How is your vision?
Before you decide to move your business to the Cloud or outsource your IT services, we recommend that you understand and can answer these key questions:
- What is your business vision?
- Have you conducted analysis (Value Chain, PESTEL, SWOT, 5 Forces and VRIO) on your business?
- Do you have a latest What is your business strategy?
- What is your IT future state vision?
- What is your IT roadmap?
Your business vision needs to be clear and concise. It should convey want you want for your business and what you want to get out it. For example, when Bill Gates started Microsoft, his vision was to have a personal computer in every home and business; he did not state in his vision how he would make that happen. Daydream for a moment and ponder where you would like your business to be when you retire after a successful and fulfilling career. Capture those thoughts and distil them into a few sentences. Those things that drive you will serve you well.
From this, you need a few snappy sentences that articulates your vision.
Great, now you have a vision for your business, what next? How do you get to that desired end state? Firstly, you need to analyse your current state. You need to be clear on the external impacts, challenges and influences. You need to understand the internal aspects of your business. There are many tools and techniques available that you could choose from, however our favourite ones to use are:
- PESTEL – Politics, Economics, Social, Technology, Environment & Legal
- Value Chain Analysis – of internal primary and supportive activities
- SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats
- 5 Forces – Threat of entry, Bargaining power of customers, Bargaining power of suppliers, threat of substitutes & Industry rivalry
- VRIO – Value, Rarity, Imitability & Organisation
Ultimately, you need a thorough understanding of your business, both looking inside out and from the outside in. Once you have completed sufficient analysis, you will have a wealth information that will help you identify areas to address and develop.
Now you understand where you want to get to and your current state, the next stage is to conduct a gap analysis. A gap analysis is simply a comparison of your current state versus your desired state. This will reveal the key blocks of activity that you need to address to move towards your vision and end state.
Once you understand your gaps, you can start thinking about how you intend to close those gaps. This is where your strategy comes in. Your strategy needs to address all facets of your business. At a high-level. Your strategy could include initiatives to grow your business, to perhaps implement cost saving measures, to reach new customers in other ways and placed or it could be to simply generate more revenue through increased marketing, advertising and sales.
IT future state vision
Technology is utilised to enable and support your business to achieve its vision, goals and to support the business strategy. Technology must not hinder your business or dictate your processes, product offering or services; if it does, your business will not flourish. Providing you have a clear business strategy you are ready to state how technology needs to support the business. Like the business vision, a technology vision must clearly state the desired end state for technology utilisation.
To empathise again, technology supports your business not the other way around.
Now you have a clear business strategy and IT future state vision, you can conduct a gap analysis and prioritise the delivery of technological change. Every initiative on your IT roadmap must be tied back to one or many streams of your strategy; no technology change should be initiated that does not move your business towards its strategy and vision. Your roadmap must also include addressing any security, risk, compliance, regulatory and legal needs.
Every initiative on your IT roadmap must deliver value; whether saving costs, increasing revenue or addressing risk exposure. Each item on your IT roadmap may then result in one or many programs or projects needing to be implemented. Again, these should be prioritised and funded in-line with your roadmap and strategy. At every stage of managing your roadmap, you need to continuously re-assess that your initiatives are required and delivering against your strategy.
A J Wright Consulting can help with addressing all the above key components of helping to drive your business forward. If you would like to know more, then we would be delighted to assist you.