Thought Leadership

How to Establish an Effective IT Strategy

A strong and solid IT strategy is crucial for any business to be successful. Despite organizations having employees with skill sets and backgrounds necessary for success, without an IT strategy IT projects are most likely struggling to align with the strategic business goals of the organization. An IT strategy aides organizations in identifying tasks that must be accomplished as well as provides guidance on how to ensure IT tasks are aligned with the overall organization goals.

Align the IT with the Business

Ensuring that the tasks carried out by the IT department align with organization goals is the core of creating and establishing a strong and solid IT strategy. Regardless of whether it is full-time with multiple roles or part-time, there must be an executive member that oversees the IT department. The executive member should be an expert in the field of IT, however they will not be involved in the day-to-day tasks of the IT department. Rather, this executive member will oversee the projects of the IT department and align IT projects with the overall organization goals. Additionally, having a member of the executive team focusing on IT allows other executive members to devote more attention to the core of their organization: the health and care of clients. It’s vital that company executives and employees not spend valuable time that could be spent with clients worrying about the on-goings of the IT department. Client health and care needs to be the main priority of healthcare organizations, and having an IT executive member allows that to be the case.

Demystify the IT Black Box

Not only does having an IT executive member work to align the IT department with the organizational goals, but they also play a pivotal role in communicating what exactly the IT department does to the rest of the organization. Often times, we see that few employees and executives fully understand or are aware of what IT employees do within the company. A communal understanding of what IT does is essential for a strong IT strategy. Spreading awareness and knowledge of the IT department makes for a more knowledgeable organization as well as a more unified workplace environment.

Plan, Plan, Plan

An IT strategy should have a plan for two to three years out. To do this, organizations must first establish long-term goals. Following that, decisions need to be made on what specific tasks need to occur for those goals to be achieved and how long each task will take. It is important that the priority of each task is established and that tasks are prioritized between keeping the lights on and strategically moving the organization forward. Again, this is where having an IT executive comes in handy due to the fact that they will be able to objectively and logically prioritize the tasks due to their dual knowledge of the IT department and the organization’s goals. Staying on track may sometimes be difficult – that is why we recommend a quarterly meeting devoted solely to updates and progress regarding the IT strategic plan.

Where We Come In

At Afia, we have worked with dozens of healthcare organizations to create IT strategies that align with their needs and goals. If you’re ready for your organization to take the next step in proactive IT management, or are ready to move into a managed cloud, contact Matt Hoffman at to chat with us about how we can help you become more competitive in your field.

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