Learn About Our Business IT Strategy Review Services
The need for a Business IT Strategy is growing, and Neuways are here to explain why. Often, as a business grows, IT is purchased on an as needs basis – there is a particular issue, a demand from a customer or a need to collaborate better within the organisation that requires a solution. A purchase is made to help solve the issue and make working together easier – this is often known as a ‘point solution’. An example of this is moving from a paper based estimating and design system to a computer based design system (CAD).
Sometimes, buying point solutions has unforeseen impacts that necessitate further investments – for instance backing-up the information generated by the point solution to ensure that it is safe and recoverable in the event of a disaster.
This growth process can lead to a multitude of ‘Point Solutions’ that, whilst meeting the needs of the business, is not always the most efficient way of working.
Furthermore, it is often the case that support of these systems on a ‘break/fix’ basis is purchased by way of helpdesk support. Whilst this support is useful to fix particular issues with any one of the systems there is potential for ‘fix’ to be an issue when there are multiple providers involved – IT is complicated and it is not always obvious which system is causing the problem.
There are also a number of external factors to consider for all businesses – the end of life and loss of support for older hardware and software – and ever changing security risks. Finally, it is essential that a business must be constantly aware of and meet all of its regulatory obligations in relation to data security, licencing and other legislation to remain compliant and avoid both damaging and expensive legal action and the potential reputational damage.
As some point it makes sense, for some businesses, particularly if they are growing, have growth plans or are in an environment with high external pressures (customer demands for new ways of transacting business) to consider having a formal IT strategy – a documented plan that caters for and meets the business strategy. In some cases this strategy may well be to continue ‘as-is’ – with continued point solutions and break/fix helpdesk support – particularly where a business is content or stagnant.
For a company with a growth strategy it is vital to understand where and how IT can assist in the delivery of growth – it is unlikely that any rapid expansion of a business can be achieved without the ability to transact more and faster and for longer. A fundamental question will be ‘Are our systems fit for purpose?’ and, importantly, ’Is our core business system capable of meeting the demands?’
The answer is important because there will be, probably, a substantial cost in providing appropriate systems to meet the growth – not considering and planning for this will probably make the business plan unachievable.
Finally, an overarching approach to managing the IT environment is needed to ensure that it is available when needed and meets the needs of the business – to consider a single ‘Managed Service Provider’ that looks after your IT is one of the strategies to deliver fit for purpose IT. An alternative is to build an internal IT team or develop a hybrid approach with internal resources and external consulting and support.
About Neuways Business IT Strategy Review
Our Business IT strategy review is executed using a number of specialist resources – a Senior Business Analyst who understands and gathers information about the business processes within an organisation. Also, a Senior Technical Systems Architect who will review the existing infrastructure and identify any weaknesses and vulnerabilities and provide proposals to remedy them. In the event of the strategy determining that new technical solutions are required then this will be designed trying to make best use of existing investments. Finally, one of our Directors that have had responsibility for IT strategy in both their own SME businesses and have worked within FTSE 100 organisations such as Anglo American.
The following areas and activities are addressed and undertaken and documented during the review:
- Business Plan – Mission, Vision, Values, Goals, Objectives, Business Priorities.
- Business Information – History, Description, Financial Summary, Industry Summary, Environmental factors, Internal Strengths and Weaknesses.
- Environmental Requirements
- External Requirements – Customers, Suppliers, Regulators.
- Operating Vision.
- Information needs
- Business Processes
- Business requirements
- IT Environment
- Organisational structure
- Other locations
- IT industry trends
- Competitor activities in IT arena
- Mission and vision
- Strategic objectives
- IT and business goals
- IT architecture
- Policies and responsibilities
- Annual IT objectives
- Business operating vision assessment
- Environmental requirements assessment
- Information needs assessment
- External requirements assessment
- Business applications assessment
- Business requirements assessment
- Technical computing architecture assessment
- Options – Cost, Time, Resources, benchmark information, advantages disadvantages.
- ROI analysis
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