Actually, the first question you should be asking is whether your company has a proper IT strategy. As firms grow, it can be easy to keep bolting on technology and buying new software and hardware without having a definitive plan of how it should all work together.

When you’re creating an IT strategy, or overhauling the one you already have in place, it’s important to align your technology procurement with your overall business strategy.

A recent blog for Supply Chain Brain explained how you can do that and why it’s so important. Procurement teams and leaders in particular can often find that they’re being held back by using legacy systems that are no longer fit for purpose. Not only does this make their work more difficult, but it also impacts the wider business and can mean it falls behind competitors.

When searching for new technology for any area of the business, collaboration should be one of the key considerations.

The news provider stated: “When procurement leaders champion user-friendly tools that drive collaboration and innovation, they can increase the likelihood of positive results for their teams.”

VMWare was cited as an example where this approach to new technology procurement was successful. The organisation moved away from a legacy tool that was delivering no return on investment (ROI) to a new e-sourcing tool and instantly saw benefits for both its sourcing teams and stakeholders.

If you’re looking for a new tool that stakeholders will be using as well as your internal teams, finding something that’s easy for them will have a positive impact on your relationship and will develop trust.

According to the Global CIO Survey 2018 from Deloitte, the role of chief information officers (CIOs) within organisations is changing. In the past, their main remit was to keep everything working and the business functioning.

However, there has been a shift in what’s expected of CIOs and therefore their teams. The top two expectations for CIOs are to align to business strategy and transform business processes. The third thing on the list is to deliver IT operational excellence.

Despite the importance of IT and the digital world in almost every business, many are failing to introduce company-wide digital strategies. The Deloitte survey found that 96 per cent of the executives surveyed said that digital was a strategic priority at their firm.

However, just 26 per cent of those questioned said that there was an enterprise-wide digital strategy in place at their company. This shows there’s a lot more work for companies to do if they want to realise the benefits that digital can bring.

Regardless of the size of your business, it pays to have a digital strategy in place, because this will have an impact on every aspect of your organisation.

What’s more, technology is rapidly evolving and that means your business needs to be ready to evolve with it. Deloitte reported a 135 per cent increase in the number of CIOs who said emerging technologies would have a significant business impact in 2018, compared to 2016.

The pace of change can be fast, which is why CIOs and others who are working to create a viable digital and IT strategy at their business need to keep on top of developments in their industry to ensure they don’t fall behind competitors.

Even if you’re a small business, there are opportunities to use technology to accelerate your growth. This is even more the case with the rise of cloud computing.

Speaking to Deloitte as part of the company’s 2019 Technology Outlook, Paul Sallomi, global technology, media and telecommunications industry leader and US and global technology sector leader, said cloud platforms and artificial intelligence (AI) are the things to watch.

“Thanks to cloud-based flexible consumption models, companies no longer need to shoulder the risk and cost of buying complex technologies and acquiring scare expertise,” he asserted. This approach is particularly evident in the AI arena.

A growing number of large software companies are integrating AI into enterprise software, making it much more accessible to a wider range of businesses. A Deloitte survey found that the most popular way to acquire AI capabilities is by using enterprise software with integrated AI.

This move towards the cloud is something that’s expected to continue, with the firm highlighting its findings that 60 per cent of enterprises expect to move their systems to the cloud by the end of 2019 as part of their digital transformation strategy.

With so many things changing in the world of technology and the digital environment, it’s easy to see why you need a comprehensive IT strategy to ensure that you leverage all the benefits and don’t get lost in the sheer volume of technology products on the market.

Working with experts in IT strategy in central London can help you see the wood from the trees, so to speak. At Stellarise, we are here to grow your business and we use technology to do that.

It’s undeniable that technology can lead to efficiency gains and cost savings within all kinds of businesses, but to realise these gains you need to introduce the right kind of technology and do so in such a way that the integration is smooth.

But one of the big challenges when it comes to a digital strategy is being able to quantify the ROI of an IT portfolio. recently shared research by Apptio, which found that the strongest differences of opinion on IT investment are usually between chief financial officers (CFOs) and CIOs.

Just 30 per cent of those surveyed said that the CIO and CFO were “deeply aligned” in their business. That compares to 56 per cent of CEOs and CIOs who are “deeply aligned”. It’s important to have open conversations about IT investment, particularly when it comes to new technologies.

The survey also found that strategic differences between the IT and finance departments had been worsened by digital transformation in 47 per cent of the companies questioned.

Part of the issue stems from the difficulty in tracking the impact of a new technology across a business, as well as a lack of consensus at board level about how to measure the impact of new technologies.