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Build an IT Strategy for Small Enterprises

Get in front of your workload with a right-sized and business-aligned IT strategy.

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Contributors

  • Ken Piddington, Chief Information Officer and Executive Advisor, MRE Consulting
  • Kyle Saverance, Chief Information Officer, Coker College

Your Challenge

  • Small enterprise (SE) IT departments are so overburdened with managing the day-to-day that strategic thinking is an afterthought. 69% of SE IT departments surveyed claim their IT strategies were less than adequate.
  • IT struggles to communicate its current or potential support of business goals. 41% of SE business leaders feel that their goals are unsupported by IT.
  • All IT departments are limited by their capacity, but SEs feels this constraint more than their MLE counterparts. Necessary strategic initiatives are neglected if their value and risk doesn’t translate to business terms.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Don’t build a strategy to appease executives or view it as a request for permission. You’re making the case for the enhancements to the whole organization’s capabilities through the technology you deliver and operate.
  • Business stakeholders cannot translate how IT initiatives will help achieve their objectives or mitigate risk. Explain IT’s role in value creation and share the ownership of tech risk.
  • SEs invariably have less capacity, talent, and tools to meet a similar demand to MLEs. Prioritization is imperative to success, as is conveying how all gaps impact the business.

Impact and Result

  • Clearly communicate to business executives how IT will support the organization’s key objectives and initiatives using the Small Enterprise Executive Presentation Template.
  • Use Info-Tech’s Initiative Prioritization Tool to help make project decisions in a holistic manner that allows for the selection of the most valuable initiatives to become part of the IT strategic roadmap.
  • Demonstrate to business executives and the IT organization how the IT strategy was created using Info-Tech’s Small Enterprise IT Strategy Template.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should create a well-defined IT strategy, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Identify the target state

Identify the IT organization target state using the business context to ensure IT supports business needs.

2. Assess the current state

Conduct an assessment of the IT organization current state to understand where IT currently stands.

3. Bridge the gap and create the strategy

Analyze the difference between the current state and target state on a capability perspective, then brainstorm initiatives to bridge the gap and secure approval for the IT strategy.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a six call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Identify the target state

Call #1 - Identify the business context status and IT implications.
Call #2 - Create components of the IT target state.

Guided Implementation #2 - Assess the current state

Call #1 - Assess current IT capabilities.
Call #2 - Examine additional factors impacting IT and identify the current IT maturity.

Guided Implementation #3 - Bridge the gap and create the strategy

Call #1 - Assess the gaps to the target state.
Call #2 - Refine the communication materials and plan.

Onsite Workshop

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Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Identify IT Implications

The Purpose

  • Conduct analysis and facilitate discussions to uncover what business needs mean for IT.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An understanding of what business needs mean for IT.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Review the business context.

1.2

Review links between business capabilities/business initiatives with business goals.

  • Links between business capabilities/business initiatives with business goals
1.3

Identify IT implications from the documented business context.

1.4

Group the IT implications into themes from seven perspectives.

  • Implications on IT from the business context

Module 2: Define the IT Target State

The Purpose

  • Define goals and target state maturity to get a sense of where IT needs to go. Clearly understand where IT needs to go by defining the target state IT capabilities.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identifies and documents, at a high level, IT’s target state. Additionally, the list of target state capabilities defines in more detail and clarity how the target state will look.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Define IT goals.

  • IT goals
2.2

Determine the IT goal alignment to business goals.

2.3

Indicate the target state IT maturity.

2.4

Identify target state IT capabilities required to achieve IT goals.

2.5

Consolidate target IT capability map.

  • Target state IT capabilities

Module 3: Assess the IT Current State

The Purpose

  • Gauge where the IT organization currently stands to get a baseline so that gaps can be identified between the current and target state.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Provides an assessment of the current state in terms of capabilities, planed initiatives, factors impacting IT, budget, and current state maturity.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Review diagnostic results.

3.2

Assess current IT capabilities.

  • Documented current IT capabilities and the gap to the target state
3.3

Conduct IT SWOT analysis.

  • IT SWOT analysis
3.4

Identify current state maturity.

3.5

Assess the gaps between current- and target-state capabilities.

  • Overall IT capabilities gap analysis

Module 4: Bridge the Gap and Create the Strategy

The Purpose

  • Identify the gaps between the current and target states and brainstorm initiatives to address the gaps. Set out next steps to reach IT strategy approval.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identify the projects needed to reach the target state from the current state.
  • Link how the projects support IT capabilities, IT goals, and the business context.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Map key current IT initiatives to IT and business goals.

  • Documented relationship between IT goals, capabilities, and initiatives.
4.2

Brainstorm initiatives to address the gaps in capabilities.

  • List of new initiatives to reach the target state
4.3

Create initiative profiles.

  • IT initiative profiles
4.4

Prioritize IT initiatives.

  • IT strategy prioritization matrix
4.5

Create roadmaps for key IT initiatives.

  • IT strategy roadmaps
4.6

Summarize the highlights of the IT strategy.

Member Testimonials

Unlock Sample Research

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this Blueprint, and what our clients have to say.

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Public Utility Commission State Of Oregon

Guided Implementation

10/10

$2,647

5

City Of St Catharines

Guided Implementation

10/10

$50,000

20

Sioux Lookout Meno-Ya-Win Health Centre

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

5

Euclid Systems Corporation

Guided Implementation

10/10

$6,618

5

Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP

Guided Implementation

8/10

$5,000

2

City of Walla Walla

Guided Implementation

10/10

$13,236

20

Prince Resorts Hawaii

Guided Implementation

9/10

$13,236

60

Denver Zoological Foundation

Guided Implementation

8/10

N/A

3

Westoba Credit Union Limited

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

N/A

Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

Guided Implementation

8/10

$4,000

5

Hamilton Public Library

Guided Implementation

8/10

N/A

N/A

Quartz Health Solutions, Inc.

Guided Implementation

8/10

$6,618

20

Tci, LLC

Guided Implementation

5/10

N/A

N/A

City of Brookings

Guided Implementation

6/10

N/A

15

The Research Institute of the MUHC

Guided Implementation

6/10

$1,000

2

Charlotte County Sheriff's Office

Guided Implementation

8/10

$6,618

15

Clasen Quality Chocolate, Inc.

Guided Implementation

6/10

N/A

N/A

Moorings Park Inc

Guided Implementation

6/10

$6,618

5

Addax Petroleum

Guided Implementation

6/10

$6,618

N/A

City Of St Catharines

Guided Implementation

6/10

$20,000

N/A

SIM Group

Guided Implementation

6/10

N/A

N/A

Snavely Forest Products Inc.

Guided Implementation

6/10

N/A

N/A

Moore Norman Technology Center

Guided Implementation

8/10

$2,647

N/A

Fraser Valley Regional Library

Guided Implementation

6/10

$5,000

5

Bristol Bay Industrial

Guided Implementation

8/10

$13,236

N/A

Hope Global

Guided Implementation

8/10

$13,236

N/A

ServicePower

Guided Implementation

6/10

N/A

N/A

Greater Sudbury Hydro Plus

Guided Implementation

3/10

N/A

N/A

Professional Engineers of Ontario

Guided Implementation

8/10

$1,000

15

CarVal Investors

Guided Implementation

6/10

N/A

N/A

Search Code: 77678
Published: May 29, 2015
Last Revised: February 27, 2020