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The Anatomy of an IT Strategic Plan

As IT’s place in a business environment grows increasingly important to success, proper IT strategic planning must occur. Surprisingly though, not many businesses have put effective strategies in place for IT to work with. In an article for CIO magazine, Stephanie Overby shares some practices that can be implemented in order to develop a successful strategic plan.

Strategizing for Strategy

The first step to creating a worthwhile IT strategic plan is to use the business strategy as a guide. The IT strategy needs to agree with and directly support the objectives being pursued by the overall business strategy. There should likewise be a clear and understandable method through which plans are developed. That being said, planning should occur at a brisk pace; waiting for perfection is not a good use of time.

When thinking further out, plan particularly within the 12-18 month range, or the mid-term horizon range. There’s always the option to plan for further in the future in less detail too. In any case, nail down the key parts of your strategy so you can have clear goals that you wish to achieve, and so you can help clarify what areas need more or less focus. Metrics must be implemented at this juncture to measure success.

Overby also says to match planning frequency to the cadence of the business:

Most IT organizations will create a full IT strategic plan at least once a year, but the fast-changing business environment demands that most update their approaches more frequently. The best rule of thumb is to adjust the frequency of IT planning to the cadence of the business. For most companies, quarterly updates (at a minimum) will make the most sense. IT leaders in consumer-focused businesses, for example, will want to make changes more frequently. “Every time IT makes a new choice it can have an impact [on the plan],” says Fenwick. “You have to reassess whether your assumptions remain valid. That’s something historically not a lot of companies have done.”

For additional elaboration, you can view the original article here: https://www.cio.com/article/2437285/it-strategy/anatomy-of-an-it-strategic-plan.html

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