Assignment Help on IT Strategy for Firms
This research essay descriptively details what is meant by Information Technology Strategy and why in increasingly automated business environment of today, successful firms are those that not only have an established IT strategy but also keep updating the same based on changes that may be encountered. Further explained in extreme detail are the reasons that necessitate the need for organizations of today to have an established and implemented IT strategy other than the competition that may be faced from other organizations which have an IT strategy. Also detailed are the values and benefits that may be derived by organizations by having an IT strategy and what qualities and elements of an IT strategy would need to be established in order to derive the maximum amount of value from an IT strategy.
IT strategy is a term that is casually mentioned these days, and quite often it is misquoted. In the strictest sense, a process which aligns IT capability with business requirements is called IT strategy. As it is after all a process, it remains an ongoing exercise and may be constantly changed or updated. In fact, in order to be successful, some IT strategies can go through a long cycle of trial and tribulations and start stop approaches, until the right one is finally identified. Also important is to make sure that business requirements and IT capability are aligned. What this entails is that IT not only addresses the needs of a business as they arise; but also it is responsible for driving the business forward as well. What IT strategy is, is a comprehensive plan for developing IT capabilities, which are then used to further guide the running of the company (Barlett, 2014).
IT strategy is concerned mainly with technology policies, and outlining the vision of how the demand an organization has for information and systems will be supported by technology – essentially; it is concerned with IT supply (Earl, 1989). It addresses the supply of IT capabilities, services and resources such as developments of system, IT operations and user support (Ward, 2002). In essence, IT strategy basically deals with the methods which are preferred, level of security, mandated systems, platforms and applications, the facts about how information is provided. Hence it is concerned with the technological infrastructure that is necessary to fulfill all the requirements of the information strategy.
IT strategy can best be described as an iterative process involving technology which is used to align the IT capabilities with the business concerns. IT strategy is mainly used to enhance shareholder value which in other words can be stated as helping in maximizing the return on the investments made by the Company on information technology (Cio-Index, 2009).
IT Strategy can also be expressed in documentary from so that it explains how technology can be used as part of the company’s overall strategy and each business strategy. In the case of Information Technology, the strategy is usually formed by a group of members from both the business and from IT.
A well deployed IT strategy which provides actual benefits to the company has multiple components, the most important of which is people. Having the right number of and the right type of people is essential to having a successful IT strategy. Another factor is culture, which directly impacts the level with which the IT strategy affects the company (Zaki, 2011).
Technology is now deeply entrenched in our lives. In the business world, technology has gone from being just a tool that can be utilized occasionally to being the foundation of all operations and interaction with the market. The operations and resilience of most companies are mostly dependent on information and communications infrastructure that they have.
An IT strategy is essential to ensuring that current and future business plans and requirement can be met. Without this a firm cannot plan its own future and is very likely to arrive at a point where its technology capabilities are very different to its actual technology requirements. There are many documented instances where such a scenario has caused the failure of the business. Forming an IT strategy is initiated by asking the question, “Where do we stand today?” (Stamp, 2013).
Without an active IT strategy, a firm can only react and make spontaneous decisions based on a few factors, which results in disconnected and sometimes incompatible solutions. This is a highly ineffective way of doing business but it’s also very expensive. Many firms don’t develop a strategy since it is often thought of as too much work or rather not deemed important. It does of course, involve work, just like most worthy business endeavors do. If it was certain that time, money would be saved and frustrations would be reduced in the long term, that would probably make people think differently. It is possible that the exercise will produce the aforesaid benefits and perhaps also provide much needed competitive advantage as an added benefit. If a firm does not know how to approach this, such firm can find somebody with the necessary experience to assist them. It’s not necessarily a massive exercise and it is something that can be easily outsourced (Dwedge, 2015).
Research has already identified many organizational challenges to effective IT strategy development. If organizations strategy development processes are not compatible (e.g., if they take place at different times or involve different levels of business), it is unlikely that business and IT will be working towards the same goals at the same time (Frohman, 1982).
Numerous values can be derived from an IT strategy. IT strategy can be a facilitator for success by providing clarity as to what a business needs from IT, and how such requirements are met. It also provides leaders of the business with a clearer picture of what needs to be done to improve IT capabilities, and how they can benefit the business in the long run. It allows better planning and preparation to be done between business and IT, and facilitates a more successful and better relationship (Barlett, 2014).
Companies should not look at IT strategy as an add-on component to overall business plans that the companies may have. IT can help shape business strategy at its core. Businesses can usually take advantage of the IT capabilities in order to mold their plans for the future. This can lead to a less chaotic and even disconnected business plan that integrates and incorporates IT from the very beginning (Beveridge, 2015).
Hire Professional Australian Writers for IT Strategy Assignments
Companies that integrate new technological advances into marketing, production and other business processes often stand a much better chance of outperforming their competitors. In the event the business and IT strategy head in the very same direction, companies can choose the utmost best IT components to use for the business and for their customers. This can result in much happier customers, employees and other stakeholders, which can not only drive production higher but also customer consumption of products higher. In other words, companies can implement IT strategies that can contribute to greater value to the activities of the company instead of simply providing support. IT strategy and further decisions should work towards moving the organization’s brand forward, along with the strategic vision and mission (Horst, 2010).
Using IT strategy, firms can be more scalable. As a business grows from its inception with the passage of time, its IT requirements undoubtedly change, and without a plan to provide for this, problems can be experienced. There can come a time where the lack of the necessary IT capabilities can slow or somewhat prevent further growth.
As well as allowing a business to be scalable; IT strategy can also help a business to be more flexible. Businesses constantly react and adapt to the market, which requires changes in their IT services and an IT strategy can help a business to plan for such changes, and to have the needed IT support in place when they do so. The presence of this flexibility is essential to compete in an ever evolving marketplace (Barlett, 2014).
IT strategy can allow a business to reduce cost and save money. An example can be when IT services are planned well in advance; electricity usage with great reductions can be achieved. A well thought out strategy can enable everything to run much more smoothly which means time can then be spent on other tasks, to reduce cost even further.