Key elements of a strategic technology plan

Key elements of a strategic technology plan

Throughout history, it has been proven that businesses with the ability to adapt to evolving conditions have better chances at survival and eventual growth. For instance, Amazon started out as a mere online bookstore; today, it is one of the biggest eCommerce and technology companies in the world. Its willingness to adapt to the changes in market demand and technological developments have allowed Amazon to dominate a large-scale industry, one that it previously showed no intention of doing.

In the digital age, companies need to adapt to evolving and developing technology trends. Failure to do so could mean getting mired in the quicksand that is obsoletion — a predicament that is often too difficult to get out of. This is why a strategic technology plan is necessary now more than ever.

A strategic technology plan is a guide on how a company can use technology to achieve its business strategy. It acts as an action template for managers and business owners to bring out the full potential of their company's technology.

Your strategic technology plan should have the following components:

IT mission

Your IT mission is a concise explanation of the strategic technology plan’s reason for existence. It describes the plan’s specific purpose and its overall intention. This is important because it helps the business set tangible goals pertaining to tech deployment, and it also acts as a guide for any future tech plans the company intends to make.

Tech planning team

With your mission identified, you can now form your tech planning team. It is necessary to first establish your goals before establishing the team because understanding your goals will also help you identify the kind of expertise you’ll need to accomplish said goals.

Ideally, your tech planning team should have an IT expert, a member of management (to represent the needs of the users), a member of the finance team, and an executive. This way, the tech planning process can be covered on all fronts.

Current state of technology

The next component of the tech plan is to identify the current state of the company’s technology. This audit can be performed by the company’s IT department, or if that is unavailable, a reputable managed IT services provider (MSP).

Identifying the current state of the company’s technology will help reveal gaps that need to be filled. For instance, if your business computers are still running on Windows 7, an IT MSP will likely point this out as obsolete, and will advise you to act upon it before it’s too late.

What’s more, having a technology audit will expose inadequacies and hidden issues in your tech and communications infrastructure. This is necessary because it will help guide your budget planning, and it will also help quantify the benefits of the tech upgrades that need to be done.

IT strategies

Strategy will differ from issue to issue and from industry to industry; this is why it’s important to consult a reputable and reliable IT expert. The company’s current state of technology should be the basis of the strategic options your IT MSP provides.

For example, an MSP will likely advise you to upgrade your OS to something newer like Windows X — which still has available support and updates and will be a relatively inexpensive move. You may also be advised to shift to a different environment altogether, such as moving to Mac OS, which tends to have a more consolidated support, service, and update framework but will likely cost more.

When devising your IT strategies, be sure to identify important variables such as budget, manpower and skillset, hardware, regulations, and the like.

Implementation plan

The last component is the implementation plan. Should you install new hardware and update existing software in one go, or do you do it in phases? Which processes should be done first? Those are two of the questions the implementation plan should be able to answer.

The implementation plan acts as a roadmap for deployment, so that it can be conducted in a cohesive and efficient manner. The implementation of tech strategy intends to improve the business’s inner workings, not disrupt it; it should therefore cause as little delay and be completed with as little error as possible.

It is Xirtix Consulting LLC CEO Nick Dragna’s aim to reduce all technology challenges to two items: Strategy and Process. Wrap our Trademark XCare Managed Services around your IT solutions to simplify your technology challenges. Get in touch with us today and have Your IT. Managed. Period.