The Christmas trees are up (some even earlier than usual), the festive tunes are playing on the radio and it’s now socially acceptable to eat a mince pie for breakfast (it’s true, we double checked!) So, the final month of the year is upon us… and what a year it’s been!
So, whilst we ramp up on the calorific food intake, it’s also a time to get ahead on your 2021 planning, and more specifically, your IT strategy for the year ahead.
Whether you’ve outgrown your initial growth strategy OR this is the first time you’re tackling it, we’ve got all the info you need for a year of IT based success…
- Outline your business goals – it’s incredibly important to consider how your IT infrastructure will accommodate your overall business plans for 2021. Your IT strategy should support and complement your goals so you’ll need to think about your sales pipeline and sales targets too. How can your infrastructure make achieving those goals realistic? What about any future partnerships you plan on making? Will you make any acquisitions or mergers along the way? How will your infrastructure support this kind of growth? You should also consider action plans for individual departments. Will some departments require additional IT tools or support? Will the whole business benefit from your plan, or will it need adapting for key people or departments?
- Identify your key people – You no doubt already know who they are but are they the same people who are responsible for delivering your IT strategy? Do you have an internal IT dept OR does it make more sense to work with an external IT support partner? If you opt for external, then who is the person who’ll be your main liaison between the two? Once you know who they are, schedule in a chat to find out how they currently use the tech they have and if there are any elements they need to make the job easier for all?
- Review your current IT infrastructure – It’s been a pretty strange year with many teams having to instantly adapt to remote working, a lot of which we’ve covered in our earlier blogs (you can find those here by the way), BUT does your current infrastructure do what you need it to do? As mentioned above, speak to your key people in each department to find out how they’re currently utilising their resources: • What improvements do they feel could be made? • What would make their job easier? • What is making things more difficult than they need to be?
- Hit the IT Road…map – This might sound like the hardest step, but creating a roadmap for your new IT strategy is vital. It’s not as complicated as it sounds BUT this is probably where you could do with some help from a strategic IT partner, such as us (hey!). You’ll need to think about your overall technological architecture, which includes hardware, software, and other tools your people will be relying on. Your IT partner should be able to make the appropriate recommendations to fit your requirements, as well as suggest tools that will all work with each other seamlessly. Section your roadmap into departments, and the differing technologies they’ll require. This will help to give you an overview of how everything will fit together when the time comes for implementation.
- Define the new metrics – last but by no means least, check whether your shiny new IT strategy is cost effective too! Break it all down by department again and double check those KPI’s match up too. If you’re making a big transition in your IT, remember it’s not always a quick fix, so you’ll need to allow for a short period of adjustment in the New Year. Creating and tracking a range of metrics will give you a fantastic insight into how well your new technology infrastructure is working for you. It’ll also allow you to be more proactive in identifying and solving minor issues as they arise. And importantly, before your team is impacted.
Or y’know, we could just take all of that off your hands, ready to get going on Jan 1st.
2020, we could say it’s been… emotional, but we’re ready for you 2021! Give us a bell here
PS: don’t forget we’re your 24/7 365 days a year IT support – we’ll be enjoying our turkey and trimmings, BUT we’re also on hand and right by the phone when you need us over the Christmas break. Merry Christmas all, have a fantastic one!