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Why IT strategy is important for SMBs

An IT department, much like HR or Finance, does not directly generate revenue. IT is considered a cost center, and yet, it is integral to the operation of any organization. It has the power to improve productivity, efficiency, and security or bring an organization to a grinding halt. Investing in new technologies can drive business growth; the challenge is knowing where to focus your IT budget for the maximum benefit.

 

Which technologies are right for your business? How do you integrate new technologies with your existing IT infrastructure? And how will you implement and support these new solutions? Answering these and other questions is the role of IT strategy. A well-thought-out IT strategy will help you reduce long-term costs, improve business continuity, and achieve your goals. Read on to find out how.

 

 

IT strategy reduces long-term costs

While IT is not profit-generating, it can be used to increase the profitability of other departments. Sound IT strategy achieves this by identifying inefficiencies and applying innovative technology solutions, like using analytics to assess worker productivity, AI to streamline complex tasks, and machine learning to automate time-consuming processes.

 

Strategy should not be confined to emerging technologies. Proactive maintenance and cybersecurity also benefit your bottom line by reducing downtime, preventing data loss, and protecting against security breaches. Not only does this avoid time, money, and resources being wasted on preventable issues, it increases employee and client trust and retention.

 

By aligning your IT strategy with your existing infrastructure and future plans, you can make smart investments that are compatible with your business and will save money in the long run. For example, replacing your onsite servers with a cloud solution can lower maintenance costs, increase agility, and support remote collaboration and productivity. Reducing your reliance on physical infrastructure and offering secure offsite backups also strengthens your disaster recovery plan, further reducing costs incurred if a disaster does hit. 

 

At the most basic level, having a sound IT strategy will prevent you from investing in incompatible technologies that cost your business more in the long term, and ensure that your existing investments are properly utilized.

 

 

IT strategy supports business continuity 

If you take a reactive, unstrategic approach to IT, it’s likely that cybersecurity, data backup, and business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) protocols are not being prioritized. This puts you at risk of security breaches, catastrophic data loss, and the unexpected and uncontrollable costs that these can entail. 

 

This ransomware case study shows the necessity of a strategic response plan. Inadequate data backup and recovery processes left the victims at the mercy of attackers, locking them out of their business data for three days until they paid the ransom. They also had to inform all of their clients and employees of this breach, losing trust and reputation in the process.

 

The impact of this attack would have been greatly reduced or nullified if they’d had an effective strategic response plan in place. An IT strategy will help you plan ahead to protect your business. Measures such as real-time automated back-ups ( backing up your data continuously as opposed to specific time intervals), both on and offsite, ensure that if you do experience data loss or get locked out, your files will be backed up securely. Having a tried-and-tested BCDR plan in place ensures your business data is always recoverable in the event of a breach and minimizes any operational impact. 

 

Malware will occasionally get through even the best antivirus and email security services because of human error, especially via phishing and spoofing attacks. By including regular security awareness training into your IT strategy, you can eliminate this gap and make your employees your first line of defence.

 

Strategic maintenance also comes into play in protecting your business. Regular upgrades and security patches can improve security and limit the chances of these problems arising in the first place. Coordinated management of your infrastructure will also ensure staff isn’t impacted by updates and maintenance tasks, which are ideally performed overnight.

 

 

IT strategy helps you achieve your goals 

In order to realize your business vision, it is important to understand where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there. Every business process can be facilitated or augmented with the right technology, and better processes result in better outcomes. 

 

By creating a technology roadmap and long-term IT strategy that mirrors your operational processes, KPIs, and other objectives, you can make sound IT investments that help you hit your goals. If you are unsure where or how to start, a managed IT service provider (MSP) can help you develop an effective digital strategy that aligns your technology with your business objectives. 

 

With an outsider’s neutral perspective, a good MSP can dispassionately implement the best milestones in sound technology strategy. Acting as your vCTO, they can help you create a technology strategy that is sound, proportional, and compliant. 

 

 

Ready to strategize for success?

If you’re ready for a transformative IT strategy that helps you reach your business goals, Jasco Technology is here to help. By partnering with us as your managed IT services provider or vCTO, you’ll be supported by a team of IT professionals with extensive industry experience and expertise who can help you identify and leverage evolving tech trends. Contact us today to find out more.

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