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Companies must understand available resources, set clear goals for IT initiatives

For any IT project to succeed, companies must identify clear goals and understand the capabilities of their available resources.

For any IT project to succeed, companies must identify clear goals and understand the capabilities of their available resources.

Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) often lack the resources and manpower to design, implement and maintain IT strategies conducive to their ultimate goals. Consequently, many initiatives can feel disjointed and lead to less than ideal results.

To combat this, SMBs must address the disconnect between their objectives and the planning and execution of their technology projects. According to the recently published "Forrester's Workforce Computing Strategic Plan" study, there are a handful of key factors needed for successful IT initiatives, including a clear understanding of:

    •  The aim of the organization
    •  How each project will help to achieve that aim
    •  The destination for each project

These tenets are reinforced in an article written by Forrester's David K. Johnson in an article for ZDNet. Johnson posits that every IT initiative should be evaluated based on how well they assist employees in reaching company goals. Then they should be prioritized accordingly.

"Further, each project must begin with a close look at the conditions outside, a clear understanding of the capabilities of the organization, the limitations of the equipment, and agreement that the destination is truly within reach," he writes.

What we can take away from this is that in order for any technology-related project to make a legitimate contribution to the success of a company, there has to be a clear objective that aligns with the business strategy of that organization. Open-ended endeavors that do not have specifically targeted outcomes rarely help SMBs because without those goals, execution is inefficient and disorganized.

For smaller companies and startups with limited resources, these unproductive approaches are not uncommon. But, enterprises that are most likely to succeed are ones that recognize their own limitations and seek the expertise of consultants who can provide them with the right assets.

Proper SMB IT support is not about making due, but understanding what is needed versus what internal staff is capable of. Once this is clear, companies can pursue partnerships to fill in the gaps and work effectively toward attainable goals.