Creating an effective IT strategy is crucial for large businesses to manage complex technology environments, drive innovation, and maintain a competitive edge.
Perhaps more than ever, large businesses in London are pressed to address their IT strategy and bring it up-to-date with existing markets. Unless the technologies you implement align with your operational objectives, the continuity of your business could be at risk.
We only have to look at the number of brands that were household names that went into liquidation over the past decade to recognise how important it is to adapt to emerging markets by adopting the right technology.
IT initiatives should directly support the achievement of business objectives. Develop and maintain a comprehensive enterprise architecture that provides a clear roadmap for IT initiatives and investments.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the most pressing issues that large businesses face in the coming years. And more importantly, highlight the IT strategies that will help you to navigate the digital landscape and stay ahead of the curve.
Regulatory Compliance/IT Governance
The introduction of regulations has left large businesses in London walking a tightrope. IT governance, therefore, is critically important due to the complex and multifaceted nature of IT operations and diverse data systems.
The regulatory challenges your company face, of course, is determined by the industry you’re in, but one compliance requirement stands out above all — and it affects every industry, and thus every business.
You guessed it. GDPR.
The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) leaves large businesses open to predators. No, not the multi-national corporations that you pose a threat to. I’m talking about hackers.
Large businesses in London are a primary target for threat actors. Consequently, cybersecurity initiatives to protect sensitive data and intellectual property should be a priority.
Executives should work alongside IT managers to provide support and financial backing to ensure the cybersecurity defences you implement are robust enough to prevent a data breach. Develop a comprehensive risk management plan to address potential threats effectively.
IT governance provides a structured framework of best practices that help organisations to effectively manage compliance regulations and make strategic decisions whilst mitigating the risks of a data breach.
In accordance with GDPR, an effective IT strategy for large businesses in London should prioritise cybersecurity. Solutions should include 24/7 monitoring, patch management and providing your teams with cybersecurity awareness training.
Moreover, adopting a Zero Trust policy is key for large businesses in London. You can read How To Build A Zero Trust Cloud Environment in one of our previous articles.
Increase Cloud Adoption
Cloud computing provides a multitude of benefits to large businesses. I’m sure you know about them already, so will save reeling them off again here. But despite the advantages cloud solutions offer, large businesses in London are reluctant to go all-in on the cloud, preferring to adopt hybrid solutions.
There are understandable concerns. PwC reports that the five key concerns are data sovereignty regulations, data security, vendor lock-in, skills gaps and existing data centre investments.
Cloud platform providers are working on solutions to alleviate natural concerns. The Big 4 Big Tech giants spend billions of dollars a year improving the functionality and security of their platforms.
For example, Microsoft alone invests $1 billion every year in their Azure cloud platform to tighten up security defences. Microsoft users are the most targeted companies in the world. According to the tech mammoth, their AI-driven security measures fend off around 65 trillion cyber threats a day.
That’s not to say, that security should actually be the priority when choosing the right cloud platform for you. There are other ways to ensure that your security defences are airtight without preferencing the cloud platform that claims to have the best cybersecurity.
However, as cloud computing becomes increasingly more important, there is every chance that on-site servers are phased out. We are already starting to see companies announce they will cease technical support, security updates, or bug fixes for vulnerabilities in their on-premise servers.
An effective IT strategy should initially focus on how cloud platforms can improve your operational functionality and customer service. And whilst you may prefer to hold on to your on-premise servers to store sensitive data for as long as possible, you should also consider how cost-effective this is — and more importantly, whether you might miss out on market opportunities by not adopting the cloud.
This brings us to another priority consideration for creating an IT strategy for large businesses in London.
Data Management and Analytics
An IT strategy for large businesses should be putting data management and analytics capabilities front and centre. Data is the new oil as they say.
A well-defined IT strategy provides a structured framework for leveraging technology, processes, and resources to optimise data-related activities and derive meaningful insights from analytics.
Implementing robust data management practices that capture, store, and analyse vast amounts of data provides valuable insights that enhance informed decision-making.
Some of the key questions you should be answering are how various data sources are integrated into a centralised repository and how will they improve the accessibility and usability of the data.
Data becomes most valuable when you remove existing data silos and create channels that foster collaboration and data sharing. An IT strategy defines the technological infrastructure needed for analytics, including tools, platforms, and data warehouses.
Outline the architecture for data analytics pipelines, ensuring efficient data processing and analysis workflows. The technologies you implement should effectively facilitate the integration of different analytics tools and pull them all into a central database which enables you to see the bigger picture.
Top Tip: Visualisation tools empower business users to gain insights from data without IT intervention.
