Whether you’re expanding into new markets, forming partnerships, or making acquisitions, you have to make sure your technology infrastructure can handle the required integrations. If it can’t, an IT exec can end up on the hot seat — but with the right technologies and processes in place, you can elevate your role and influence not just IT, but the entire C-suite.

A new briefing paper by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, sponsored by Citrix, rings true for me on the best ways to future-proof IT for a growing organization. The paper goes into three essential questions we should all be asking.

Do You Know What You Need to Know?

Supporting growth is about more than technology. From the beginning, you’ve got to understand the business processes that deliver value for your business, the metrics that matter for them, and what’s needed in terms of monitoring, management, automation, and scalability. That will provide context for the technologies and platforms that make up your architecture, and for the rules, processes, and policies that you create around them.

Is Your Infrastructure Built for Change?

Here’s a great quote from the paper: “You can’t actually predict the future, so you wouldn’t want to build your technology architecture in a way that tightly couples itself to a specific strategy or set of objectives.” That’s from Ted Colbert, CIO at Boeing, who suggests instead focusing on core capabilities like massive data management, end-to-end processes, and the kind of architectural principles and elements that can deliver value in whatever form the business requires at a point in time.

Can You Maintain Security and Compliance at Speed?

These days, security and compliance have to be incorporated into technology design from day one. That was simpler in the days of waterfall methods and long business cycles — now you’ve got to make it happen at the fast, iterative pace of DevOps and digital markets.

The Harvard Business Review Analytic Services paper doesn’t just pose these questions — it also provides great insights and perspective for answering them in your organization. That makes it valuable reading for every IT executive today, myself included. Spend some time today with “Future-Proofing the Enterprise for Corporate Growth and Expansion” — you’ll be glad you did.