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How to Align Your IT Strategy With Your Business Goals

Estimated reading time: 7 mins

If you would like to make your job easier as a business owner, it might be a good idea to look at your IT strategy and make sure that it is aligned with your mission and vision. Creating a long term business plan is a good idea, but you will also have to create the supporting infrastructure to help your company achieve the goals and milestones easier, at a lower cost, and faster. Information technology can make or break a business, so you have to make sure you consult with the right professional who can help you implement systems that will take your business to the next level.

Clear Vision

The first thing you need to do before you create an IT strategy is define your company vision and mission. Without this step, ou will not be able to improve your business and make the most out of the technology available. Your main goal in business might be to create more awareness about your brand, or to retarget the services or products you are offering. No matter what you want to achieve; improved sales, better productivity, or a more positive public reputation, you will need to make sure your business infrastructure is serving your goals.

Social Media Strategy

Business information technology can help you make the most out of your brand awareness and reputation, and you can effortlessly engage with your target audience. The good news is that you don’t have to manually maintain all your social media accounts or outsource the process to a marketing agency that has no idea about your values and vision; take full control of your content and social media management by implementing a white label software that automates and optimizes your messages.

Customer Communication

If you are dealing with customers all the time, and would like to keep them happy, your human resources costs might be higher than you want them to be. The good news is that you can use IT to automate communication, deliver information to your customers, give them updates on their orders, and improve their level of satisfaction. From social media chat bots to invoicing, reminders, and shipping notifications, feedback and survey requests, there are several small customer service tasks software can take care of.

CRM Development

If you have more than a handful customers, it will be hard for you to keep in touch and follow up their orders, enquiries, or take advantage of further sales opportunities. If you would like to increase the average value of orders and make the most out of your customer relationships, you might want to get an advanced CRM system that works with your website, your ordering software, and your suppliers’ inventory management, as well as your marketing platform. This will help you see clearer about which strategy is working and which one needs adjustments.

White Label Software

In some cases, the software solutions available from large companies are not suitable for your business needs, If you want to improve your productivity and get more information delivered to you to help you with your strategic decisions, it is important that you consult with an IT company to make your and your employees’ life easier. You can book  an it strategic planning session and find out how technology can take you closer to where you want to be.

Cloud Collaboration

If you are managing remote teams or outsource some of your processes, collaboration software that is safe and helps you be more productive will help you achieve more in less time and reduce the cost of traveling. While there are some low cost basic cloud platforms you can use for collaboration, such as Slack and G Suite, you might want to think about getting your own version created by a professional, so you can make the most out of the modules and features and reduce your workflow.

Productivity Tools

If you are not currently using productivity tools and measurement software, you will find it hard to identify the development areas and the bottlenecks in your business. You can measure your employees’ productivity on an individual level, or compare the performance of teams to find out how you can help your staff make the most out of their time and skills. From time management and scheduling tools to reminders, spelling and grammar checkers, and design software, anything can be considered a productivity tool if it reduces waste in your organization.

Website Infrastructure

For some business owners, a website is only a shop window and it is just there to give them a platform to display their offers and gain credibility. However, other people realize the need that websites need to help them connect and engage with their potential  and current customers, while making it easier for them to find the information they are looking for, get answers to their urgent questions, or even choose the right product for their needs themselves.

Business Intelligence

Information and knowledge is a power that is often neglected by business owners. If you know what is going on in your industry and what your customers want, you can adjust your strategy to the information provided to you by data. From identifying the gaps in markets to learning about customer behavior trends, there are many ways technology can make your life and your decisions easier. Intelligent data can help you create a winning strategy in any industry.

Mind Mapping Software

If you want to make the most out of your strategic planning, it might be a good idea to use technology to aid your brainstorming. There are plenty of apps and online mind mapping tools that will help you make the most out of your ideas and create a logical sequence, so you can see through the plans and identify the opportunities, strengths, and potential risks. You might also want to use a software to create a SWOT Analysis on your business plans and strategy.

Financial Analysis

No matter how good your business plan is, if you have no funding and financial backing, you can never make it a reality. That is why you will need to make use of financial planning software and predictions and ensure that you are prepared for every eventuality. You can plan your taxes, budget for research and development, and make sure that you are getting the right amount of money for your products or services by completing a profitability analysis for each new offer you introduce.

Customer Data

It is crucial that you get to know your target customer and understand what they want and what makes them buy. Asking them questions might be a slow way of gaining data, therefore, you might consider getting a data analytics software that will identify the different demographics that are likely to be your best target market and the most profitable for your business. You can measure everything; from average order size, profits, the conversion timescales, and even retention rates, so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

Competition Research

Apart from getting to know your customers, you will also have to learn as much as you can about your competitors. This will help you develop your unique selling proposition and communicate your value better. There are plenty of advanced software that will help you gather industry information and learn as much as possible about the companies you are competing with for the attention of your potential clients. You need to stand out to stand a chance attracting your ideal clients. If you are looking to convince your target market that your offer has more value, you need to know exactly what other companies provide.

Supply Chain Management

It is important that you are managing your supply chain efficiently and don’t end up with missed deadlines, letting your clients down. There are several custom supply chain management software designed for service and manufacturing companies that will help you reduce waste of time and resources and plan your business activities according to the needs of your market, so you can make the most out of your time and your capabilities. Ensure that you link your own system to your suppliers’, so you can communicate real time and share information effectively.

Research and Development

One of the greatest investment costs for companies is related to developing new products, services, and markets. If you don’t plan this activity carefully, you might end up wasting money, time, and resources, If you want to remain competitive in a dynamic and ever changing marketplace, you will need to pay attention to the costs of product development and technological investment, If you have information technology on your side, you will be able to get your projects completed faster and at a lower cost.

Smart business owners realize that technology can help them reduce their research and development costs while providing them with the business intelligence to make better strategic decisions. Consider your options when it comes to managing your workflow, your productivity, and your finances, and you will achieve your goals faster.

 

About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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