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Your IT Infrastructure: Impediment or Strategic Advantage?

10 mins read
written by
Dhoof Mohamed

Your IT infrastructure can either be an impediment to reaching your goals for 2016 or it can be a strategic advantage. When you do not invest in the right IT infrastructure (or do not invest in it at all), it can slow down your whole team and create unnecessary frustration. Conversely, when you make the right IT investments, it can keep your team highly productive and happier: a strategic advantage for your business.

Here are 4 steps to turn your IT infrastructure into a strategic advantage:

1) Design IT goals based on your business goals

Look at how your business goals can be supported by IT. For example, if your goal is 30% revenue growth, can your current infrastructure (e.g. network, phone system) support that growth? Do you need to upgrade some part of your infrastructure? Are there IT tools that could help your team be more effective or keep you from having to hire as many new employees to support growth?

If you don’t have the skills in-house to translate business goals into IT goals, you may want to consider CIO services, where an outside expert comes in to help.

2) Hold your IT team accountable to goals

The first step is to inform your IT team of your business goals and how IT can support them. Then, you need to hold them accountable for matching any IT investments with those goals. For example, if you are looking at a new phone system, don’t let your IT team simply present the “bulletproof” enterprise version that could grow to 10,000 employees. Your business could be fine with a solution that would allow you to comfortably grow to 250 employees. The key is to have your IT team recommend solutions that support your goals.

3) Leverage the right technical skills

Just because an IT professional is good at providing helpdesk support does not mean that same person is the right person to upgrade your network. When you have someone working outside of their core skills set, it can lead to unnecessary errors and downtime. To make IT work for your organization, you want to leverage the right technical skills for a project. In most cases, the time savings and minimized downtime can easily justify the cost of bringing in an outside expert for a project.

4) Minimize downtime

User downtime is expensive for your organization. In many cases, employees have little they can get done when their computer or internet connection is down. That is why you must make it clear to your IT team that they will be measured on their responsiveness to keeping users online. While this typically requires a mindset change for IT professionals, it is critical to keeping your whole team productive.

With a little planning, and possibly some outside help, you can ensure that your IT infrastructure provides your organization with a strategic advantage in 2016.

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