Resource type: Blog

Why an ICT strategy is good for your business

You wouldn’t start out on a car journey without knowing where you were going or whether your car ran on petrol or diesel. Almost inevitably you would end up getting lost, running out of fuel or stuck down a dead-end.

It’s just the same with the ICT systems that support your business activities – you need to identify your long term plans and establish if there are any specific requirements that should be considered along the way.

That’s why developing an ICT strategy is such an important requirement for any size of business. It provides a structured approach that will take you from the ‘here and now’ to where you want to be, all the while controlling the cost of the technology solutions and managing the associated changes.

Essentially it provides a framework that enables you to take informed technology decisions in support of your goals and objectives. And looking ahead, it will also help to ensure that your ICT systems can grow and adapt to any changes in your business.

So what sorts of benefits can an effective and well thought through ICT strategy deliver to your business? Here are just a few examples:

  • It provides an overall framework for your ICT services, establishing standards such as the operating system that your desktop PCs and mobile devices should adhere to, or the security and disaster recovery policies you should have in place.
  • It helps to ensure integration between your business systems, meaning that you won’t have problems with ‘islands of information’ where specific applications can’t ‘speak’ to each other, for example your accounts system not being able to transfer data to your CRM system.
  • By aligning ICT with your business requirements an ICT strategy can deliver appropriate technology solutions that actually matter to your business.
  • It allows you to make informed ICT investment decisions, so avoiding arbitrary procurement choices that might meet short term needs but don’t fit into your long term plans.
  • It increases efficiency since the integrated business systems, shared storage and enhanced collaboration resulting from an effective ICT strategy can all help to streamline processes and allow your employees to become more productive.

Furthermore, in today’s fast changing digital marketplace business strategies need to be flexible and organisations need to be able to change direction and exploit new opportunities more quickly than ever. It’s essential therefore, that there’s a flexible ICT strategy in place which is able to seamlessly support regular changes in your business’s strategy and technology needs.And ultimately the enhanced efficiency and flexibility provided by an effective ICT strategy will result in increased productivity which, when coupled with the potential costs savings it also offers, will bring about increased profits, something that we’re all striving for!

Superfast Business Cornwall has produced a Guide to IT Strategy that can be found in their Knowledge Bank at: www.sfbcornwall.co.uk/knowledge-bank

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