IT Strategy Planning 101: 5 Key Components to Incorporate into an IT Strategy Plan

Most organizations are familiar with strategic planning, in other words,  developing different strategies to accomplish an organization’s goals. Strategic planning establishes your company’s goals, priorities, and ensures employees are on board to achieve the sought out objectives. 

 

As the corporate landscape advances, a new form of strategic planning has entered the playing field: IT strategic planning. This entails auditing a business’ current tech status and operations, and highlighting how processes can be improved and optimized. As organizations become more reliant on technology, it is increasingly important to employ IT strategic planning in order to ensure that you have the right procedures in place for decision making. 

 

What is an IT Strategy Plan? (IT Strategy Plan vs. IT Strategy)

As the name suggests, an IT Strategy Plan is a resourceful document or plan designed to guide an IT team towards meeting larger organizational goals. The plan lays out the role they play in the organization and how they contribute to achieving the goals. It also outlines the strategic framework to support these goals, along with the necessary tactics to properly execute and complete the goals. 

 

The strategy plan is segmented into multiple company-wide strategies and defines the IT-specific actions that are required to be implemented. This plan acts as a tool for concrete decision making, while providing a high-level overview of how IT supports the company’s overall business vision. 

 

Why do companies need one?

An IT strategy plan provides a solid framework for better decision making, easier management and maintenance, and more secure practices. Consequently, companies have better oversight to minimize costs and remain on track to accomplish objectives. 

 

5 Key Components to incorporate into an IT Strategy Plan

 

>  Align with business strategies and goals: An IT strategy plan must be aligned with the business’s strategy, so the IT strategy actions support those of the business. IT leadership’s participation in the business’ strategic meetings is essential to ensure the department’s understanding of their role, IT infrastructure needed, and budgetary restrictions and allowances. 

 

> Tech Roadmapping: The ever-evolving world of technology requires the IT department to remain agile. The IT strategy plan should provide solid roadmapping of how the business will adapt and transition to any new technological adoptions that support the business’ goals – say transitioning to cloud based servers rather than using the existing on-site data centers. While having a plan in place keeps structure, guidance, and accountability, the nature of technology development is unpredictable and the initial roadmapping could be wrong. Ensure the plan includes standard principles of different appropriate risk levels when adopting new technologies for the various business objectives. 

 

> Planning for long-term solutions: as the IT strategy plan works directly to support the business strategies, this means including long-term initiatives the business plans to implement in the IT strategy plan. It is important to assess if the business’s current state needs to adjust their current IT team resources, processes and technology in order to achieve their goals. This section defines what department developments are needed, any IT outsourcing, etc. to keep tactics in-line with the company’s long term goals. 

 

> IT Controls: For the IT strategy plan to perform at its best, IT governance must be adhered to. IT governance defines how an organization will approve, assess, introduce and control new budgets, processes, and quality. Within the strategy plan, this section will provide how the organization currently performs, identify inconsistencies, and a plan of action for improvement. 

 

> Clear Communication: Transparency is key for any organization to effectively perform internally and externally. Adopt a clear communication plan for your current state, future changes, reasons for these changes, and the current development of initiatives in-progress. This keeps customers up-to-date and fully aware of how the organization intends to reach the set out initiatives. 

 

Need help with your strategic IT planning? Reach out to one of our experts today to help develop your business’s IT strategy.