It is now to create a IT strategy model. Knowledge from parts 1-3 will be combined in order to look at the elements the a winning strategy will be made of.
Goals to Aim For
Every strategy needs concrete, achievable goals, in order to measure success. A goal should not be something vague such as “be the best technology company we can be”, but rather something tangible and obtainable such as “lower technology costs by 15%, well increasing productivity of those using technology by 10%”. The following are several rough goals an IT Strategy could flesh out and aim for.
All three of those goals should be present in some manor in any IT Strategy. Ensure to add to them so that they are specific and relevant to a specific IT company or project. A goal should always be obtainable and in the forefront of the thinking of both management and employees. Ensure that each goal is a smart goal (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, timely (have a deadline)). By achieving goals a sense a progress is created which bolsters moral and increase productivity.
Keep it Simple
When creating the goals talked about in the previous section it is vital to keep the strategy and goal simple. Everyone must be able to understand what needs to happen and what role they play. The strategy should be simple enough that can always be understood immediately and stay fresh in the minds of employees. Keep the number of goals being pursued to a minimum, and focus on completing tasks only a few at a time versus dozens at a time.
Strategize with Flexibility in Mind
A strategy should not feel rigid or limiting when obstacles are reached. It must be designed to be flexible in order to meet the challenges that will inevitably appear. When an obstacle appears that was not intended for in the strategy such as changes in the external environment, changes in management, or a new competitor entering the scene, it is important to realize the changing the strategy is completely alright and even necessary. Just remember to keep the end goal of the strategy in mind, and ensure any changes are made in the spirit of the end goal.
Factor the Human Element into Strategy
It is all too common when creating strategy to design something that does not take the wants and considerations of the people it effects into place. Consider the wants and needs of employees when deciding what sort of technology you will place in their hands. Equip them to not only increase productivity and decrease cost, but also be happy. If it all possible, choose devices and services that employee’s find intuitive and pleasant to use. Just as moral is important when creating military strategy, so too is it in IT strategy.
This step is for when the strategy has been finalized. Do not step back and admire the strategy that has been created and hope it is one day relevant. A well designed strategy is relevant immediately and should be deployed to all departments immediately. Management and employees must both be informed and engaged on what element of the strategy they are part of. Make the strategy something that is part of every day, not something that is only for board meetings.
Every strategy for every IT department will be different. Some will take the rapid approach of upgrading fast and often in order to keep competitors guessing. Others will take the slow methodical approach of choosing technology that is supported and refined for years. Every sector and every business has different technical needs, and as such every strategy will be different.
Ensure that all strategy is done with simplicity, flexibility, care, and finally energy. Follow through immediately on technical strategy, rather than waiting for the opportunity for follow through to present itself. It is by this that businesses can thrive and grow and gain advantage over competitors.
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