One critical aspect for any successful organization is to have a sense of focus as it moves towards its objectives. Focus helps sharpen the view and gives direction to reach all goals. To be precise, this is known as building up a plan or strategizing. The strategy is crucial not only from an overall and a general business perspective, but it is also important from all spheres and elements of the firm including marketing, finance, operations, administration and one critical sphere ie. The sphere of Information Technology.
Information Technology today forms the backbone of all functions of a business. Whether those dealing directly with customers or those supporting from the backend, IT is at the centre of it all. Computers and technology are no more the indulgent options that they were in earlier days, rather they are a necessity today. All businesses are dependent on IT in more ways than one. An IT strategy, therefore, should not be one that sits on the sides in business but rather it should be treated with boardroom level importance in any firm. The success of a firm today is greatly defined by how it reaps the benefits offered by aligning its overall business plans and goals with an IT strategy.
Benefits of an effective IT strategy for a firm are many. Given here are just a few.
- Helps reduce costs: While IT is beneficial no doubt; it is also a fact that it can incur a large part of the firm’s budget. A well-planned budget for hardware and software contributes to saving costs for the firm.
- Supports proactive work: Technology can help increase the speed of work. Effective software knowledge and its use can help the firm to take proactive actions for various activities.
- Aids decision making: A sound IT strategy can enhance knowledge management for the firm and hence make available best practices that can be retrieved for future reference and use.
- Smoothens day to day operations: Technology and its use in a strategic manner reduce the work time for individuals and since several tasks get taken care of digitally or technologically, it can smoothen day to day operations significantly.
- Helps the firm remain competitive: Thinking ahead on how and when IT will be useful for the firm is fundamental as it makes the firm competitive and helps it gain a technological advantage ahead of the competition. The firm can become an early adaptor of technology by strategizing effectively and thereby staying ahead of other players in the market.
- Increases productivity: With all above points put together, the overall productivity of the firm increases as a sound IT strategy can save time, reduce costs, increase knowledge and support decision making in the short run which goes a long way towards business success.
Finally, in today’s dynamic, fast-changing and action-oriented times, one can keep the quote by Sun Tzu from the Art Of War in mind which says “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory and tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” It pays and it pays well to be strategic!