Does Your IT Support Your Strategic Plans?

October 3, 2018

Does Your IT Support Your Strategic Plans?

Your strategic plan includes big goals for customer service, sales, marketing, and much more. But does your IT framework support these goals? Or is it really just limiting your company’s potential?Most employees lose 22 minutes per day to IT struggles, and companies can lose weeks of productivity each year. Forget strategic planning - some businesses are struggling to survive nagging IT issues that never seem to be resolved.Too often, a company’s internal IT department lacks the experience required to develop long term technology strategy. As a leader of your company, you may be  used to these deficiencies, you don’t even question them anymore - but take a moment to imagine if they were addressed.What could you do more quickly? More profitably? With less frustration?

Common IT Limitations

A handful of common IT limitations are found across many industries and business operations. See anything familiar here?

  • IT department restricts availability to business hours
  • Tech services constantly cause unpredictable charges
  • Storage space is limited
  • Can’t manage your existing systems without glitches
  • No global access to files and systems
  • IT support staff speaks in jargon that’s hard to understand
  • Your company reacts too slowly to IT issues
  • Employees feel a lack of trust in your IT team

The things on the list above are major red flags that something is wrong with your IT setup. Your employees should be able to work day and night, from anywhere in the world, without worrying about the limitations of your IT department.

A Roadblock to Strategic Planning

Author Stephen Covey popularized the idea that you must “begin with the end in mind.” When your company creates its strategic plans, the end results are always top-of-mind: more sales, better training, excellent customer reviews, increased profitability.But as you begin to move toward those goals, the day-to-day frustrations mount. Here’s a common scenario where a strategic plan hits the cold, hard reality of IT woes.Let’s say one of your strategic initiatives is “Provide company-wide cross-training.” You want your employees to receive more thorough training and build their skill sets across the company. To do this, you’ll need trainers to give presentations, employees will need to collaborate, and everyone must have access to the training materials.Right away, you hit an IT roadblock: Different people have different versions of Microsoft Office. Not everyone can access the on-screen presentation and handouts. Now what? You’ll likely need an upgrade or Microsoft 365 migration.Okay, you try to move forward with the training program anyway, by making printed handouts. But uh oh - the HR manager just sent a reminder that you have 13 people currently working remotely. What about them? You’ll need to make sure you have a secure VPN, virus protection, and all the right software so they can participate remotely.In fact, this brings up another issue: Some of your employees, both remote and local, are getting error messages from the training program. It won’t launch, or they can’t remember their passwords. Plus, they’re in various time zones and having trouble collaborating. Your IT department is getting bogged down with the volume of requests.Does this sound like something that could happen at your company? If so, your IT is hampering your strategic goals.

Making a New IT Plan

To support your strategic plan, you may need a new IT plan. When your in-house IT department is overwhelmed, it could be time to outsource some or all of your IT assistance. If your current IT provider can’t handle your needs, it might be time to look around.Certain qualities of IT support set the stage for good strategic planning, and others indicate trouble ahead. Here’s a handy list of the best IT traits. Does your current IT setup hit all the points below?

Good IT Support Offers:

  • 24/7 helpdesk support for your employees
  • Flexible supplemental support, as needed
  • Network and server maintenance, protection, and optimization
  • Up-to-date security, patches, and firewalls
  • Proactive licensing, renewals, and upgrades
  • Clear rates, including after-hours rates
  • Ongoing assessments for improvements you can make
  • Tech consulting for strategic planning

If you’re not sure whether your IT supports all of these functions, don’t worry. Techlocity can analyze your current setup and see where you stand. Connect with Techlocity for a conversation about your technology needs, now and for the future of your business.