Dependent upon the size and growth of an organization, opinions on the importance of IT strategy can vary. A current audit of your organization’s infrastructure, staff and budget can give you a baseline to benchmark against during organizational and IT changes.
Gathering quantitative and qualitative data regarding IT can be overwhelming if it is done ad-hoc. When developing an IT strategy, your organization should consider alignment with current business processes and total cost of ownership. Defining an IT strategy with current and future business needs in mind makes decision making a lot easier.
The general perception is that selecting the right ERP software is the main factor in gaining competitive advantage. However, true realized benefits are derived from having integrated technology across the organization that facilitates a swift IT and business strategy. Once these benefits are understood and noted, a technology roadmap can be developed for further investigation.
Technology roadmaps are a great tool to provide insight for planning and coordination purposes. Prioritizing needs over “nice-to-haves” is the first step in the process. Critical system requirements drive the framework that assists in weeding out unknown functionality of a particular ERP system. Whether it’s ERP software or new hardware, the cost of the product must be taken into consideration. Total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis takes many variables into account and provides criteria for comparing multiple ERP systems. Organizations should compare apples to apples when it comes to licensing, maintenance and training.
The importance of IT strategy is inarguable – organizational goals must be taken into account before making as significant of a purchase as ERP software.