Information Technology Planning
Effective CIO strategy for effective strategic IT planning
Information technology planning is the initiative of planning the technical evolution of an IT system with the intention of achieving short and long terms goals. In coming up with strategic plans for organizations, senior’s managers must formulate goals and objectives that are then actualized through Information technology. It has been established that strategic IT plans must detail system deliverables, information technology system forecasting, projections and technology maturation requirements that are instrumental in aiding the achievement of business goals (Dubey, 2011).
When initiating the planning it is appropriate for the planners to effectively define the technical direction through generation of program-level technical strategy documented in a technology plan or roadmap. Due to the evolution of information technology infrastructure, there is need for effective strategic planning, since without that individual organizations may use their own methods and technologies in ways that can actually hinder adaptation (Dubey, 2011).
It has been ascertained that IT strategic planning can be achieved through engaging stakeholders, prioritizing resources and efforts, establishing IT governance, monitoring performance and measuring business benefits (Dubey, 2011). Effective strategic IT planning therefore provides the necessary guidance that will aid in transforming and evolving relevant technologies to address future mission needs, communicate vital information to stakeholders, provide the technical portion of the overall program plan and gain strong executive support (Dubey, 2011).
Technologists have asserted that strategic planning embraces a wider scope than an individual program and can cover a wide range of topics (Lane, 2011). Moreover, the plan has been found to be a key enabler for information technology systems engineering and based on the goals and objectives of an organization a desired and helpful system can be initiated that may have the potential of transforming business activities and operations towards achievement of goals. As part of strategic planning, all the technologies that may require further development may be assessed so that the immature systems may be discovered and marked as risk projects. The systems that are mature and viable may also receive additional investment aimed at seeing their successful development and implementation (Lane, 2011). In addition, system developers have opined that a strategic plan should include identification of all technology being brought to bear for the solutions, the maturation and trend of applicable technologies, insertion points, required investments, and dependencies (Lane, 2011).
As pointed out earlier, businesses today are exposed to an ever-changing environment that is highly depended on new information systems and thus need a vibrant and rejuvenated support through investment in new technologies. This is because there is need for information technologies to transform business operations from the old to modern dimensions of operations. Business managers and CIOs must be fully aware of the impacts that technology have on business success and this could be achieved through strategically planning on systems development and implementation through a myriad of strategies (Lane, 2011). It is opined that to realize growth and success in business organizations there is need to plan on how business goals are to be achieved through integration of technology and prioritizing on essential areas (Lane, 2011).
Effective strategic IT planning may effectively be achieved when business managers and CIOs spot and discover opportunities for big data in transforming business operations. The positive contributions of big data cannot be underestimated though it is not easy to reach there as it requires massive investment with CIOs stressing the need to remake data architectures and applications totally. To effectively achieve this, a plan should be developed that encompasses critical data residing in legacy IT systems that have taken hold in areas such as customer service, pricing, and supply chains. Such information will then be made useful through aiding in decision making and so strategic plans must highlight the need for the massive reorganization of data architectures over time. In discovering the potentials of big data in business operations, there is need to integrate analytical models and tools in strategic plans as this will enable data-driven optimization or predictions. It is affirmed that a plan must identify where models will create additional business value, the people to use them and how to avoid inconsistencies and unnecessary proliferation as models are scaled up across the enterprise (Lane, 2011). Researchers have established that many companies fail to complete this step in their thinking and planning and only to find that managers and operational employees do not use the new models, whose effectiveness predictably falls (Lane, 2011).
Second, CIOs need to integrate into strategic plans the enabling business-led technology innovation since it has been discovered that the potentials of IT in innovation is big and it ensures that a business comes up with an idea which should be actualized through improvement. As pointed out earlier IT is an enabler in transforming business activities and transformations and so innovations that advance business products should be included in strategic plans of implementing information technology. It has been assured that innovations will help business organizations realize the full potential of their IT as they embark on major change and growth initiatives. The best IT strategy should start with the business strategies through assessing the current state of IT infrastructure in order to understand the existing strengths and weaknesses. Once this has been established strategic priorities should be examined and a roadmap towards achievement of business goals should then be laid out. It is worth noting that it is vital for management to develop a short-term plan to improve capabilities, such as processes and talent, as well as a longer-term plan to reshape technology solutions, including infrastructure, applications and data (Tan and Theodorou, 2009).
Third, the strategic plan should spear head on building and integrating a strategic IT workforce in the plan as research has found out that a greater percentage of IT staff is affected in the process of responding to new business opportunities in the market (Tan and Theodorou, 2009). In addition, most staff planning processes tries to identify and respond to annual talent needs as it may be valuable when ensuring the execution of immediate business plans but it fails to address longer-term talent and capability needs that affect strategic objectives. In response to this, CIOs should ensure that their strategic plans integrate workforce plans that align with future business needs and strategy decisions to design effective outsourcing plans, expediently redesign job profiles, and provide training and development opportunities. Technologist shave recommended that the most effective way to prioritize the transformation of IT performance in the organization is through initiating peer-based framework that helps IT managers discover on what best business organizations can do and implement for success (Tan and Theodorou, 2009).
Dubey, S. (2011). IT strategy and management. New Delhi, India: PHI Learning.
Lane, D. (2011). The chief information officer’s body of knowledge: People, process, and
technology. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley.
Tan, A. W. K., & Theodorou, P. (2009). Strategic information technology and portfolio
management. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.