IT Strategy- “a plan to maximize the use of technology within an organization” (Varner, n.d.)
The Role of IT Strategy:
Encompasses the plan that is developed in the IT profession that serves to help guide the IT Dept. and overall company in reaching strategic goals. The strategy is typically in-depth, covering a variety of areas such as technology management, hardware, software, etc. (Lebeaux & Rouse, 2012).
- Strategy Committee- decide who should have major input on the strategy(ies) and form a committee to discuss formation of the strategy.
- Create short and long term objectives- this basically helps set the blueprint for creating an effective strategy. We need to know goals and objectives in order to development a strategy that helps us meet those goals and objectives (Johnson, 2012).
- Utilize mission statement- A mission statement is an important component of any business/company. With the mission statement we see exactly what the aim of the business is and can therefore create an IT strategy that allows IT to work in a way that is in conjunction with the mission of the business (Johnson, 2012).
- Develop a list of prioritized actions/plans- With any strategy there needs to be some sort of plans set that are prioritized in a way that gives everyone a clear view of what needs to be done to meet strategic goals (Olsen, n.d.).
- Create road maps- similar to aforementioned prioritized actions/plans. Road maps are a good tool in strategy because it directs those involved on where to go and how to get there (Johnson, 2012).
- Consider evolving technology- when developing the IT strategy, the evolution of technology should be a consideration. If there is some long term strategy, technology should definitely be a component. There should be a sub-strategy on how involved technology will be handled.
- Consider Costs- with any strategy there is likely to be some cost involved. Any new technology or assets that will be acquired should first be analyzed based on costs. It is important to understand how the acquired technology and assets will truly benefit the organization before investing a large amount of money.
- Create a strategy that allows flexibility- No plan is 100% guaranteed to work as planned and a strategy is no exception. Strategies should be created in such a way that doesn’t leave everyone in a panic if sudden changes happen (such as critical employees leaving, change management, etc.).
Tools, Techniques, Best Practices:
- SWOT- Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. It is important to know each of these for the business and the IT department so that the IT Strategy can be developed with each of those being a contributing factor.
- ITIL- IT Infrastructure Library. Best practices for IT service management. As stated by Wikipedia ITIL and ITSM “focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business.” In my opinion, this is essential in a strategy, and should almost always be considered when developing a strategy.
- Scorecard- past scorecards can be a good tool to reference when revamping an old strategy or developing a new strategy. The scorecard allows a look at the consequences from certain activities- that way managers are able to see whether some activities work in or against their favor (Olsen, n.d.).