As any businessperson knows, it’s not enough for a business to have the best concepts, products, or services. Without the ability to communicate, collaborate, and advertise, even the most innovative idea will never take off. And in a climate of rapid technological advancement, staying on top of communications technology can be difficult. In business, a clear, specific communications technology strategy is key to effective exchange of information and data, and as paradoxical as it sounds, good communication can only arise from good communication. When forming a communications technology strategy, getting input from key stakeholders can help your company reach its goals more effectively. But who should weigh in?
Who should weigh in on strategy varies from business to business, of course, but some basic rules of thumb apply. By breaking down the process of writing a communications technology strategy into stages, you can organize the needs of your business and its stakeholders into a strategy that satisfies everyone involved.
Stage 1: Discovery
Employees, Investors and Financiers, Customers: Consider doing some formal or informal polling and fact-gathering about what types of communication each of these stakeholders find to be most valuable. Investors may be most interested in financial numbers, sales projections, and budget reports, but this information may not be the most relevant for customers. Also ask how they prefer to receive information -- email? Blog? Phone?
Owner(s), Management: Make sure the owner or owners and the C-suite are on the same page about the current state of communications technology in the company. Knowing the baseline for the company’s technology is the only way to plan for the future.
Identify your business’s main goals and objectives, then brainstorm which communication technologies can help you achieve them. Whether you are already using them or would like to implement them in the future, it’s important that communications be strategic.
Stage 2: Writing
Owner(s), Management: A communications technology strategy should cover the same timescale as your company’s organizational or business plan, which is usually five years. With this in mind, be sure to include reasonable goals and objectives for that time frame, as well as security solutions for current and broadcasted cybersecurity issues.
Stage 3: Feedback
Investors and Financiers, Employees: Open your communications technology strategy draft to employees and investors for feedback, and be willing to listen to it. This way, you will know prior to implementation if the strategy is going to be effective. If either or both groups of stakeholders are unhappy with the technologies detailed, chances are that others may be as well.
Stage 4: Implementation
Owner(s), Management, Employees: Once your communications strategy is written, it’s critical to follow through. Business collaboration and security solutions such as unified communications platforms and cloud-based security systems, can help you improve your business’s efficiency and message without risking data or information going where it isn’t meant to go.
Writing and implementing a communications technology strategy for your business is a great step towards commitment to better communication, collaboration, and innovation. With a plan in place, it’s easy to face a future of changing technology with the confidence that your business has what it needs.