What is your overarching strategic goal for IT this year? Many CIOs and IT departments are eager to launch new, exciting initiatives like enhancing innovation, closer alignment within the rest of company, reducing unnecessary costs, or integrating new technologies—just to name a few.
But first, IT leaders need to remember that there's more to new IT strategies and goals than just the launch. There's no such thing as pressing "GO" and then sitting back while waiting for wins and successes to roll in.
Instead, you MUST take time in preparing for new innovation or major strategies by thoroughly examining your current processes. Then, carefully create a plan for improvement that makes smart use of your resources and your entire team.
Take Care of Fundamentals First
Without a solid idea of the kinds of innovation you’re looking to build, you won't make the changes that legitimately enhance efficiency, save you money, integrate new technologies, or whichever IT goals you're hoping to achieve.
That's why it's critical that you start the process by taking time to reflect. Ask yourself these kinds of questions:
- What does innovation personally look like to you?
- Is that vision different than your CEO or the rest of the C-Suite?
- How could your company improve with an innovative IT department?
- Why are there struggles in getting there?
Many CIOs and IT leaders intend to be more innovative. However, their ideas don't always align with their company's overall vision, or their own department's capacity, budget, or internal capability.
Because of this, it’s essential that you take honest stock of your strengths, weaknesses, or potential roadblocks. How will they influence the ultimate success of your IT department's strategy? What can you do to maximize the chances of this strategy succeeding?
So, before tackling your new goals or integrations, be sure you've stopped any bleeding that may be occurring within your department. Also, always get full buy-in from the C-Suite and prepare your staff for any changes that may be on the horizon.
Do You Need It—Or Just Want It
IT innovation can’t exist in a vacuum. You need to be sure you’re investing in areas that will help other departments reach their goals as well.
When considering which new technologies, products, and processes to invest in, connect first with your counterparts in marketing, operations, sales, and human resources to see what they need from IT in order to make their processes run more smoothly.
With that information, you'll be best equipped to ensure that your team's upcoming innovation measures will solve real problems—and not just launching new initiatives for innovation’s sake alone.
It's About Process AND Product
Innovation doesn’t just mean investing in new, top-of-the-line devices or completely overhauling old systems. It also includes streamlining your processes so that everyone in your department is empowered to work to the best of their abilities every day.
Encourage an active culture of accountability in your IT department. Team members should feel empowered to discuss their ideas for improving work with those in management. You’ll not only get valuable insight from your employees on how to improve work at every level, but you’ll gain their trust and improve department morale.
It’s never a bad time to start thinking about how to make your department more innovative. If you’re looking for a place to start, take a look at our eBook, 10 Steps to Finding Your True Printing Costs, for help getting started.
And if you're ready to take your IT strategy to the next level, talk to the imageOne team. We'll take a look at your current office workflow strategies and see if we can help you optimize them for greater success while saving your business money. Set up a free, no-obligation consultation today!