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Why Every SMB Needs an IT Strategic Plan

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Organizations are expected to spend $7.4 trillion on digital transformation by the end of 2023 as they implement IT solutions to drive business innovation. For their investments to have a quantifiable positive impact, they must be closely linked to their business strategies, and that’s something a well-thought-out IT strategic plan can help accomplish.

Organizations are expected to spend $7.4 trillion on digital transformation by the end of 2023.

What Is an IT Strategic Plan?

An IT strategic plan is a document whose purpose is to define how and when an organization will implement IT solutions and processes to drive business outcomes.

You can think of an IT strategic plan as a roadmap for an organization to follow in order to successfully execute its overall IT strategy. A detailed roadmap that includes all important information makes it much less likely for an organization to deviate from its desired course.

It offers a myriad of other benefits, including:

Despite the benefits of having an IT strategic plan, only 23 percent of CIOs rate their organization as effective at business strategy and planning, and only 29 percent rated their organization as effective or very effective at IT strategy and planning, according to Gartner.

The main reason why IT strategic planning isn’t something every organization has down to a science is that it is hard work, and most small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are already stretched thin taking care of day-to-day business operations, leaving them little room to plan for the future.

But like so many business activities that require hard work, IT strategic planning is worth it in the long run, and it’s especially important during periods of rapid change, such as when global supply chains are disrupted due to complex global events.

Anatomy of an IT Strategic Plan

An IT strategic plan should clarify which technology investments are needed and why, prioritize their implementation, and define how success will be determined and measured. That’s why it should always include the following three components.

1. Business Strategy Alignment

As we’ve already explained, IT solutions must be closely linked to business strategies to drive innovation and have a quantifiable positive impact. To create the necessary business strategy alignment, business and IT decision-makers need to work closely together to understand where to make technology investments and what capabilities are needed the most to support business pursuits. A SWOT analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats can go a long way in revealing where IT investments can contribute the most.

2. Technology Roadmap

A technology roadmap is a vital component of every IT strategic plan. Its purpose is to visually communicate an organization's technology strategy by matching short-term and long-term goals with specific technology solutions. For example, an organization that wants to cut costs may want to move its entire infrastructure to the cloud over the next few years to avoid having to spend large sums of money to regularly upgrade its IT infrastructure.

3. Measures of Success

The technology and business landscape is changing rapidly, so IT strategic planning must be continuous and iterative to keep up with its evolution and stay relevant. Outcome-based key performance indicators are essential for making informed decisions about how the IT strategic plan needs to change based on what’s been learned. Without measures of success, an organization could easily keep wasting money on the wrong IT investments and potentially squandering business opportunities.

Develop an IT Strategic Plan

It can take some time and effort to develop an IT strategic plan. However, all the hard work that goes into it is guaranteed to start paying off immediately because information technology is now one of the major drivers of business innovation and, ultimately, success.

SMBs that find the development of an IT strategic plan too daunting can partner with a provider of managed IT services like us at TechGen. Our IT experts can help you align your business initiatives with innovative technology to support your organizational goals and keep you ahead of your competitors.

Schedule a free consultation to learn what makes TechGen’s Strategic IT Planning solution the right choice for your organization.

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