As we enter into 2022, having an IT strategy is more important than ever before. And whereas you used to be able to respond to changes in the cyber landscape as they occurred, this is no longer possible – you must be proactive.
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Proactive vs. Reactive IT Strategies
When it comes to IT strategies, it’s helpful to think in military terms. More specifically, we look at the distinction between proactive and reactive approaches.
“Proactive strategies are superior because they allow the company using the strategy the freedom to make its own decisions rather than responding out of necessity to a situation that already may be out of control,” entrepreneur Scott Thompson writes. “Companies that use proactive strategies have a better chance of seizing and retaining the initiative in the competition with other companies.”
Most organizations take a very reactive approach to IT. Leaders in these organizations view IT as an expense rather than an investment. It’s looked upon reluctantly and decisions are made in response to emergencies, sudden shifts in the industry, and the ebb and flow of outside demands. The primary goal here is just to keep technology running.
2022-01-12 It’s invested in and aligns with the company’s overall vision, mission, and values. The objective is to get ahead of the game and use technology as a competitive advantage.
Developing Your 2022 IT Strategy
Ten years ago, you probably could have taken a fairly reactive approach to IT and survived. But this is no longer possible in 2022. It’s imperative that you strategize, rather than taking a reactive “take it as it comes” approach.
With this in mind, here are several suggestions:
Look for Ways to Reduce IT Infrastructure Costs
According to a CIO study, COVID had a major impact on IT budgets – so much so that cost control and expense management are now top priorities for IT leaders. The data reveals that businesses are now looking for proactive ways to keep costs down without compromising the integrity of their IT infrastructure and security.
As we enter 2022, it’s important to know some common IT cost reduction strategies for preserving your budget. Options include prioritizing optimization programs; speeding up transformation with cloud migrations; better utilizing on-demand resources; limiting new assets and extending the life cycle of current assets, and partnering with strategic vendors to control costs and enjoy greater flexibility.
Get Ahead on Cybersecurity Trends
If there’s one thing that should be at the forefront of every IT strategy in 2022, it’s cybersecurity. With millions of people moving to remote work and the increase in ransomware attacks, it’s no longer a matter of if your business will be attacked, it’s simply when.
Preventing cyberattacks is a fairly futile effort at this point. It’s all about defending your business when an attack does happen.
As part of your budgeting plan, make sure you’re creating room for cybersecurity investments. Technology iterates quickly in this area of the IT field, so it’s wise to give yourself a financial runway over the next 12 months.
Security training is a big part of your investment in cybersecurity. Research continues to show that as much as 90 per cent of data breaches are caused by human error. This means better training and awareness will significantly lower your risk.
Take Staffing Seriously
It doesn’t matter what industry or field you’re talking about; staffing and compensation are major topics in 2022. The combination of millions of people in the labour force switching careers, coupled with emerging opportunities in different industries, means you can no longer take IT, staff, for granted. It’s getting difficult to go out and attract top talent without spending massive amounts of money.
Employee retention is extremely important in your IT department. It’s a whole lot cheaper to give an existing employee a raise and a few additional benefits than it is to go out and hire a new employee. This is especially true in IT, where your organization’s unique systems may require a significant learning curve for new employees. When you find good talent, make sure you keep it!
Adding it All Up
Developing a proactive IT strategy doesn’t mean you have to accurately predict the future or know exactly what’s coming down the pipeline of innovation. It simply means your posture is one of engagement (rather than shrinking back and taking things as they come).
As you think about your approach to 2022 and beyond, prioritize a proactive approach and begin viewing IT as an investment/asset, rather than an expense on an accounting statement.