Create A Comprehensive IT Strategy

By Kathi Boldt

A comprehensive IT strategy highlights the risk, vendor and technological management aspects in a firm. Within these areas are human resource effects and the impact on operation cost. The plan borrows from the overall vision of the business or organization and explains how technology will help them increase production, efficiency, management cost and reduce turnaround time. There is a progressive approach that illuminates the current situation and expected changes with introduction of information technology.

There is a business and corporate angle that shows how technology will be exploited by organizations and their associates to create value on all ends. There is need to incorporate members of all departments in designing the plan. They are drawn from the business development, legal and information technology sectors. The aim is to ensure that integration is smooth and adds value to the processes and operations.

The time frame covered by such strategies varies on the environment. Other strategies have a lifespan of one year. Strategies regarding security cover up to three or five years. It is worth noting that they come with a greater deal of flexibility as compared to strategies in other sectors. The main reason is the flexibility that is experienced in the information technology world. A lot of changes happen within a short time and they must be implemented as they happen.

Sections that must be included are expected benefits from technology introduction, the aims and scope of implementation, method and approach and how it relates to the overall goals of the organization. Other details to be captured are impact on human resource. There is need to monetize the budgetary effects and future projections on staffing.

The policy must summarize the strong points within the firm that are going to anchor implementation. An inventory is taken on the strength, weakness and existing infrastructure within the organization. Any reliance on external resources to facilitate or run the system should be explained. Costing of integration and training is included and the expected changes as a result of introduction of a new system.

A comprehensive policy must include the opportunities presented by such changes. This includes reduced human resource expenditure, cost of management or better efficiency. These aspects should be quantified. Information technology has its share of threats and weaknesses. These occurrences are likely to reduce profitability or expose the organization to competition. They are the areas that make a business vulnerable. They should be included in the plan and counter measures necessary.

Technology brings new organization and operation structures that need to be understood. The responsibility and role of every player in the organization are clearly outlined. Timelines and milestones are given to show expected results and implications. Progress is given in terms of months, quarters, half year and full year results. It is important to embody the vision of the organization or business and how it is enhanced by technology.

A comprehensive IT strategy captures the goals of an organization and how technology will help them find a solution. It reflects a need to change the approach in circumstances, understands customer needs and aligns them with the vision of the organization. A progressive approach ensures smooth transition by catering for the needs of employees, the organization and its clients within a balanced atmosphere.

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