2016 proved to be a hard year for a lot of businesses thanks to the high level of cyber crime activity. Threats like ransomware and phishing scams hit hard and often, leaving many a business struggling in the aftermath. And unfortunately, it’s questionable things will be any easier in 2017. In fact, experts believe that this year will be even more of a challenge where cyber crime is concerned.
The key to avoiding disaster in 2017? Planning ahead. In fact, the driving force behind success, growth, and productivity for any business, in any scenario is careful planning. Knowing how you’ll meet challenges, reach goals, and dust yourself off after a stumble well ahead of time can make all the difference. And the best way to make sure you’ve considered every possibility and covered all of your bases is a strategic IT plan.
Having a strategic IT plan in place to guide your business through the next twelve months and beyond will help you invest wisely, and improve on the processes you have in place to reach new levels of prosperity and productivity. But more than just helping you to figure out how to budget for upgrades to your infrastructure or solve possible problems, a solid strategic IT plan will help you to evaluate your business as a whole, and see where technology can help in ways you might otherwise never have thought of.
To get your strategic planning underway, we recommend focusing on five key areas – Cyber Security, Business Continuity, Communication, Cloud Technology, and Strategic Advisement. Making sure these areas are thoroughly covered will go a long way towards taking the frustration and uncertainty out of managing your business’ technology, and leave you free to focus on what matters most – actually running your business.
Chances are, business planning is already part of your normal operations, which means you understand the value of laying everything out to see where your business stands and using that information to chart a course for both the immediate and distant future. So why take the time to create a strategic IT plan as well?
Unlike a traditional business plan, a strategic IT plan is less about setting firm goals and more about evaluating your business’ potential, and the ways that the right technology can enhance that potential – hence the “strategic” in strategic IT planning. And by making the creation of your strategic IT plan a collaborative effort with your IT provider, you’ll have the support you need to put your plan into action effectively.
This is especially critical where the Cyber Security and Business Continuity portions are concerned. Going back to the havoc threats like ransomware have been causing in recent years, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your business is able to not just recover from an IT disaster, but prevent one from happening in the first place. And reaching that point is a little more complicated that just installing new antimalware software.
And this where the Strategic Advisement portion comes into play. Making sure your plan is being supported by an IT provider who understands where your business is coming from, and where it’s headed is just as important as having a plan in the first place. Your provider can help you implement changes, and offer advice on investments to help you get the best possible results.
Most of all, starting the year off with a strategic IT plan puts you firmly in control of your business’ technology, and the impact it will have on your business’ success.