Technology is the foundation of modern business. The right tools drive efficiency, cost savings, customer service and the employee experience. Outdated or poorly managed tech can hinder business operations, cause frustration among your team and, in turn, create negative experiences for your clients.
To prevent these issues from impacting your business, you need innovative ways to boost your business’ tech capabilities. However, you might not have the internal team or knowledge to develop IT strategies and implement solutions that meet your needs.
How do you know if your organisation needs to take a step back to look at IT differently and take a more strategic approach to technology? Here are four key indicators:
1. You do not have an IT strategy that drives efficiency and innovation
Given the rate at which the world and businesses are undergoing digitalisation, you need an IT strategy focused on optimising processes with the technology you already have and outlining areas where upgrades or adoption of new tech would help. Your business needs the capability to identify weak points in the technology infrastructure, develop solutions to improve efficiency, and identify cost-saving opportunities. An IT strategy also works toward future-proofing your business and ensuring it can handle any changes that may occur in the future.
Companies without an IT strategy will often be uncertain about what steps to take with their IT infrastructure or how to efficiently address their overall technology-related needs. An IT roadmap provides a clear plan of action that enables your organisation to make informed decisions, prioritise resources, and ensure you are taking the right steps towards achieving goals. An effective IT roadmap allows executives to quickly identify areas of opportunity or potential challenges that may require additional resources or a different approach.
You will need to fill the IT skill and knowledge gaps with someone that can guide your strategy and roadmap. However, hiring a full-time CIO can be cost-prohibitive or overkill for a small business. An external CIO can deliver the right mix of services to meet your needs without the overhead associated with full-time IT staff.
2. Your business is preparing for growth
Scalability is key to any business, especially as your customer base grows or you plan to expand your business; it allows you to provide better service, be more agile and increase profits.
The challenge of scalability is a common concern among businesses regarding IT. Without careful planning and forethought, your business can find itself with IT systems that cannot meet your current or future needs. This issue can be particularly acute for start-ups and smaller businesses, who may not have the resources or expertise to plan for scalability.
Another reason to reconsider your IT strategy is if your business is looking to change its business model but you do not have the resources to guide the changes. For example, you might need to refresh the technology you leverage when working with clients, but you do not have an in-house team with the right experience. In this case, you will need a strategy guiding your business on the next steps and someone with advisory experience, like a CIO, to drive the initiative.
3. There is a disconnect between business requirements and what IT delivers
Your current tech stack may create roadblocks for your team and prevent them from working at their best level. Adopting new technology can be a great way to overcome these problems, but your efforts could create more issues if you do not take a strategic approach. So, you will need a strategy for solving these roadblocks and adopting technology to suit your needs.
An IT strategy guides your organisation in defining how you will use technology to meet the overall business objectives and plan out projects to meet those goals. The plan will include setting targets such as improving customer service, reducing operational costs, or increasing revenue generation. An IT roadmap provides a timeline for completing these projects, allowing the leadership team to track progress over time.
Your business needs the resources to identify existing issues, and design potential fixes to address issues at the source with strategies to ensure that future tech investments serve their intended purpose of improving operations. An external CIO can identify roadblocks created by legacy technology and develop a strategy for quickly implementing new technology and processes. They can anticipate potential issues or problems and suggest solutions for your business.
You might work with an MSP and wonder why you need someone like a CIO when you have a team covering your IT needs. Your MSP has their SLA and delivers the work you need, but it might not align fully with the business’ overall strategy. They will not provide advisory on new line of business apps, like ERP and CRM, and they typically will not get involved with user training and adoption when you deploy new systems. Working with a CIO means getting a service that covers your IT strategy from the top down.
4. You are planning IT or digital transformation initiatives
Many businesses across the world have realised the importance of digital transformation. This process involves rethinking how you leverage technology to drive growth and improve customer service. Digital transformation is key to staying competitive because it helps your business optimise processes, work more efficiently, and increase productivity.
The right IT expertise is essential when executing digital transformation projects. Without the proper guidance, you may struggle to make your strategy a reality. IT specialists like CIOs have business experience working with various companies across different industries. Access to technology experts with experience in cloud computing, cybersecurity, analytics, artificial intelligence – anything IT related – is an invaluable asset when executing big strategies.
Access to IT executives with specific skill sets will ensure that the project runs smoothly and reduce unexpected delays or complications. Knowing how to manage these risks and provide solutions is essential for the success of any large-scale IT project.
RODIN’s CIO as a Service offering can support your IT strategy
Managing, developing and implementing a strategy for your IT roadmap can be daunting. You need to know if you are picking the right technology, stay abreast of changes in the industry, and ensure that your users get the most from the technology.
So, you need an experienced executive with the expertise to implement technology that supports business growth. RODIN’s CIO as a Service (CIOaaS) ensures you have access to technology IT consulting services and the right IT implementations and upgrades with minimal impact on your daily business operations. Visit our CIO as a Service page for more information.