Effective data management and analytics enable businesses to understand customer behaviour, preferences, and pain points. Data-driven insights can uncover trends, customer preferences, and market opportunities that give large businesses a competitive edge.
An effective analytics strategy allows businesses to act swiftly on these insights, enhancing their ability to outperform competitors. This information can be used to tailor products, services, and experiences to better meet customer needs, ultimately enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Data analytics can also identify areas of inefficiency in business processes, identify and assess potential risks, and enable proactive risk mitigation strategies. Consequently, large organisations are better places to streamline operations, optimise resource allocation, and enhance productivity.
An IT strategy that includes data management ensures that data handling and analytics practices comply with industry regulations and data privacy laws, mitigating legal and reputational risks.
Innovation and Research
The fast pace of existing and emerging markets prompts companies to innovate. Innovation and research enable large businesses to remain dynamic and responsive to the ever-changing business landscape.
By fostering a culture of innovation, investing in research and development, and leveraging emerging technologies, large businesses can unlock new avenues for growth, maintain their competitive edge, and secure their position as industry leaders.
An IT strategy for large businesses should, therefore, include solutions that enable you to engage in research that enables you to innovate effectively, enhance efficiency, improve integration, and reduce maintenance costs.
We’ve already mentioned how the importance of data management is for enhancing analysis. But once you have insights to hand, you need to have the tools and the platform to innovate quickly. In today’s landscape, agility and speed to market play a critical role.
Allocating resources for innovation, research and development enables large businesses in London to explore emerging technologies that can drive business growth and efficiency. In many cases, you will need to replace legacy systems can impede the future growth of large businesses in London.
It is clear that the technology revolution calls for executives to foster a culture of continuous improvement in IT processes, systems, and operations to ensure that technology remains aligned with evolving business needs.
We are already seeing how outdated or obsolete technology platforms, applications, and software become inflexible and difficult to modify or integrate with modern technologies.
However, innovation typically involves a change in direction at various stages of the process. Defining the criteria for categorising changes based on their impact and urgency is typically determined by the data analysis collected from various departments across the business.
It has to be said there is always an element of risk involved with innovation. You may develop a product only for it to be obsolete in six months’ time because it has been replaced by new technology.
Your IT strategy should include paths that allow for future innovation. Keep on top of developing technologies to determine future potentials and expected outcomes.
Data analysis software, for example, can assess the potential impact innovation proposed changes will have on your existing IT systems, processes, and user base.
Implementing effective change management practices minimises disruptions during the implementation of new IT systems and processes. IT change management practices are structured approaches and processes that are used to plan, implement, and manage changes to their information technology (IT) systems and infrastructure.
These practices help ensure that changes are smoothly integrated, minimise disruptions, and achieve desired outcomes. Here are some key IT change management practices:
Testing and validation are also recommended. This is where our outsourced IT support in London can be advantageous. With a wealth of experience working with multiple companies in London, we have accumulated valuable knowledge that enables us to advise large businesses about your options and perform the testing for you without any risk to you.
Our specialists can also provide training to users and staff who will be affected by the change. It’s important to ensure that users are comfortable with the new processes and tools. From our experience, when employees understand the why and how of proposed changes there is less resistance.
Talented IT Support in London
A recent report in City A.M. states that “71 per cent of companies in London are heaping more work on staff” due to staff talent shortages. However, allocating more work to existing team members has a negative impact on efficiency, productivity and your employees’ overall well-being.
Industry experts predict the IT skills shortage will impede development and growth across the UK. There is a growing need for large businesses in London to have access to top IT talent that can help to adopt new technologies that will drive the business forward.
Without in-house IT professionals with the relevant skills, businesses may face delays in project delivery or even struggle to initiate new projects that enable you to remain competitive. The lack of qualified experts can hinder the implementation of critical technology initiatives.
Because skilled IT support professionals often play a pivotal role in driving innovation and creating new products or services, the talent shortage can hinder a business’s ability to innovate and develop groundbreaking solutions.
And finding a solution could be costly. The scarcity of IT talent can lead to higher salaries and compensation packages for skilled professionals. Businesses might need to offer more competitive remuneration to attract and retain top talent which impacts your budget and upsets the apple cart by not being able to invest in some areas of your business.
Outsourced IT support specialists in London provide a cost-effective solution for large businesses across the UK. Micro Pro has more than 25 years of experience providing IT support for large businesses in London and the surrounding areas.
Our success has been built on working closely with your in-house IT professionals to provide the relevant skills where necessary. With the help of our IT support team in London, your in-house staff can focus on finding relevant solutions that improve the functioning of your core business.
If you need help to effectively implement your IT strategy, contact us today and speak with a member of our talented team. We’re here to help you grow.