Are you constantly reacting to the pressures and crises happening throughout your company?
Are you constantly reacting to the pressures and crises happening throughout your company? Is your IT department over budget every year due to poor planning?
If so, then you need to create a technology plan that helps guide your decisions and plan for contingencies throughout the year. Avoid unnecessary budget overages and needless delays due to poor planning and reactionary decisions.
From security threats to lackluster results, it can be difficult to make tech decisions without a plan. Additionally, without a plan, you will find that your employees are not on the same page as your executives. Avoid these continual issues by creating a strategic technology plan for your business today.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what a technology plan is, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn all about it and how creating one can improve your business today.
You Need a Plan
Just as you have a business plan and a marketing plan, you also need a technology plan. This is your blueprint to follow as your business grows. The technology you need and require changes over time as well as when you build your business organization to the next level.
You need a plan as to how you will respond to these changes and growth over time. As you create your plan, limit yourself to looking forward only one to two years ahead as technology will likely change over time. Likewise, each year look back at your growth and see if improving your technology will improve your capacity for growth in the next year.
Don’t let your IT department flounder, always reacting to the changes without having a plan. You need to be proactive in improving and investing in your technology infrastructure. Then when you do need to react to certain situations, it will make it that much easier to respond correctly.
As with any plan, you start with where you want to go. So, start by asking what do you want to accomplish and how can your technology plan assist you in getting there? It is also beneficial to have a 3rd party provide an assessment prior to finalizing your plan.
Determine Your Objectives
To carry out your plan, you need to know what your goals and objectives are. What are your goals for the coming year? What is your vision for your organization in the next few years?
Do not worry about the specifics yet, right now you need a general idea of what you want to accomplish so you know when you get there.
From increasing your efficiency to decreasing your downtime, set your goals now so you know where to focus your resources when the time comes. From cutting costs to increasing sales, by assessing your technology you can achieve the larger goals for your company.
But unless you know what your objectives are you won’t be able to make strategic decisions regarding where you invest your time and money. Everybody needs to be on the same page with this so that when the IT department requests more funds, everyone understands why and what it is accomplishing.
Start with your goals and then create the plan that will get you there. Your technology control plan will show you where you need to improve and where you are already succeeding. This will allow you to create the best plan to help your company succeed in reaching your goals.
Perform an Audit of Where You Are
You need to perform an assessment, so you know where you currently stand with your tech stack. What are you using? What is working and what can be improved upon?
Perform a thorough SWOT analysis so you know where you stand now. The SWOT analysis is a trusted framework through which you can evaluate your current situation in your market. You can determine where you stand in comparison to both your competition as well as your capacity for future growth.
There are likely many places right now where your current technology is strong and doing its job. Don’t fix it if it’s not broken, determine where you’re strong, and then focus on what can be improved.
Assess your current weaknesses within your current tech stack. Where is the opportunity lost? Where is efficiency dwindled and communication broken? Determine these now so you can fix them as you create your roadmap later on in your strategic plan.
New technologies are released every day. But if you don’t know what your objectives are you can find yourself chasing shiny objects rather than the real opportunities. However, when you know what your company goals are, you will know which technology opportunities are worth pursuing when they arise.
When it comes to your technology, your threats can be well-known and yet hardly understood at the same time. You know you need to protect your servers from malware. But do you really understand all the latest cyber threats? Be sure your IT department is constantly monitoring the threats to your system and updating your firewall and passwords.
Be Forward-Focused and Know Where You’re Going
Fifteen years ago your technology plan would have included buying Microsoft software that needed to be manually loaded onto each computer. Each employee would have had a desktop computer and still used flip phones.
And your IT department would have included a small on-site group monitoring your wires, cables, and network. Today your employees are all assigned a laptop, their flip phones have been replaced with smartphones, and your IT department is likely off-site and maybe even outsourced.
Ten years from now our wildest imaginations cannot conceive what new technologies will have in store for us and our businesses. So, your technology plan needs to be forward-focused so you can adapt as technology changes each year.
Therefore, in step one we suggested you not look much further forward than a few years when you create your plan. However, you must be continually looking forward so that you do not get left behind as your competition keeps up with the technology changes happening.
What Resources Will You Need to Accomplish Your Goals?
Technology is expensive. You need to establish a reasonable budget before you start implementing your plan. Additionally, there are other resources to consider as well.
These include the man-hours and expertise you will need to carry out your plan. Who will monitor the technological plan and who will carry it out? Will you need to hire new personnel or outsource these new tasks?
From your financial investment to your personnel needs, you need to know what resources will be needed to accomplish your goals. Determine this now in your technology plan so that you can be proactive instead of reactive in the coming years.
It will be easier for the executives in your organization to make these investments when they see the plan and reasons behind them. Additionally, when it comes time to request an increase in the budget the funds will be there because you provided this plan well in advance rather than reacting to a change or adverse event.
Create Your Roadmap for Your Technology Plan
Any good plan is essentially a roadmap for your company to follow, and the same is true for your strategic technology plan. From the C-level executives to the IT department carrying out the plan, when everyone is on the same page you will see monumental growth and success.
Your roadmap shows everyone on the team where they need to be and when. A roadmap also provides a visual representation for everyone to follow. This visualization can happen in many forms, including a Kanban board, a Gantt chart, or any other visual form your organization uses in your planning process.
When everyone is following the same roadmap plan, you know that the daily decisions being made are in alignment with your overall mission and vision for our company.
Your roadmap must also include milestones along the way so that everyone knows when they have been successful. Establish these benchmark goals in the beginning so you can regularly assess whether you’re making adequate progress on your goals.
Carry Out Regular Assessments
What are your benchmark goals and how will you know when you’ve achieved them? You will need to have regular review sessions to ensure you’re on the right track. You will also need to assess whether or not you need to update your technology and if it’s in the budget.
Know the metrics you need to attain each quarter and year so that you can reach the vision and goals created in the first step. Whether your company creates measurable KPI’s or uses another measuring system for success, you need to regularly assess whether or not you’re hitting the mark.
Creating your IT support plan means regularly looking back to make sure you are on track. Then you can change course and adjust when you need to. Measure and report your progress so that everyone else in the company knows that you’re following the plan and that their investment in the IT department is paying off.
You Don’t Have to Go It Alone
Once you’ve created your technology plan, carrying it out can be difficult. This is where having an expert in your corner can save you time and unnecessary hassles. Don’t get stuck along the path of your roadmap by obstacles, get expert help to navigate the path towards reaching your goals.
Here at Bridgehead I.T., we specialize in helping businesses just like yours improve your efficiency while also increasing profits through creating a stable and secure IT infrastructure you can trust.
So, if you want to simplify your IT, reach out to us today. We’re here to help you every step of the way.
Contact us to learn more about how Bridgehead I.T. can help you align your I.T. with your business objectives.