The main purpose of an IT strategy is to support your many business needs and enable you to be as efficient as possible. That’s why it’s important to make sure your organization’s IT strategy is firmly rooted in your overall business strategy.
At MGA, we know that strategic planning practices tend to develop gradually, but as you take the time to carefully assess and plan, keep in mind that technology continues to evolve at a breakneck pace, creating challenges for many businesses and requiring them to keep their IT strategies up-to-date.
With today’s seemingly endless technological advances and business disruptions, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when evaluating your business’s IT needs. You don’t want to overspend on new platforms with a menu of attractive features you’ll never use, but nor do you want to get left behind as your competitors jump on the newest ways to operate more efficiently. To keep up—better yet, come out ahead—you need to regularly reassess your IT operations, ask the right questions, and arrive at the best solutions.
4 key questions to ask yourself to improve your IT strategy
- Are we stuck in outdated technology and paper files?
With today’s array of modern software, you can reduce, or perhaps even eliminate, many repetitive and time-consuming tasks. Take QuickBooks Online, for example. By upgrading to the advanced, cloud-based version of QuickBooks, you can automatically download transactions and receipts, completely eliminating the need to manually key in entries and ultimately improving the accuracy and timeliness of your accounting.
Processes based on paper files are due for an upgrade as well. By sharing hard copies and handwritten notes, you run the risk of key items getting misfiled, lost, ruined, or even destroyed. There are many tech tools out there that allow you to store and share documents electronically which can ultimately speed distribution, enable real-time collaboration, and allow you to track communications effortlessly.
- How do we manage communication between departments?
Most organizations today use numerous programs to operate at maximum efficiency. However, if these applications can’t “talk” to each other, your business operations may quickly fall behind. When different employees, teams, and departments keep vital data and files to themselves, this slows down communication and workflow.
Therefore, it’s really important to assess your current situation to see if this is occurring in your organization and if so, determine the best way to integrate your primary systems. If your existing applications are unable to integrate with each other efficiently, it may be time to regroup and look elsewhere for solutions that fit your needs.
- Do we have mandatory training programs?
To ensure that all of your team members are taking full advantage of your company’s available tech tools, mandatory training programs and continuous refresher courses are a must. Training current employees who are promoted and take on new tasks, as well as those who are comfortable where they’re at, is just as important as training new hires. Perhaps you could have a couple of seasoned employees take on the task of presenting the training programs. Or if you don’t have the time and resources to host them in-house, many vendors offer this type of training as a resource for you and your team.
- Is our security policy reliable?
A strong security policy is an essential part of a successful IT strategic plan. Not only does it help protect your client’s sensitive data, but it is also the first line of defense against viruses, hackers, and other threats. How often are your passwords changed? Do you regularly remove inactive users from all platforms? Are you providing continuous security training for all team members? These are crucial things to think about as you evaluate your organization’s IT needs.
Your first steps to a better IT strategy
The questions above are meant to get you thinking in the right direction about where your business truly lies on the spectrum of IT strategy and where it needs improvement. By implementing the best possible IT strategy customized for your organization, you will have better control of your expenses and workflow processes, ultimately making your team more efficient and accurate.
Our team at MGA is here to help you take the first steps in planning and implementing your strategic plan.