Ever heard of SaaS sprawl? When a business’s software programs accumulate until it gets unwieldy? You know, when the production department uses Teams for chat while the sales department uses Slack. And the marketing department is looking for yet a third option. All the while, your company is paying for all three programs. Plus, the IT department has to know each of them for troubleshooting and training.
Then there’s the problem of duplication of data when MailChimp, Pipedrive and HubSpot each have their own client databases. And none of these programs communicate with each other. That’s SaaS sprawl!
- So, how can you avoid this waste of money and time?
- How can you avoid being part of the proverbial 70% of businesses that do not accomplish their IT projects?
The solution: Create a coordinated strategy guided by an IT steering committee.
First, let’s consider the coordinated strategy. This strategy aligns IT investments with business goals. Having such a strategy will make sure that the IT solutions that have been selected actually meet needs and can be implemented on time. This, of course, ensures a better return on investment and reduces risk.
Next, what is an IT steering committee and what does it do? This committee should normally be made up of a business strategist, a marketing expert, an IT expert and a few department heads. Choose quality over quantity. A few motivated members with basic IT knowledge will be quite effective. By choosing stakeholders from several or all departments, you will avoid the “silo effect” of departments working separately without sharing expertise and resources.
Its goal of the steering committee is to create the coordinated strategy based on a digital roadmap. The roadmap is divided into manageable sections heading towards the overarching goal. Having this holistic approach makes it easier for the committee to choose software that meets the business goals.
In practice, the group optimizes processes by writing them down, mapping them out and automatizing steps. They prioritize and re-prioritize projects, always adapting to new demands and challenges. By following the digital roadmap, the group is able to work on one aspect while others are on pause, all without jeopardizing operations.
Thus, a steering committee following a coordinated strategy will guide your business to meet its goals. Aligning your IT projects with your business goals will keep you from implementing needless over-lapping programs.
So, remember in creating your first IT steering committee:
- First, select the WHO: the right members.
- Second, determine the HOW: the processes to be optimized.
- And, third, outline the WHAT: the tangible steps to take in order to make your digital journey a successful one.