Why Organizations Need to View IT as Central to Success and Profit
Think Your IT Department is Simply There to Make Repairs and Solve Minor Problems? Find Out Why It Should Be the Center of Your Organization’s Long-Term Strategy
Information technology (IT) is more than a critical function. A well-run IT department should be integrated into an organization’s overall strategy. In fact, a comprehensive IT department should be at the center of organizational strategy. Within a firm, IT can include the following:
- End-user computing devices
- Networks and network infrastructure
- Operating systems
- Software applications
- Data storage
- Internet service
- Telephone systems
Using IT As a Strategic Asset
According to leading industry experts, even when leaders are aware of what constitutes the IT department’s purview and assets, there is a tendency to overlook IT’s potential. Yet, technology assets can be leveraged to ensure the organization runs as smoothly as possible. When an IT department and its assets are finely tuned, leaders can focus on identifying opportunities and innovative technical solutions. This includes innovative technical solutions that can be either used by the organization or leveraged by it. Consequently, the IT department and its assets become more cost-effective. With the right type and degree of investment, IT can help turn a profit for the firm.
When elevating IT and its assets to the center of organizational strategy, it is crucial to think about three areas. Those areas are:
- Strategic planning
IT can generate income through innovative solutions, but also by streamlining internal costs. This is usually achieved through the automation of processes and by increasing the efficiency of processes. Growth goes hand in hand with innovative solutions and increasing the efficiency of internal processes. By being able to meet client needs and drive market behaviors, an organization can use IT to establish a competitive advantage. Establishing and maintaining a competitive advantage to stimulate long-term growth is an essential part of any strategic plan.
Reasons to Leverage IT
The number one reason why it is important to leverage technology-related assets is due to the industry’s pace. Changes in technological advancements and capabilities happen at lightning-fast speeds. Without proper strategic planning, analysis and leverage of internal IT capabilities, an organization can simply not expect to succeed. IT can not only be a means of survival, but a point of differentiation. Technical expertise and advantage can reduce costs, create markets, better meet client needs, and make the entire organization more efficient. Neglecting IT or viewing the department and its assets as a necessary evil can backfire as others find ways to make technology generate revenue.