Every successful business should consider a strategic plan addressing I.T. to improve business alignment, boost value and prioritize I.T. investment.
Your I.T. plan should have a timeline of its own, and be revised as the business changes. It should include distinct activities, monitoring and results. Consider these guidelines:
- Define Your Purpose – A clear purpose focuses efforts, optimizes effort, minimizes time, and helps audiences understand. It should be relevant, trackable, identify assumptions, well communicated, and cover just what is required. Identify stakeholders, and how you’ll support business objectives.
- Evaluate Business Needs – I.T. plans should be grounded in business needs. Identify what business inputs are relevant, identify information sources (like surveys or user interviews), and look for patterns (common complaints or I.T. needs within the business). It should address collaboration needs, connectivity, remote access requirements, data capacity and backups, security, infrastructure, and specialized application requirements.
- Assess Abilities – Assess I.T.’s services and capabilities against stakeholder requirements. What are the implications for current I.T. systems, technology, processes and staffing? Create a vision that is specific and relevant to business needs, and illustrates gaps between now and where I.T. needs to be.
- Develop Your Action Plan – Review and revise internal I.T. principles. Identify gap-closing initiatives. Determine key performance indicators (KPIs). Build a timeline for implementation.
- Roll-Out Your Plan – Once approved, communicate your plan broadly, institute KPI tracking and schedule ongoing reviews of assumptions and progress.