Three Key Pillars of a Successful IT Plan


IT teams play an instrumental role in setting organizations up for success by executing an effective and profitable IT strategy. Eric Johnson shares how three critical components of an IT strategy can lay a solid foundation for enterprise-wide success and business growth.  

As we prepare for a future that demands agility, IT teams play an instrumental role in positioning organizations for success by executing a comprehensive IT strategy that aligns with the swift pace of digital transformation – all while empowering workers, increasing productivity, and meeting the growing expectation for data-focused expertise. 

While there are many important elements to an effective and profitable IT strategy, three critical components bear close attention in today’s rapidly evolving digital workplace: investing in IT systems that create value, prioritizing the shift toward automation, and leveraging effective data management to generate profit. When executed well, these three key focus areas position IT teams to lay a solid foundation for enterprise-wide success and business growth.  

1. Invest in Things That Create Value

In today’s challenging economic environment, the importance of ROI cannot be underestimated. Budgets are getting tighter, companies are scaling back on software and services investments, and opportunities to increase headcount are becoming fewer and farther between. Now, more than ever, IT departments must ensure that organizational investments are primed to create tangible near-term value. 

It’s important to manage investments as closely as possible to avoid purchasing redundant solutions and tools, which can drain resources and detract from productivity. Take the same thoughtful approach to vetting software investments, which often come with costly licensing fees. When organizational team goals are transparent and aligned—which is not always the case—perceived licensing needs reflect an accurate and up-to-date number of active users. Ensure perception matches reality before investing more. 

You might be asking yourself: How do I measure success? An industry benchmark is to critically review and possibly cut back on an IT investment if the business doesn’t realize three times its original value at the six-month mark.  

How do you reach this benchmark? It is essential to identify clear metrics for success early in the business case to ensure the IT investment, whether it be in software, solutions or services, has a set of checkmarks to monitor: How many users are adopting the new solution? What is their feedback on its benefits to their daily work production? Is it easy to use? These should all be agreed to and assessed in line with business goals before any IT investment is made.   

See More: How To Uncover the Hidden ROI in AP Automation

2. Focus on Automation 

As organizations prepare for a future that demands effective data management and agility, business processes must be automated and executed digitally, wherever possible and appropriate. Analysts predictOpens a new window that by 2025, 70% of organizations will implement structured automation to deliver flexibility and efficiency, an increase from 20% in 2021.

Automation is essential to boosting productivity, cutting costs, and empowering workers – outcomes that are especially important in today’s connected workplace, where remote and hybrid team members count on automated processes to collaborate effectively and securely from any location. Automation is also important to an organization’s ability to carry out an effective disaster recovery methodology, which is critical to protecting technology investments in the event of a cyber, natural, or health disaster. 

IT teams that incorporate an enterprise-wide intelligent automation strategy into their IT plan(s) set their organization up for long-term success. By focusing on investment in technologies and processes that utilize data analytics, prioritizing business models that leverage agility and scalability, and identifying opportunities for continual innovation – such as robotic process automation or bot technologies – businesses can cut costs and empower their teams to do more significant work, thereby improving the employee experience.  

3. Leverage Data To Generate Profit 

Prioritizing automation also helps IT teams progress from cost centers to profit generators that drive existing business and contribute to future growth. While the traditional focus of an IT department—including system deployment, technical maintenance, and employee support—is still vital to business success, today’s data-based digital environment provides an opportunity for IT to not only support profitability but also be a significant contributor to it. Opportunity also lies in reinventing the role of IT and its value add to the organization. 

An enormous amount of useful data is being generated as businesses progress toward digital platforms and solutions, and it often goes untapped. An effective IT plan employs strategies that harness and manage that data so business leaders can capitalize on its tremendous value. The famous “garbage in, garbage out” phrase comes to mind: these vast data sets must operate as a Single Source of Truth. Once the data is properly vetted and secured, its value can be exponentially multiplied by offering it as self-service data, encouraging its use among a broader employee base. These capabilities should be built upon a flexible data architecture that allows innovative solutions to be easily incorporated across the organization.   

See More: How to Leverage Data and Performance Management

An IT Strategy To Build New Opportunities

As companies continue to reimagine their data processes, IT leaders can and should continue to push their business counterparts to develop and execute programs that leverage data-based insights to drive revenue and growth in new and innovative ways. 

Your IT strategy is an important vehicle to consistently build new opportunities. By investing in systems and processes that create value, focusing on the shift toward automation, and leveraging effective data management to generate profit, your IT team can optimize, improve, and create organizational efficiencies that contribute to business growth.  

What are your key areas of focus in building your IT strategy? Share with us on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window .We’d love to hear from you!

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