An IT strategy is a plan for how an organization will use technology to achieve its goals. It outlines the technology-related goals and objectives of the organization and the steps that will be taken to achieve those goals. This can include decisions about technology infrastructure, software and systems, data management, and policies and procedures related to technology use.
Organizations must adhere to two rules to improve their IT strategy.
RULE 1: Align IT Strategy with the Business
A robust IT strategy defines how technology supports and shapes the organization’s overall business strategy.
The IT Leader’s strategic goals should mirror business projects and create business alignment by considering the needs of critical stakeholders, including employees, customers, and business partners. An IT strategy should look at the organization’s current technology posture and provide a vision of where IT should head over the next three to five years. There are different approaches executives can take to construct their IT strategy.
RULE 2: Know the IT Strategy’s Key Elements
Most IT strategies contain certain key elements, including:
- A high-level overview of the IT department that covers its mission, core values, objectives, and approaches to accomplishing its goals.
- Current budgets and spending forecasts for a multi-year timeline.
- An outline of current and future IT projects and initiatives with timelines and milestones.
- A catalog of existing enterprise architecture; IT department capabilities and capacities; and future needs and requirements with details about infrastructure, staffing, and other necessary resources.
- An analysis of IT’s strengths and weaknesses.
- A list of the internal and external forces (such as market and industry trends) that shape current technology requirements and innovations. This includes the future details expected to shape IT.
- Predicting potential opportunities and vulnerabilities will necessitate technology responses to best position the organization for success.
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