IT Strategic Planning

IT Strategic Planning

Avoid the following pitfalls to ensure the successful development of the IT strategic plan:

1. Plans are created in a vacuum

Many IT organizations develop their strategic plans with little input from business stakeholders and external sources. This leads to strategic plans that are divorced from organizational context, and fail to adapt to changing business conditions.

The best CIOs ground their strategic plans in a strong understanding of the enterprise capabilities they need to enable, and the industry and technology landscape they operate in. They also solicit a variety of internal and external inputs to enrich the plan with creative and diverse perspectives.

Use Volume 1 of our strategic planning handbook to ensure your plan embeds both context and creativity:

2. Plans are difficult for stakeholders to understand

All too often, IT strategic plans are technology-centric and written in technical terms that stakeholders find difficult to understand. As a result, IT finds it much harder to win support for the plan.

The most successful IT strategic plans are written in language that is easily understood by stakeholders outside of IT. They also provide explicit links between IT initiatives and enterprise strategy to drive buy-in across the organization.

3. Plans lack an effective way of measuring success

IT strategic plans that cannot be measured offer little value to either the function or the enterprise, as it becomes harder to review and adjust plans, or communicate IT’s value-add to the organization.

Highly effective IT organizations not only use metrics that track IT’s execution of key priorities, but also incorporate forward-looking and predictive metrics that allow IT to track assumptions, giving early warning of potential risks to strategy execution.

Our IT Performance Management Toolkit helps you track the metrics that really matter for your strategic plan:

4. Plans assume that IT controls a monopoly on technology investment in the organization

For every dollar in the IT budget, another 47 cents is spent by other business partners on procuring their own technology solutions. However, few IT strategic plans take this broader spending into account, and continue to plan as if IT were the monopoly supplier of technology to the organization.

The most progressive IT organizations recognize that business-led IT spending is a sign of innovation and encourage it by taking on different activities and roles depending on the business context. They focus their strategic initiatives on areas in which IT has comparative advantage over vendors or business-led initiatives, and adapt their engagement with the business accordingly.

Learn how the most progressive executives are taking advantage of business-led IT as part of their strategic plans: