Digital transformation, big data, artificial intelligence and other fashionable corporate phrases, such as those linked to IT, are no less a sign of the importance of technological processes in business. Even as people begin to speak about them more than is practical.
Not long ago, large C level executives from areas not directly attached to IT had little knowledge of these processes. They were, for the most part, users.
Today, some knowledge of information technology, its fundamentals, processes, and good practices, is part of the repertoire necessary for any senior level manager. It enables them to perform their tasks, in any area of the company that they commit to.
Therefore, more than ever, the strategic planning of IT processes has become critical to how well an enterprise performs.
More than just providing support, advice or assistance to other areas, the IT strategic planning process today must be seen in a much deeper way.
In addition to providing hardware and software to support other areas, technological processes increasingly become the core of the company, its raison d’être, its market disruptive innovations that make a company create and conquer new markets.
The New Role of the IT strategic planning process
Waze is an outstanding example to explain how the IT strategic planning process has taken a much more central place in business.
This collaborative application allows vehicle drivers to find the best routes (using the location and speed of users to determine less congested routes). It is the technology involved in this system that adds value to the product.
It’s different from using the IT strategic planning process to make a production line more efficient, pay employees, serve customers better, make calculations, gather information for decision making, or run a business.
The IT strategic planning process itself generates value to the end customer and, consequently, to the company. In addition to decreeing the end of the automotive GPS industry, WAZE is much more efficient. It not only indicates the correct and closest route but updates real-time information on traffic conditions by changing the route with instant messaging.
Therefore, it’s not necessary to work in technology for the IT strategic planning process to be central to a business, helping to create and conquer new markets.
Schools, hospitals, hotels, the manufacturing industry in general, and virtually all large-scale businesses, no longer see IT processes as ancillary to strategic processes in value generation.
But regardless of this renewed importance of the IT strategic planning process, its planning methodology is a consolidated procedure. We will summarize this next.
The 6 stages of the IT strategic planning process
Several methodologies can help your company guide you when it comes to the IT strategic planning process.
In this post, we will use a basic template, containing the main steps of this process
1- Overview of the planning process
At this stage, the IT strategic planning process leaders must define a long-term vision and create a mission statement.
This shows where you want to go and how it relates to the strategic objectives of the organization.
2- Long-term vision of the company
An analysis of the technological and human resources that the company already has. As well as, the market trends and the future technological environment where the organization intends to achieve its planning objectives. It’s necessary to define the strategic guidelines and tangible objectives that one wants to achieve.
3- Definition of GAPs in the strategic IT process
Study the current state of all of the company’s systems, processes and technology assets. Compare them with the long-term business prospects defined in the previous steps. Identify gaps and recommend the necessary actions.
4- Schedules and budget
It’s time to build an effective plan, including the development of priorities, a “roadmap“, budgets and the investment plan that should be contributed.
5- Implementation of the IT strategic planning process
Based on what the organization defined, it can make many decisions to achieve agreed upon objectives. This includes training, vendor and software selection, system integration, hardware procurement, and more.
At the end of the IT strategic planning implementation process, it’s necessary to evaluate the results and compare them with the organizational objectives defined in the previous phases. This will help determine if the planning and its implementation achieved the expected success.
Check it: ITIL Change Management Process Flow