The Importance of Business Information Technology Planning In 2021
By now, you have probably created and are implementing your business strategy for 2021. The ground has shifted, so both short and long-term strategic plans had to change to accommodate the current situation. Have you thought about doing the same with your technology strategic plans?
For most business organizations, technology planning remains an afterthought. In early 2020, many organizations failed to come up with and implement a business technology plan. They overlooked the importance of such a plan for business continuity, security, remote workforce, and other key IT strategies.
These are things that later proved critical for survival during the pandemic, which is why many businesses were left scrambling just to survive.
So, here’s the question: have you completed your 2021 technology plan? As research has shown, organizations that take time to check that they have the right technology strategy are closely aligned with their general business objectives, which allows them to consistently outperform their competitors.
This is possible because, just like with a business strategic plan, an IT strategy or roadmap gives your business some powerful benefits that you can leverage to get ahead.
Identify Technology Gaps and Plan What Needs to Be Implemented
COVID-19 prompted one of the biggest technology growth spurts in recent history. Gartner’s 2020 annual CIO global survey reported that “nothing, yet everything, has changed for the CIO.” It revealed technology gaps that most executives didn’t know or were not willing to admit existed in their organizations on remote working, automation, and other modern technology.
This year, both small and large businesses cannot afford to bury their heads in the sand again. Technology has proven to be the best antidote for tectonic changes in the business environment. This year, a technology plan will help you approach business IT proactively rather than reactively.
Like any other business organization, you probably have a whole lot of technology “needs” and “wants.” By bringing together representatives from each business segment, you will be able to figure out what the most important technological gaps are and what you need to do to plug them and achieve your business goals for the year.
Identify Security Risks and Mitigate Them
A significant side-effect of the gold-rush like the adoption of critical business technology during the pandemic was that it exposed many organizations to heightened security risks. Driven by urgency and desperation, many organizations raced to adopt platforms that would enable them to continue working and bringing in revenue during the pandemic.
As a result, cybersecurity attacks rose 400% to more than 4,000 attacks a day. The lack of enough time to plan and put in place proper control measures led to a lot of ransomware attacks, data breaches, insider attacks, and more.
Only early planning and intentional preparation can help businesses avoid such a scenario. This year, you will be much better off if you can conduct a cybersecurity audit and identify your vulnerabilities as part of your technology plan.
Furthermore, creating the right strategic technology plan will help you to anticipate and thus invest more in counteracting the most common security threats. Now that your business is probably operating online with centralized data and remote access, this will be critical to safeguard your IT assets.
It is also important that you work hand-in-hand with your Managed IT Services provider to identify third-party vulnerabilities and mitigate them. Outsourcing your IT needs shouldn’t expose you to catastrophic loss; if you ever feel that it’s time for a new and trusted IT support company, consider shifting to PureIT.
Align Your Technology Goals to Your Overall Business Vision
Just as your overarching business goals and plans had to change after COVID-19, so do your technology plans. The same one-year plan you had at the end of 2019 cannot be copy-pasted for 2021.
Thanks to disruptive events like COVID-19, technology managers now have a seat at the executive table. This means that with the right strategic technology plan, you can get the CEO and other top-level executives to talk your language and help you align IT plans to the organization’s growth direction.
It’s the plan that will get buy-in and support at all levels and spur development in 2021 and beyond. With this support, you will be able to align your technology strategy to the organization’s business goals and vision both for this year and over the long-term.
Create and Maintain Agility For Your Business
Talking about disruptive events, another key lesson that businesses learned from the pandemic is the importance of being able to pivot and adapt quickly when the unprecedented happens.
Stories like that of Netflix/Blockbuster and Apple/Nokia constantly remind us of the importance of embracing the right technology trends at the right time to ensure business continuity.
In 2021, a lot of recovery and growth is expected to happen, but no one can accurately predict what else will happen this year with the rollout of vaccines, changes in government administration, and many other factors.
What you can do, however, is sit down with key IT experts both in your organization and your industry and come up with likely scenarios. That is part of strategic planning, and it helps you find what you need to do in case Scenario A or B or C happens. This is what will give you the agility to pivot fast and adapt when the ground shifts again.
Measure the Value of IT in Your Business
Finally, strategic planning is crucial because it helps you to measure your investment in IT and what impact it has or is expected to have in your business.
When we talk about technology ROI, we’re not just talking about increased revenue or reduced costs. Your initial objectives, such as reducing customer service tickets or improving online community engagement, will help you determine the impact of your technology plans during the year.
You can start by looking back at what you did in 2020, what you failed to accomplish, and then recalibrate for 2021. Towards the end of this year, you will do the same and thus map out your technology growth over the years.
Get Started With Your Business Information Technology Plan for 2021
A robust business technology plan helped many businesses adapt to the pandemic and ride it out successfully. Now, in 2021, it is time to set up your 2021 Business IT Technology Plan if you haven’t done so already.
To learn more about why and how to create such a strategic plan, we invite you to set up a meeting with the IT experts at PureIT and start the new year right.