Successful businesses are successful because they effectively link their strategy to their vision, according to leading business journal Forbes. Yet, only 13 percent of businesses successfully execute their strategic plan. That means 87 percent of strategic business plans are filed away and forgotten despite a large investment of time and money into producing the strategy.
The low success rate can be attributed to several reasons, however, failing to include all company departments in the development process or not linking individual group goals to your organization’s overall goals leads to a disconnectedness that dooms the strategic plan. Including your IT support team may require help from an independent IT expert who specializes in developing technology strategies to help businesses grow and anticipate future priorities.
Protocol Networks provides New England businesses with the opportunity to have the skills and expertise of a Chief Information Officer at your disposal. As your CIO, here are 5 strategies we use to help you determine how to connect the best IT solutions to your overall objectives:
Identify Your Major Channels
The first step to a good strategic plan is to include all major channels within your company. From sales and administration to production and shipping, all stakeholders need to contribute to the overall plan. Connecting channels through conversation is critically important to creating awareness among everyone in your company. Without this connectedness, negative conversations can lead to no execution of the plan as employees haven’t been made to feel part of the ideas and practices set forth.
Analyze Channel Variables
Each channel is looked at in regard to staffing, budgeting and day-to-day operational solutions as well as assessing the technology they currently have and what IT support and functions they will need in the future.
Evaluate Human Resources
Identify where your human resources are going and where expenditures are being made. Find the deviations that will hinder the execution of specific goals. For instance, if the sales department has identified a plan that requires five additional employees and your allocation for new employees totals 10, you must decide if this is an appropriate use of your resources or if there is another project that will better carry your organization as a whole toward achieving overall success.
As New England’s only IT expert also specializing in IT staffing, Protocol Networks also collaborates with you to appropriately staff your technology channel.
Identify the Best IT Solutions
Successful execution of the practices and tools needed to perform the activities and projects required for the strategic plan almost always includes software packages and hardware required to run the new software. As your CIO, Protocol Networks reviews the technology needs of all departments, avoiding unitask solutions that benefit only one person or one department. Ways of using the software in multiple situations is examined to find out if it can meet the needs of more than one company channel.
Protocol Networks prioritizes everyone’s technology needs, plots them on a calendar and determines the resources needed for each. A one-page sheet provides the project description, budget, summary of how to do the project and the expected benefit of the project.
What to Include in Your IT Strategic Plan
If your company doesn’t have an IT strategic plan, it is in your best interest to establish one. Here are items to include.
- Use easy-to-understand language
If only IT people can understand your plan, it’s not a strategy. A strategy that is understood by others allows for questions and input from other members of your organization, leading to a plan that represents the good of the overall organization, not just one entity.
- Every item in your IT plan should be linked to a specific goal in your overall plan
The goal is to have an IT plan that is beneficial to everyone in the organization, not just the technology department. If it’s not important to all, the plan will be ignored and never executed, stifling growth.
- Maintain security for all organizational information
This should be in every organization’s strategic plan, but surprisingly is often missing. Data security is one of the most important functions of your business. Make sure it’s not missing from your strategy.
- Implement Data Retention & Purge Policies
Many organizations don’t recognize the importance of the relationship between data retention and purging to finance and legal operations. Data retention is based on legal and financial requirements set forth by various regulations such as Sarbanes Oxley and HIPAA. Purging data after any required period of retention is just as important to protecting your company from legal actions.
Protocol Networks has the unique ability to incorporate business-savvy IT solutions into your strategic plan. Contact us at 877-676-0146 or online.