These days, almost every company has to be in the IT business. That’s because technology, and the advantages it brings, makes it an integral part of getting the job done. But is it properly aligned with your company’s requirements?
You know how frustrating it is to watch a video where the dialogue isn’t synchronised with the pictures. For your business, that lack of sync can go beyond frustration and start costing money if infrastructure monitoring is not built into your it infrastructure management. Achieving careful alignment of the IT plan and your business strategy can cut costs, enhance productivity, standardise and improve working practices, improve risk control and set the scene for overall performance enhancement. Make sure you consider internal resource vs outsourcing when it comes to your it solutions.
Check out these key steps towards achieving alignment:
Establish a clear understanding of your business model
Seems obvious, but a lot of companies haven’t done this. Know your business, its place in its sector, the corporate philosophy that underpins it, and how it and the people within it should operate. This allows the IT plan to fit into its place as an information and data capture, process, storage and distribution function.
Appreciate the culture in which you operate
Understand the ethos you are trying to work by, and how that needs to be disseminated both within the operation and to those who come into contact with you, be they customers or suppliers.
Understand your IT estate
Again, this seems like an obvious thing to know – but do you really have a firm grasp of exactly what systems and assets you have in place? The applications you use, and how they add value across internal and external business channels? Some analysis might be in order.
Find the key link points
Establish the moments where your IT estate most powerfully affects business activities and outcomes. Take time to consider how effectively the key link points function; question if there is a range of possible outcomes (and what those are), and examine the internal and external factors which can impact on link points.
These first steps should get you thinking more clearly about how you currently operate. This is a necessary first step towards a ‘Target Operating Model’, or ‘future perfect’ state. That’s right, change and improvement could be necessary (and if so, this will now be apparent). Be sure to avoid any myths along the way, though.
The next steps towards improvement are:
Analyse potential organisational changes
Improving matters isn’t typically easy (none of us likes change). Examine how the desired future state can be brought about by considering context and influencers. Take a sober view of potential implications, positive and negative, and consider IT managed service solutions which can support change and improvement.
Prioritise IT infrastructure management
Evaluate the benefits of internal resources against the advantages of outsourced IT support. Examine how time-lines will be set or adjusted – and personnel involved will respond to, and manage, any changes.
Create an IT plan for the work to be undertaken
Transitioning from one way of working to another depends on careful management, informed by a clear plan. Detail how these actions to be taken will be resourced, implemented, analysed and measured.
Achieving optimal alignment of IT with business isn’t easy; it is a complex, multifaceted process. But, because IT is so deeply embedded in almost everything we do these days, those companies which achieve alignment are almost certain to gain a competitive benefit. That comes about through improved efficiency, automation, convenience and the ability to deliver better customer service.
It is for these reasons that increasing numbers of organisations are looking to outsource IT support to benefit from a range of external expertise which they would not be in a position to access were they to employ one or two IT staff.
Leap Consulting is the outsourcing solution provider of choice across Western Australia and beyond. With a proven ability to drive close alignment of business and IT strategy, isn’t it time to see what we can do for your business. Download our free ebook, ‘8 Mistakes Businesses Make When Outsourcing Their IT’. Or, feel free to contact us on 1300-532-748 with any questions you’d like to discuss.