Now more than ever before, a quality IT strategy is key to being successful in almost any business. If you are going to use technology as part of your operations – and chance are that you will – then you need to figure out how to best put that technology into place in order to make your business more efficient and more successful. A good IT strategy is one that combines the people and equipment needed to perform specific tasks quickly and correctly.

If you aren’t sure how successful your current IT strategy is, consider the five keys below. These keys should give you an idea of what to look for in your IT strategy, and whether or not it can be improved to help your business get closer and closer to its goals.

Key #1 – Continual Improvement

An IT strategy should never be a stagnant thing. Rather, it should always be improving, evolving, and developing based on the needs of the company and any new technologies that come onto the market. Remember, if you fail to adapt to new technologies, someone else will – and they might soon take your share of the market along with them. The business world has never been more competitive than it is today, so constant refinement is crucial.

Key #2 – The Right People

While IT strategy is often focused on the equipment or software being used, good people are just as important. Make sure that the people making up your IT department understand the overall goals of the company, and what part the IT systems play in accomplishing those goals.

Key #3 – Willingness to Invest

You don’t have to recklessly spend money on your IT strategy just to spend it. However, you do need to be willing to invest in the right technologies when they come along to help your business grow and survive over time. It is easy to get caught standing still while competitors rush past you if spending on IT improvements are pushed to the bottom of the priority list.

Key #4 – Seamless Integration

Too many companies operate in an environment where the IT department seems to be independent of the rest of the business. Everyone should be working toward the same goals, so everyone should be integrated to the same degree. Rather than allowing your IT strategy to exist ‘in a bubble’, make sure that it is a part of the overall whole and that every member of the IT team is on board with the same vision and focus.

Key #5 – Reloading Talent

Talent-drain is a common problem among companies that rely heavily on IT for their success. If you have seen many of your talented IT people leave for other positions, you may start to have an issue where the remaining staff is unable to handle all of the various technologies in play. Using a professional search firm like BlueSky to track down new IT talent to fill your open positions is a great way to maintain the appropriate level of ability within your department so that you can continue moving forward with a team that is fully-capable of managing the IT strategy you have in place.