Does Your Business Lack An IT Strategy?

You Need One – It’s The Framework For Your Success Through Technology

With the growing importance technology plays, it’s essential that every organization develop an IT Strategy that provides a clear strategic direction for the use of technology. Think of it as your IT roadmap for the next year or two. It should be designed to closely link with your business plan.

Why Do You Need An IT Strategy?

A proper IT Strategy will enhance your productivity, efficiency, security, business continuity, and communication capabilities. IT strategic planning is a powerful tool that will help you realize your goals and achieve your desired outcomes.

What Should You Focus On?

IT strategic planning must be in sync with your strategic business planning. Your Plan should focus on the next 12 to 18 months. You can design a less granular plan for the future as well, but no more than 3 to 5 years out because technology evolves rapidly.

The Planning Process

The process of developing your strategy will reveal where you should make investments in technology to achieve success. It compares your existing IT architecture and processes to what is required to realize your goals.

Can You Do This Alone?

There is much your organization can gain from creating a well-thought-out IT Strategy. Consider contacting IT security professionals like those at Outsource IT Solutions Group to ensure you’ve included everything you should.

What Technology Components Should You Consider In Your Strategic IT Plan?

Budgeting For Technology

This is a cost-control process that defines and implements what your organization requires in the way of IT service, support, and equipment. The goal is to ensure you include what you need while avoiding unnecessary expenses.

Optimization and Consolidation

Consolidation and optimization of technology lead to reduced IT costs, increased appreciation in the value of your technology assets, and greater efficiencies and productivity of both your employees and processes.

IT Security

With cyber attacks and other threats increasing in the workplace, it’s never been more critical to protect your data and IT assets. Consider the following components of an IT Security Plan. IT Security encompasses all types of security within a network, including data and databases, cloud servers and applications, network devices, and even your users.

Ask your provider to clarify what these are and if you should include them or other solutions in your IT Security Plan.

  • Vulnerability Audits
  • Penetration Testing
  • Automated Patch Management and Upgrades
  • Managed Anti-Virus
  • Managed Anti-Spam
  • Web Filtering Services
  • Wi-Fi Security
  • Security Awareness Training for your staff

Compliance Services

This is an option if you need help meeting FINRA, HIPAA, PCI or other regulatory standards.

Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity

You must be able to quickly and easily recover your data after a manmade or natural disaster. Are you backing up your data both onsite and offsite to a secure enterprise cloud-based solutions?  This is important so you can recover your data anywhere you have an internet connection.

Virtualization of Servers, Desktops, Storage, Applications

Virtualization allows you to create a mirror-image of your entire IT infrastructure or just specific aspects of it. It not only simplifies technology to promote efficiencies and reduce your computing costs, but it also enhances business continuity.  After a disaster, you can spin up your entire IT infrastructure, data, applications and all.

Remote Monitoring and Maintenance (RMM)

With RMM, your network and computers are monitored remotely for reliability and security. It provides a view of your system to detect risks, irregularities, and block cyber-attacks. It identifies problems and reports them back to your IT provider so they can fix them remotely.

Cloud Computing

With cloud computing, IT resources can be accessed on demand and paid for as an operating expense. The right cloud solutions provide easy access to IT resources, applications, and services via a subscription-like model.

  • Software-as-a-Service delivers a single application to multiple users.
  • Hardware-as-a-Service provides up-to-date hardware without the upfront capital expense.
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service provides virtualized computing resources with email, web servers, and other critical applications.
  • Platform-as-a-Service lets you develop, run, and manage applications without building and maintaining an infrastructure.

Mobile Device Management (MDM)

MDM can remotely locate and lock a lost or stolen mobile device. It uses encryption to protect your data, along with secure passcode policies. You must be able to delete your business data from your employees’ mobile devices if necessary and monitor your mobile data 24/7.

Voice Communications

The right business phones are vital to your organization’s success. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) capabilities will enhance both your internal and external communications, and promote business continuity. You can also integrate all of your communication tools – desktop phones, mobile phones, and computers – into one efficient solution.

Legacy Application Modernization/Renovation

If you use legacy applications, you will ultimately need to refactor, re-purpose, or consolidate them. When you do this, it’s important to consider your IT strategic plan and align the process according to your business plan. Doing this will save money by avoiding the need to replace expensive software.

File Sharing Services (FSS)

Through secure file sharing services, your employees can collaborate more effectively on projects. They can access, share and edit files in real time. If you opt for this, you need a secure enterprise-based FSS with privacy features.

Don’t Forget To Measure Your Success Along The Way

Set up mile markers for progress when developing your IT Strategic Plan. It’s essential that you use an outcome-based measurement system with key performance indicators  (KPIs) that align with the goals in your business plan.  KPIs should be assessed on a monthly basis. This will help you stay on track. Don’t worry if you need course corrections along the way.

Your IT Strategy Is The Framework For Your Success Through Technology

An IT Strategy outlines your business goals and how to attain them through technology. If designed correctly, they can help you improve efficiencies, productivity, security, compliance, mobility, and communications.

To design an effective IT Strategy, it’s essential to keep up-to-date with news in technology. We can help. Visit our Blog for the latest updates.  Here are a few articles to get you started:

Is Paying For Antivirus Software Worth It?

What Does It Mean To Go To The Cloud?

5 Mobile Threats You Should Shut Down In 2018

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