Thought Leadership: Technology Consulting

The Value of a Partner in Bridging the Gap Between Organizational IT Strategy, Implementation, and Management

April 21, 2023 - by Gitesh Tripathi

The most important aspect of identifying an IT strategy is gaining an understanding of common strategic goals across the organization while simultaneously keeping the participating business units top of mind. When bridging the gap between organizational IT strategy, implementation and management efforts, legacy IT applications will undoubtedly be impacted. Because of this, there must be a vital analysis of the “AS-IS” state and the “TO-BE” state to ensure comprehension from a technology and process perspective. By engaging stakeholders, organizations can ensure that necessary resource allocations have been made to meet strategic IT goals. This type of tactical partnership helps keep the company’s vision at the forefront, even amid a complex and large-scale digital transformation.

Once the implementation stage begins, the deployed technologies should seamlessly align with the organization’s top business objectives. Whether strategic goals fall under the tier of scalability, performance or customer experience, the proper partner can help to identify and achieve business-driven results. The organization also needs to ensure all siloed legacy applications are factored in and shifted into the “TO-BE” state along with any data migration viewpoints. This means that movement strategy must be defined as being big-bank or incremental implementation from application delivery all the way to data migration.

Common Gaps in IT Strategy, Implementation and Management

Several common gaps between IT strategy, implementation and management exist in organizations, including:

  • Communication Gaps: A lack of clear and effective communication between IT leaders, managers and staff can lead to misunderstandings, delays and misalignment of goals across the organization.
  • Resource Gaps: Shortage of staff or inadequate training can hinder IT initiatives or implementation and slow down progress, while also causing an organization to set the wrong goals or create an insufficient IT roadmap.
  • Strategic Gaps: If the tech strategy doesn’t fully align with the overall business strategy, there is room for a disconnect between IT initiatives and the organization’s long-term goals.
  • Cultural Gaps: IT departments may have a different culture than other parts of the organization, which can cause misunderstandings and resistance to change.
  • Implementation Gaps: Even with a solid IT strategy mapped out, poor implementation from inadequate planning or the absence of the right skills can impede the overall success of technology plan in place.

Addressing Operational and Business Needs

Striking the right balance between operational and organizational needs requires a business to prioritize communication and allocate sufficient resources. With this, companies need to invest in staff development or outsource an experienced team for tech support, foster a culture of collaboration and plan/execute IT initiatives effectively. In the event that underlying gaps go unaddressed, organizations often experience wasted resources and missed opportunities. Overtime, this often leads to the inability to deliver on expected outcomes or even failure of projects and successful stakeholder engagement.

The three pillars of IT strategy optimization are time, cost and revenue. From an operational perspective, utilizing an outside consultant or IT firm to support the execution of the organization’s strategic goals can positively impact business operations. However, if the consultant fails to clearly understand the existing plan and develop an implementation strategy designed to solve pain points, value will not be generated.

Additionally, there is a need for strong and recognized business results. Unresolved gaps, as previously mentioned, can lead to a disconnect between strategy, management and implementation. Such disparities create a misunderstanding between varying parties, which in turn results in poor execution, inefficiencies, siloed departments, and lost opportunities. With this in mind, the involvement of a trusted and strategic IT partner can create ample improvement and innovation throughout the entire digital transformation process.

The Importance of Asking the Right Questions

When an organization recognizes current roadblocks and strives to solve internal issues, it is necessary to identify a series of key questions in order to determine next steps. Some of these questions include:

  1. What is the overall IT strategy, and how does it align with the company’s goals and objectives?
  2. Are there any gaps or misalignments between the IT and business strategies?
  3. How are IT decisions made and who is involved in the decision-making process?
  4. Are the IT resources allocated efficiently and effectively, and are there any areas where resources could be better utilized?
  5. How does the IT department measure success and performance, and are these metrics aligned with top business goals and objectives?
  6. Are there any communication or collaboration issues between the IT department and other business units?
  7. Is there a clear understanding of the IT department’s role within the organization, and are there any conflicting expectations or misunderstandings?
  8. Are there any technology or infrastructure limitations deterring the IT department’s ability to deliver on its series of strategic objectives?
  9. How are risks and challenges managed and addressed within the IT department?
  10. Are there any cultural or organizational barriers contributing to the disconnect between IT strategy, management and implementation?

