Windward Insights

Enterprise IT Consulting: Strategy Planning in a Post-COVID World

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Written by Ceara Hickerson

Enterprise IT Consulting

Enterprise IT consulting firms have seen the pace of digital transformation initiatives dramatically accelerated since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes have major implications for planning IT strategies moving into 2022 and beyond. Here are some challenges we’ve observed, and the strategic shifts IT leaders are making to adjust.

Processes and policies have changed rapidly, including how internal operations work, how employees communicate with one another remotely, how supply chains move goods from enterprise to end-customer, and how customers interact with the enterprise.

The rapid adoption of a broader net of digital technologies also means more digital vulnerabilities across an enterprise.

With all these challenges in mind, IT leaders now bear more responsibility for a larger digital asset footprint. That means strategic budget shifts and resource reallocation, so new tools and technologies can be effectively managed.

Tech investments surged during the pandemic while other departments tightened their belts – but with that bigger investment comes greater responsibility for IT teams. This trend is not slowing either. According to a McKinsey Report, 67 percent of top economic performers are planning to double down on tech as a differentiator.

This increased responsibility has given tech leaders a seat at the executive table for IT strategy planning across the enterprise. It has also left them in a position to make critical infrastructure decisions on their own, which can be stressful, time-consuming, and costly. With teams and resources stretched thin, IT leaders often turn to enterprise IT consulting vis-à-vis managed service providers (MSPs) to offer strategic guidance and expertise on their accelerated journey towards digital transformation.

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Tech Leaders: Steering the Ship in Uncertain Waters

Tech innovation is now more closely correlated with business strategy than ever. Most successful companies – according to the same McKinsey report, over half of the top 10 percent of high performers – are looking to their top tech leaders to play a central role in shaping the overall business strategy.

As tech leaders take on this higher-level enterprise strategic planning, they need a long-term vision with measurable milestones. This kind of forecasting is incredibly difficult given the current level of uncertainty about the future. Adding to the challenge is that digital transformation does not happen overnight.

It’s an intrinsically complex effort requiring long-range planning. It takes systematic changes not only in physical hardware and software but also in attitudes and behaviors across the enterprise. This is easier said than done, especially with a limited budget and resources for companies recovering from the economic effects of COVID-19.

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Enterprise IT Consulting: A Trusted Guidepost for IT Strategy

The first step in attaining digital transformation is assessing current systems for what works, what doesn’t, and where gaps exist. This provides the starting point and foundation for IT strategy.

Once tech leaders answer these questions, the next step is finding the right solutions to fill gaps, developing a plan to sunset or migrate away from technologies and systems which aren’t working, and seeking efficiencies that could free up the budget to acquire and resource replacements.

This process can be complicated and overwhelming for many IT teams, especially in the midst of keeping everything running in the here and now.

With hundreds of vendors advertising themselves as the “best solution” or “best tool” for the job, it can be a headache at minimum sifting through each one to find the “right one.” For this reason, enterprises often seek outside expertise and advice from enterprise IT consulting agencies.

Consultants bring niche expertise and an objective outside perspective. This allows businesses to save time and money, as well as increase competitiveness and professionalism.

Saving time and money have always been part of a company strategy, but COVID-19 made it even more necessary to utilize people, processes, and resources efficiently. As leaders make critical decisions for strategizing a budget for technological developments across an enterprise, savvy IT consultants and MSPs are resources they can trust.

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Enterprise IT Consulting Benefits

The best IT consultants have become a more valuable resource for Fortune 500 companies as Information Technology has transformed business operations. Keeping up with current trends and an evolving landscape can be a full-time job. An enterprise IT consulting agency can provide specialized expertise, suggest more efficient models and processes, and help increase return on investment (ROI).

Other benefits include the following:

  • They are invested in your goals: The bottom line of their customers is the most important thing to consultants. They are working to help achieve customer goals and milestones with actionable advice and guidance.
  • They have an array of partnerships and are not pushing a product: Unlike a single vendor who will try to sell a product or a tool, working with the right IT consultant will get to the true solution an organization’s IT leaders seek. They are not invested in providing a product, but in providing strategic value to the organization.
  • They are aware of today’s changing digital standards and regulations: The strength of enterprise IT consulting is providing niche expertise. An experienced IT consultant likely has completed several previous projects similar to those of their customers. This gives tech leaders peace of mind and increases the likelihood of success.
  • They work with your team side-by-side from implementation to integration: Top IT consultants work as an extension of the business. They will start a project and see it through to maturity. This includes deployment, migration, integration, implementation, employee training, guidance, troubleshooting, and follow-up.

One of the great challenges ahead for tech leaders and C-level executives is not only adapting to post-COVID uncertainties but leveraging post-COVID possibilities. Successful leaders will see this as an opportunity to restructure and grow business initiatives. The technological transformation that started with COVID is not slowing down.

IT innovators looking for a way to give their enterprise a leg up in the competitive landscape should consider enterprise IT consulting. These companies bring unique outside perspectives to the table and are focused on how to help tech leaders win at realizing their strategic plan and vision for a post-COVID world.

We understand the enterprise needs to quickly adjust to the new world of COVID-19 and beyond.

See how we can help.