HOME > SERVICES
Information Technology Planning
IT Planning can be as simple as deciding to upgrade a few personal
computers next year, and it can be as complex as using IT as a
strategic driving process for the business as a whole.
- Environmental Scan.
Identify trends within your industry, and identify the legislative and
regulatory constraints to doing business. What issues are critical to
the success of the business?
Assessment. Comparative analysis. Review organizations major
strengths and weaknesses, obstacles. Review industry, competition and
- Technology Forecast. . Identify which major
building blocks of technology are critical to the business, and make
predictions as to the future stability or turbulence in the technology.
2. Strategic Direction
- Provide basic indication
of organization-wide opportunities for using new technology to improve
productivity and achieve the business objectives. Do an "Opportunity
analysis". Raise awareness in organization of technology opportunities.
Interview as many employees as is possible. Areas to look at include:
Organizational communication approaches, information resource
management approaches, decision support, function needs, quality or
- Global Cost-Benefit: A
- Set IS
Objectives for next three to five years.
- Ask some of these
- If we stay the way we are,
where are we going?
- If we change, where are we
- Why are we going there?
- How will we get there?
- What is the cost of getting
- What is the benefit of
- Which parts of the
organization need to get there first?
- Objectives may be willing to
"pilot" some projects.
3. Project Descriptions
and Evaluation Tools.
This is part of the
strategy for developing a coherent technical infrastructure for the
- State the goals of the organization
match the IT activities under consideration to each of these goals. An
IT activity which services a high priority goal of the organization
should receive preference in funding decisions. An IT activity which
can not be matched to an organization goal should be given a low
- Regard every software application and
facility as a project in some stage of its life cycle. This may be
proposed, under evaluation, under development, testing, implementing,
in production, in maintenance, phase out.
- Allocate responsibility for supporting
project to the respective "line" manager responsible for the business
goal. This person ultimately becomes responsible for the project
achieving the business goals and the funding required by the project.
- Applications and facilities of an
"administrative" nature would be assigned to the IT manager given the
cross organization utility. This would include system infrastructure,
system security, reporting and decision support tools, desktop
environment and applications.
- Determine which services will be
using internal resources and which will be outsourced. Generally, you
will want high risk new technology projects handled in-house (perhaps
with some external resources employed), and maintenance activities
which can be broadly acquired should be outsourced. Plan your internal
manpower around the toughest assignments.
- Evaluation Tools. Indicate the tools
will be used to evaluate projects prior to receiving an endorsement
that the project does satisfy organizational goals. These tools include:
- Critical Success Factors
- Value Chain
- Pareto Principle
- Project Risk
Generically identify the hardware and software
that will be
used to integrate the organization. Consider the computer platform
minicomputer, personal computer), degree of IT presence as centralized
database manager, LAN.
Flows. Describe how information is distributed
throughout the organization and dependencies between departments.
Information reengineering projects may be defined to provide the
foundation upon which an IT project would be based.
Alternatively, this may be a global view of the data interdependencies
of major applications.
Architecture. Develop a strategy that now and in the future
allows the pieces of the IS architecture to communicate with each other
and the outside world. Determine the communication protocols and
network topology to be used. Need to worry about across vendor
Document the technical standards (hardware, operating systems, generic
office systems, end user applications), security, documentation, back
up / disaster recovery, vendor selection, methods for cost/benefit
analysis, development methods. Could provide information, informal
technology recommendations, formal guidelines, or formal policies that
must be obeyed.
human resource management. Consider social factors of
technical plan. Does organization need to be redesigned? Will informal
methods of communication be changed? Will there be political problems
in implementing plan (changing power relations)? Possible job design
6. End User
Environment. Give consideration to providing a pleasant work
environment to your employees giving consideration to:
- electrical outlet locations, ability
cable the offices for the LAN and telephone access
- ergonomic issues for chairs, desks,
workstations, noise levels, lighting levels
- interior design of the office and
- personal privacy and productivity.
Management Process. Describe the strategy to migrate to a new
application or platform. Note impact on business process, employees,
timing considerations, other projects. Identify risk factors to ensure
acceptance by user community.
Endorsement. Present the IT Plan to your vendors and have them
commit to the success to your plan. It is important to avoid instances
of pieces of technology not working cooperatively.