Streamlining these processes can provide some relief, but some of the challenges associated with trying to find a tactical internal path forward for these areas may include:

  • Ensuring strategic alignment and buy-in from top organizational stakeholders.
  • Matching the right skills and ability to allow for efficient processes.
  • Realizing and alleviating cultural and organizational barriers.
  • Proper risk mitigation and planning strategy, including what-if scenarios.

The Value of a Third-Party IT Partner

Unfortunately, organizations don’t always have the resources or bandwidth available in-house to ensure digital transformation success. Because of this, it is important to consider onboarding strategic consultants or outsourcing some of your IT department support to a trusted Managed Service Provider (MSP) as a collaborator and catalyst for driving desired business results.

Bringing in the right IT consultant brings experience and education to a business’s strategic initiatives. Those with an array of experience, proper tools and high-level process viewpoints ensure the business receives the customization needed to achieve its main organizational objectives. An MSP can help streamline these areas by:

  • Identifying new perspectives and expertise that the organization lacks internally.
  • Recognizing and resolving areas of weakness or inefficiency.
  • Enabling access to cutting-edge technology and specialized tools not available to a smaller, in-house IT department.
  • Providing additional staffing and support to manage and mitigate risk.
  • Helping organizations achieve IT goals more efficiently and effectively while improving overall business performance.

Following are some of the key attributes an organization should assess when outsourcing a third-party MSP:

  • Proven track record of success in addressing similar issues in other organizations.
  • Deep understanding of the industry and the unique challenges both the business and sector are facing.
  • Ability to cater to a wider technology landscape.
  • Strong communication to ensure it can effectively collaborate with the organization’s internal teams.
  • Flexible approaches and the ability to create tailored solutions designed to meet the organization’s specific needs.
  • Transparent and collaborative processes to ensure teams are fully involved.
  • The ability to provide insightful and data-driven feedback, every step of the way.

An MSP takes the following steps when it comes to streamlining the organizational gaps between strategy, management and implementation.

  1. Comprehensive Assessment: A thorough analysis of the organization’s current state is necessary in identifying gaps and determining underlying causes.
  2. Strategic Planning: Based on the assessment findings, the MSP devises an IT roadmap outlining the steps required to streamline strategy, management and implementation, which includes detailed needs around resources, timelines and specific actions.
  3. Stakeholders Engagement: The MSP connects with stakeholders across the organization, including senior management, line managers and employees, to get input and buy-in. A partner also communicates key objectives and demonstrates how the organization will benefit.
  4. Implementation: The MSP works with top decision-makers to deploy the approved IT plan, which may involve changes to organizational structure, processes and technology. MSPs also take a robust project management approach to ensure the plan is executed successfully.
  5. Progress Monitoring and Continuous Improvement: Regular monitoring is key to ensure the plan is on track and achieving the desired, set outcomes. A partner continually reviews and improves the strategy to ensure the organization is using the most advanced or efficient methods to reach its objectives.

Having an MSP on board results provides a number of advantages, which include:

  • Well-defined goals for strategic initiatives.
  • A definitive and highly strategic IT roadmap with associated control measures.
  • Stakeholder engagement and continuous visibility of where the business is headed.
  • Improved customer and employee satisfaction.
  • Increased revenue optimization.

IT strategy, implementation and management will continue to be critical to business success in 2023 and beyond. Engaging a trusted MSP to support seamless integration across these three key areas of the business is a strategic way to bridge gaps across the organization and align the IT strategy with overarching business objectives.

Original Article posted on BetaNews, Inc.

About the Author

Gitesh Tripathi

Gitesh Tripathi

Senior Director, Delivery and Technology

Gitesh Tripathi is the Senior Director of Delivery and Technology at Synoptek. He has over 22 years of experience across diverse domains including FinTech, Telecom, Insurance, Telemedicine, Account Aggregation, and more. At Synoptek, he creates, coaches, and mentors hi-performance technology teams and consults on Platform and Product Engineering, Center of Excellence, and Digital Engineering Services.

Sign up for our Tech-Arc Monthly Newsletter