Technology affects nearly all facets of business. To efficiently support today’s technology-based business strategies, executives and managers must embrace new approaches to IT strategic planning that are more flexible and business-driven. Businesses have many goals and competing priorities to contend with in the modern world. Developing an IT strategy can help businesses better formulate an overarching strategy that guides all decision-making. While most IT strategic plans are three- to five-year initiatives that contain various goals and objectives, it is important to develop an IT strategy that works best for your business. Read on to learn more about what an IT strategic plan is.
IT Strategic Plan Explained
An IT strategic plan is defined as a document that details all IT business management processes an organization uses to guide decisions and operations. An IT strategy is designed to help businesses discover new ways that technology can be used to help a business succeed. The IT strategic plan acts as a roadmap to help businesses take action and implement these plans. The plan outlines areas where IT could possibly contribute to business value. It also helps businesses find ways to gain a competitive edge by maximizing their use of technology.
Ideally, the goals and objectives outlined in an IT strategic plan should reflect the organization’s mission and priorities. When priorities are clear from the start, the IT team is better able to identify projects and opportunities that could drive business growth. Companies can then choose whether or not to invest in these projects based on cost and other factors. When developing an IT strategy, it is important to look back on the organization’s strategic plan to determine where there are problems and how technology could possibly close these gaps.
An effective IT strategy should include a SWOT analysis that outlines strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is useful for identifying external and internal factors that may influence the long-term success of an organization. A SWOT analysis can also help identify existing technology that a company may already have but is not using to their full advantage. By changing the way that technology is used, a company can gain a competitive edge. It is important to remember that creating an IT strategic plan is just the first step. Companies must continually work at the plan and implement changes if they want to meet their goals and maximize new opportunities.
Core Principles & Benefits
Having a few IT strategic planning principles in place can help improve the development and implementation of your plan. First, focus on developing a plan based on what you want to achieve in the future. Imagine that it is 5 or 10 years down the line. How do you see your business? It is okay if you are unsure as this is exactly what a strategic plan can help you figure out. Next, you will want to bring together a team who can help implement your plan. Each member of the team should bring a unique skill or specialized knowledge to the table.
A well-thought out IT strategic plan can provide businesses with countless benefits. First, your plan can help ensure that you maintain more strategic control over your investment in technology, such as hardware, software, internet and phone, networks, and more. Your IT strategy also has the potential to position your information systems to offer your organization the most competitive advantage. In addition, your plan can be used to link your goals with the information systems needed to support your objectives.
An IT strategic plan can also help guide your business in the right direction regarding online presence. Integration of inter-organizational and inter-departmental communications can foster an online presence that will improve brand recognition and increase profits.
In addition, an IT strategic plan can be used to accurately measure a business’s performance processes in a timely and consistent manner to ensure that your company is making wise decisions. This can affect all aspects of your organization, including profitability, ROI and customer and employee retention and loyalty.
Create an IT Strategic Plan
The importance of creating an IT strategy, regardless of industry, cannot be denied. There are many components involved in creating a successful IT strategic plan, from building a team and assessing business objectives to drawing up the actual plan and measuring results. If you are unfamiliar with this process, creating an IT strategic plan from scratch can be challenging. Fortunately, there are services designed to help businesses with IT strategy. For assistance with creating an IT strategy for your business or to inquire about IT strategy consulting services, contact Hartman Executive Advisors.