IT Goals and Objectives: Why You Need Them
As an IT Manager or Business Director, you may feel like you are constantly swimming in a sea of unknowns. And one of the most daunting tasks you may face is defining and setting IT goals for your business.
It could be that as a Director you don’t know much about the complicated nature of IT. Or as an IT Manager, your management may not know much about the complicated nature of IT.
Are you one of these people? Do you know what your IT goals or objectives are?
Many businesses don’t have a clear understanding of their IT goals.
This can be a huge problem as it can impact the success or failure of the business. You don’t want to let this happen to your business.
The Importance of IT Goals for Business
IT goals are important for businesses because they help to keep IT teams motivated and focused on what’s important.
Without clear and defined IT objectives, your IT team will become demotivated and less productive. Demotivated staff may do what they can to get by, but nothing worthwhile.
You may then find your IT to lack important features.
Additionally, without goals, it’s difficult to measure the performance of your IT team and identify areas of improvement. This can leave your company to have gaps in its IT and consequences to appear.
This could even give competitive advantage to other businesses!
Your gaps in IT could be all your competitors need to gain momentum. Make sure your IT department’s goals align, so you don’t let your competitors slip ahead.
Your other departments need goals to work towards, so why not IT?
IT Is A Hard Industry: Undefined IT Goals Make it Worse!
Every mouse movement makes your IT department’s life a walking nightmare.
IT always have to be alert. But, this isn’t a goal. The goals need to be something they can manage.
Being on red alert consistently is not a measurable or manageable goal.
Your IT goals or IT objectives can’t just be ‘keep the systems safe’, or ‘reply to emails fast’.
Do you know exactly what you want from your IT team? Speak to your IT staff and see what you can do.
Information technology is a broad department, consisting of many different services. Don’t leave your staff to be aimless in the depths of their IT.
Loss of Motivation
Your IT team work hard, and they need to have achievable IT objectives to keep them motivated. If they lose motivation, you never know what could happen to your business.
Your staff could be struggling already, learn more about how you could give them defined goals, and keep them motivated and happy. Communicate with them and see what they need to stay motivated.
Your IT department could be what stands between you and losing your job/ business at the drop of a hat. Keeping them motivated is very important.
Make sure your IT team feel like they’ve achieved their goals, and kept your business safe.
As a Director, You Don’t Know How to Define IT Goals and Objectives
This is a common problem for business directors. You don’t know how to define IT goals because you’re not an IT expert.
And that’s okay, you don’t need to be.
But you do need to keep your staff more motivated and productive.
Collaboration is Key
Your IT objectives should be defined by what you want. To do this, you need to collaborate with your IT Manager and set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound).
Your IT Team should have goals in IT that they can measure their progress with, whilst keeping them busy. IT staff need a project to work on, rather than focusing on everything all at once.
Focusing on everything at once can demotivate your IT staff as they will never get anything completed.
Giving them a project to complete and be proud of can motivate them to do more, and complete it faster. A win/ win for your business.
Are Your Team Reaching Their Goals? How Do You Know?
Without proper IT Goals or IT objectives, you might also never know if your IT team is reaching their targets until it’s too late. If you have broad goals like ‘keep the IT safe’, it’ll take the IT being unsafe for you to notice if targets have not been met.
If you have defined IT goals, you’ll be able to see if goals have been reached before anything bad happens.
As business leaders, you cannot just ask your employees to do tasks they’ll never achieve. If you do, you could put your IT at risk by having demotivated staff.
Your company needs IT to function, and if you don’t have any IT goals, your whole business could be at risk.
Don’t let that happen, you’ve worked too hard to just lose your job because of undefined IT goals.
As An IT Manager, You Don’t Get Defined IT Objectives from Management
Being an IT Manager in this day and age is frustrating. You’ve got so much to do, whilst cyber attacks are a constant threat.
Then to top it off, you don’t get any defined IT goals and objectives so you don’t know exactly what’s expected of you and your team.
Have you ever been given specifics about what’s at the top of your priority list? Or is it always just ‘Keeping our IT systems safe’?
