IT Governance

Why a Strategic IT Plan Is a CIO’s Best Asset

Without planning, there is little chance for success, and if there is success it is likely not maximized to its fullest potential. Although an end-of-year report highlights the important accomplishments of the business, it cannot satisfy all of the strategic planning requirements for the year. In an article for The Enterprisers Project, Michael R. Mundrane elaborates on why a strategic IT plan is essential for every CIO.

A Commitment to Excellence

The first challenge in strategic planning is getting the domain experts to see the “why.” They are tactical thinkers who can see the details in problem-solving, but for strategic planning they need to do the opposite. The strategic plan should illustrate the big picture; leave the finite details for along the way.

Technical IT language is extremely overwhelming for anyone who does not have the expertise in the IT field. A strategic plan is a marketing tool and needs to elaborate on the goals of the entire organization. This means that the entire organization should be comfortable and understand its language. If it becomes too technical, IT will likely scare away its prospective audience and defeat the purpose.

The strategic IT plan should be utilized throughout the year as a point of reference. It will indicate how far the organization has come along in its efforts to meet its goals, and it will help to show what directions still need to be taken. Outside of IT, the plan provides a lens to assess the choices of the organization. Mundrane discusses what this has meant at the University of Connecticut, where he is Vice Provost of Information Technology and CIO:

Historically, the relationship between central IT and distributed IT at the institution had been fraught with animosity and constant friction. To counteract this, one of the key elements woven throughout our plan is the responsibility of central IT to ensure the success of each and every other IT organization on campus. When I have opportunities to interact with other IT professionals in our community, I can approach them and say, “[We need to work better together so that we can increase our credibility and earn access to more resources.]”

The strategic IT plan is the organization’s attempt at transparency, because it indicates to the community their goals and intentions. Having a focus on the big picture helps to make sure that all of the goals are met and that the resources required for any undertakings are accessible.

You can read the original article here: https://enterprisersproject.com/article/2016/3/why-strategic-it-plan-cios-best-asset

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