As another year flies past, is your technology accounted for?
In order to keep a well-maintained IT environment, you must make your technology a part of your annual strategic efforts. As another year creeps closer to an end, it's time to start thinking about your IT strategic planning for next year – and every year to come.
How can you do this? Where should you start?
Guide your strategic planning conversations with the touch points below to set yourself up for success.
When it comes to strategic planning, an initial objective should be sitting down to establish effective goal setting. This is such an important aspect of general business, and the same should apply to your business technology. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, executives see technology as their #1 business challenge. Identifying and discussing goals can help to conquer the technical challenges that seem impossible or difficult to face. We recommend sitting down and discussing any upcoming goals or changes you have to your technical environment for the next 18-24 months. To further your discussion, identify the strengths and weaknesses that will contribute to the success of your IT infrastructure. Things may need to be adjusted over the 18-24 month period, but your organization will continue to have clear goals and expectations when it comes to your business technology.
FOCUS ON EQUIPMENT
Take some time to assess all of your IT equipment. You will want to take note of how your equipment is currently performing, the age of the hardware, gather all EOS and EOL dates, and work with your IT team to forecast when certain pieces of technology will need to be replaced. Inventory all hardware or anything that has a renewal date such as a warranty, domain, or SSL certificate so you can stay ahead of the curve. Having this information on hand will help you to prepare a full IT budget that will also align with the goals you are setting.
PREPARE YOUR BUDGET
To forecast well in advance, map out a 3-year budget to go along with your strategic planning. This will include any equipment that will need to be replaced in that time frame, an estimation of renewal prices based on vendor recommendations or past renewals, IT projects you have coming up the pipeline, as well as any partnership agreements or paid IT employees you will have. According to Boardview, 60% of organizations do not link their strategic priorities to their budget, yet 88% say successfully executing initiatives in order to deliver strategic results is essential for competitiveness. Successfully executing IT strategies will require an alignment of your goals and your budget. The more you can map out ahead of time, the more you can act on the goals you have set for your IT environment which will set you up for success in the long run.
Continue to better your IT environment with strategic planning so you can stay ahead of the curve and increase your organizational up-time in the future. Start with a goal-setting discussion, run inventory on all of your equipment, and move forward with preparing a 3-year IT budget. The more intentional you are about your technology, the more impactful it will be for your organization.