That’s so broad of a statement you’d have to work 24/7 to achieve all that. It’s unreachable as you can’t see it in the future. Sometimes you can do your best, for something to happen.
Working in IT Can Be Demotivating
It feels demotivating to have really broad goals, and then not be able to achieve them.
Most of the other departments in your business will get defined goals – and have a direction to work towards. For example, Sales needs to call X amount of people a week, Marketing needs to reach X amount of leads.
Everybody else has their goals, but IT usually doesn’t.
Defined IT objectives or IT goals can make sure you are achieving something at work. Without achieving anything, your love of a job can lose its spark.
But with goals, you’d stay motivated. You wouldn’t need to lose your love of the job.
Collaboration With Management is Key
To get defined IT Goals, it’s up to you to speak to your management and create a space where you can collaborate on what they want, and what you can do.
You want to discuss how can you both create SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) for your IT.
Remember: Management may not understand IT talk, so plan what you want to say before the meeting. Then think about how you can explain it in simple terms.
That way, there is no miscommunication during your contact.
You know what you can do, what programs you can run, how much your team can achieve and more.
There is no better person to collaborate with on how you can make your business’s IT better.
Reach your goals, let your team reach their goals and stay in a job you love.
What Can Happen If You Don’t Have IT Goals and Objectives in Your Business
If you don’t have any IT goals or IT objectives in your company, several things could happen:
- Firstly, your team will become demotivated and less productive.
- Secondly, it will be difficult to measure the performance of your IT team and identify areas where improvements can be made.
- Lastly, it’s difficult to justify the budget for your IT department and if the business is getting value for money.
IT Goals You Should Have in Your Business
There are a few main IT objectives that you should consider for your business.
- You need to ensure that your IT infrastructure is reliable and robust.
- You need to make sure that your IT systems are secure and protect sensitive data.
- You need to ensure that your IT systems are efficient and easy to use.
- You need to make sure that your IT team is productive and delivering value.
Your goals need to be categorised into short, medium and long-term goals. Each type of goal has a different focus:
Short-Term IT Goals and Objectives
Short-term IT goals are things that need to be completed in the next few months or weeks. They’re generally quick wins that will improve the efficiency of your IT team or help reduce costs.
Medium-Term IT Goals and Objectives
Medium-term IT goals are projects that will take several months to complete and will have a significant impact on your business.
These sorts of goals tend to be more strategic and can require more planning than short-term goals.
Long-Term IT Goals and Objectives
Long-term IT goals are those that will take years to achieve. They’re usually ambitious projects that will completely change the way your business uses technology.
These sorts of goals require a lot of planning and foresight, as well as buy-in from senior management.
Your IT Goals Will Depend On Your Business
All businesses need to have short, medium, and long-term IT goals and objectives. Although, the focus of each type of goal will be different depending on the size and needs of your organization.
For example, a small business with limited resources might have shorter timelines for its IT goals than a large enterprise.
Similarly, a business with older systems and infrastructure might have different priorities than one that is using cutting-edge technology.
Each goal you make will depend on your business and what it needs.
The Most Important Thing To Remember
The most important thing is that your IT goals and objectives are measurable and achievable.
They should also be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that they are still relevant to your business.
If you don’t have defined IT goals and objectives in your business, now is the time to start setting them. Work with your team to come up with short, medium, and long-term goals that will help your business’ IT.
Having support from everybody around you will make achieving your IT goals much easier.
Remember to ensure that your goals are SMART so that there is something to hold everybody accountable and make real change. Your biggest asset for making change in IT’s goals, is your collaboration efforts.
If you don’t collaborate or communicate effectively, the goals in IT will never change.
Jera IT is There to Support You
After creating defined goals, you may struggle more with time to do the small stuff.
Here at Jera, we specialise in Outsourced IT products. We’re here to help take the weight off your IT team if you need more time.
At Jera, we pride ourselves on providing your business with the managed services you need.
Contact us today for support IT business plan, we would love to speak to you.
Here at Jera, we are cybersecurity specialists for small to medium businesses (SMBs). We are here to help with all your business needs.