You may have heard the expression that “there is only one way to eat an elephant: one bite at a time.” To eat an elephant in one sitting would be completely overwhelming.
Trying to improve your IT can feel similarly overwhelming. Not only does it take a great deal of work and investment to improve your IT, but the job of figuring out what to do is a whole lot more complicated than elephant eating.
When we think about improving our IT, we have to consider hardware, software, process, employee education, culture, security, knowledge training, and a whole lot more. Change is difficult, and it is especially difficult when you do not know where to start or where you will end up. Businesses can get stuck and end up not doing much at all. Either that, or their IT investments feel aimless as there always seems to be yet another thing that needs doing.
It is important to emphasize that IT planning does not need to be difficult or complicated. However, without a process, IT will end up resembling an elephant. Which is to say — it will be big and slow when it should be lean and agile — and there is no eating metaphorical elephants or IT with a well-researched IT roadmap.
Our approach is to undergo an IT planning process with business leaders which is not unlike the business planning process they might already be following.
Steps we take for successful planning
- We learn where the business is going, strategy, growth goals, etc.
- We learn how technology currently impacts their business, its goals, its culture, and its employees.
- We look 3-5 years ahead and create a “vision” for the future, “what would we do if we were to start over?”
- We work backwards to the present year, and then the present quarter, and begin to construct a well-crafted plan.
Looking a few years into the future can really help detach your thinking from where you are today and where you would like to be years down the road. Therefore, we especially love going through the process of vision planning and we certainly find it is effective to walk through the process for each of our clients.
Very few companies would make half of the IT investments they have today if they could start over again. They would not buy servers, server room air conditioners. They would not invest in applications that need to be run on-premise. Understanding where you are and where you are going and comparing it against where you have been (that has led to where you are today), is how we size up your elephant. We can then begin to build a plan that moves us towards your future.
Which, yes, includes eating metaphorical elephants one bite at a time.