose to plan, and you choose success.
The strategic IT planning process
Strategic planning is where leaders define the mission and the vision for the future and outlines when they should meet goals. The first step is to identify your business goals and objectives outlined in your overall company strategy.
The technology assessment
You don’t want to implement things you don’t need. On the other hand, you want to ensure you have the technology you need for your environment. This takes a holistic view, and to get this, you must:
- Understand your current technology environment: This includes not just your systems but the processes used to connect them. This means examining your tech stack not from a business process point of view but also from the standpoint of data availability and establishing a single source of truth.
- What are your problems? For example,maybe your sales team is having difficulty meeting targets. Perhaps customer retention is down. Could these be part of the same problem? Examine your tech from both ends of the sales/buying experience.
- Gather end-user insight: This means your employees. What are their struggles? How do their issues link to meeting overall business goals?
Now that you’ve completed your technology assessment or discovery stage, you should have the information you need to know where your IT is now and the direction you want it to go.
- What can your existing tech stack do? This means examining technology applications at a granular level to see how it’s being used, misused, or worked around.
- Find gaps: Your technology assessment should show you where your business doesn’t have the technology it needs to achieve objectives. Or, you might have the technology you need, but it is being misused and not to its full potential.
- Lastly, prioritize: By the end of this stage, you should understand all the credible options to fill your gaps and prioritize them as you flesh out the requirements.
Develop and define
What’s your vision? You don’t want to just solve problems with your new or legacy technology. You want technological solutions that will drive your business forward. Make sure business and operations are aligned. There will always be tradeoffs, but you should focus on the overall business problem.
The final step should be to create a final document with a high-level overview, an explanation of what issues you are solving and what it will take to get there, implementation and deployment details, and defining ownership and timeline details.
Remember that your business doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and neither should your IT strategic plan. It should be evaluated regularly and adjusted to meet market conditions or changing business needs.
8 steps for successful strategic IT planning
A step-by-step approach is an honest confidence builder, as you check off each step when IT planning.
- Develop a clear, concise vision and mission statement
- Identify key stakeholders and be sure to involve them in the process
- Ensure your goals are realistic and measurable
- Conduct a thorough technology assessment
- Prioritize your technology investments so they align with business goals and objectives
- Develop a detailed implementation plan
- Assign responsibilities and establish timelines
- Monitor progress and evaluate results
If you remove IT some of these items are typical strategic planning elements for every business, adding to your confidence. However, assessing your tech stack, developing an implementation plan, and prioritizing investments might prove to be challenging. This is where asking for help marks a strong, confident leader.
How an MSP can help with strategic IT planning
A managed service provider (MSP) is Batman to your Commissioner Gordon. A simple phone call brings expert advice and support for your existing and future tech stack. They provide the expertise and guidance you need to select technology, get the most out of the technology you have, and make implementation look easy. An MSP can help your IT planning to meet overall business objectives.
Additionally, with an MSP:
- Can find hidden bottlenecks and gaps that inhibit business growth
- Can lower operational costs by helping avoid IT budgeting mistakes
- Team understands new technology and how it will impact the future of business
- You get access to experts in every possible aspect of IT, including security
- You get proactive, ongoing monitoring and maintenance, 24/7
With the help of an MSP, you’ll stride confidently into tomorrow while gaining a competitive advantage today.
Partnering with the right MSP simplifies IT planning. By engaging with experts, you feel confident that you’re making the right decisions for your business and unequivocally answer how to increase your confidence in your IT planning.
Technology is complicated, and IT planning is far from simple. Endsight is an outsourced technology support solution partner that thinks strategically about business technology and how it helps our clients meet their goals.
Accurately planned strategy implementation is a crucial step in any project, and our process creates optimal IT solutions and technical support for businesses. Endsight’s core values bring not only peace of mind, but an honest partnership, commitment to your long-term success, and unparalleled, dependable service. Reach out today.
Let’s get started! Request your free IT assessment today. Discover how Endsight expertise and strategic IT planning help you regain confidence.