Companies exist to create value for their stakeholders. In today’s world, the use of Strategic IT planning is essential to create such value. Without successfully choosing and implementing an IT campaign, it is impossible for companies to achieve success. There is awareness in generating competitive advantages; However, the trend has been to acquire state-of-the-art equipment and automation to meet short-term goals or to solve immediate problems, which has generated problems along the way.
It is time to change perspective, mainly because it is not just about acquiring technologically-advanced equipment, but about a company’s IT department supporting the vision, mission, and strategy of the business. In other words, IT should maintain the alignment between the technological initiatives and the strategic objectives of the organization. Both perspectives (business and technology) must be aligned and have a tool to facilitate this alignment.
Strategic IT planning is widely recognized as a tool designed to implement and maintain IT initiatives. It also integrates the company’s business perspective with its IT approach, making it easier for IT developmental teams to meet the needs of the organization. Strategic IT planning is a transformation plan, beginning from the current state of the organization to its expected final state.
This should be in total harmony with the business strategy previously set in motion. The structuring of an IT strategic plan should consider at least the following aspects:
- Analysis of the current situation: Identifying the current environment of the organization, influence of the environment (example: regulatory environment), organizational strategies, goals to be achieved and when they want to achieve these things
- Current capabilities of the organization’s computing environment: Identifying the current state of hardware components, software, personnel, telecommunications, information systems, etc. This includes the description of information systems, including their operation, data architecture, programming language, a form of maintenance, etc.
- Measuring performance, gaps, and obsolescence of current capabilities
- Identification of future technological scenarios, based on the strategies and goals that the organization wants to achieve
- Detail of investment needs, training, deadlines, organizational changes, etc.
Correctly managing IT perspectives
Finally, it is up to the business to change their perspective and start managing IT from a planned approach, so that the organization’s IT development is consistent with the plans and goals of the organization. This should effectively serve as the basis for a competitive advantage.