What Is an IT Strategic Plan?

An IT strategic plan is a record that defines an organization’s comprehensive technology-enabled business management processes. It acts as a guide for making information technology-related decisions, with IT tasks prioritized and implemented using the plan as a framework. Additionally, the plan serves as a roadmap for a business as it develops its overall information technology strategy. While an IT strategy focuses on how IT will assist the company in achieving success, an IT strategic plan serves as a road map for implementing those strategies. The strategy identifies areas where information technology may add value to the business and where an organization can obtain a competitive edge by maximizing technological resources. Many studies have discovered that most strategic planning fails, with some estimates putting the figure as high as 67 percent. It’s because the typical approach to strategic planning is entirely backward.

Benefits of IT Strategic Planning

We have all certainly been involved in a strategic planning process at some point in our lives. Occasionally, planning goes well, and sometimes, it does not. Frequently, a strategic plan devolves into what I describe as a “dustable” document. Dunstable’s are those small trinkets scattered about your grandmother’s house that collect dust. You glance at them occasionally and dust them off, but then they return to the shelf. If this is the fate of most strategic plans, then why do we construct them in the first place?

Let us Begin by Considering the End in Mind: The expression “begin with the end in mind” was popularized by Stephen Covey. This phrase encapsulates the ethos of the entire strategic planning process. How will we reach there if we don’t know where we like to be in three to five years? Strategic planning is how we break free from our daily routines. It enables us to consider the significant rather than the urgent. Perhaps most crucially, it allows us to establish a framework for achieving our objectives.Permits decision-making delegation: Decision-making is one of the most challenging tasks for a manager to delegate. After all, despite our best efforts, we rarely convince our employees to share our perspectives. However, a strategic plan enables us to communicate our thoughts to our colleagues. It serves as a guide for decision-making. When making decisions, staff might go to the strategic plan and ask, “Is what I’m doing in line with the plan, or am I going against it?” We enable our staff to make decisions and advance initiatives without requiring our involvement in every decision using a strategic plan. This helps to the development of a more agile, faster-moving corporation.Permits us to adapt to change: We are all aware that the one constant in information technology changes. Those of us who are prepared for change can take advantage of it. Those unprepared for or incapable of adapting to change are doomed to fail. I’m not claiming that a strategic strategy would have prevented blockbusters’ failure. However, the failure to consider and prepare for the future undoubtedly did. Strategic planning encourages planning and is one of the numerous methods to secure companies’ continued success. Also, a strategic plan enables us to be more prepared for unanticipated change. How many of you have encountered a system outage or other issue right before a holiday weekend? Whether you believe it or not, having a strategic plan can assist you in dealing with emergencies.Provides us with parameters for creative thought: When attempting to discover solutions to organizational difficulties, a clean slate can be an excessive amount of leeway. Consider the construction of a house. The majority of us do not begin with a pile of lumber and a box of nails. We work with a builder who has a variety of floor plan possibilities to choose from. This is comparable to a business strategy. Once we have a plan, we may discuss what we like and dislike. Also, we can discuss characteristics and the intended use of the rooms. Within a short time, a house that matches our demands begins to shape. You will discover that issues can be resolved considerably more rapidly when everyone has an essential awareness of the organization’s direction. Planning sessions can be more easily focused on capabilities rather than trivial “lumber selection” issues that have no bearing on the larger goals.Assists you in communicating your intentions to senior management: A comprehensive IT strategy plan is the single most effective means of communicating your intentions to top leadership. Senior leaders in organizations are more concerned with high-level strategy. Having a detailed plan enables you to discuss your objectives with C-Level executives. Most significantly, it allows senior leadership to redirect activities that are not entirely consistent with their vision. These discussions enable top leadership to better know the IT department’s activities without becoming involved in day-to-day operations.

Components of an IT Strategic Plan

So, what does an example of an IT strategy look like? Let us begin with some of the fundamental components. This sample IT strategy document can be customized to match the unique requirements of a particular firm.

Alignment with the business’s strategy and goals: The IT strategy plan should demonstrate how IT strategies complement business strategies. Business initiatives that necessitate significant investments in IT infrastructure or software solutions should be highlighted prominently. It’s easy to miss or misunderstand corporate goals when communicated via the grapevine; this is why IT leaders must be present at every business strategic planning meeting.Proposals for the long term: Like the preceding point, every compelling IT strategy map example should incorporate long-term initiatives. For instance, if one of your business aims is to improve your customers’ digital experience, you may want to invest in developing a suite of mobile apps over the next few years. If the business lacks in-house development capabilities, the associated IT strategy may be to establish a mobile application development team and equip it with the necessary tools, processes, and training. Alternatively, collaborate with an IT service provider who possesses the essential expertise to carry your project through to completion. Again, it is critical to maintain alignment between these activities and their goals and anticipated outcomes.Technology roadmap: Technology evolves organically over time, continuously presenting opportunities to provide better, faster, and more affordable service. When examining IT strategy examples, technology’s position in IT should take precedence. For instance, numerous businesses see the benefits of migrating their on-premise data centers to cloud service providers such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). The example portion of the IT strategy roadmap should highlight the technology directions that will best serve the business and a high-level plan for getting there from the current state. Because it can be challenging to predict which new technological breakthroughs would assist a particular organization, it’s sometimes simple to take a wrong turn. As a result, an IT strategy frequently encompasses a set of principles that govern the proper level of caution or risk tolerance for emerging technological trends in support of various business objectives.Best practices: Adherence to best practices is critical to the IT organization’s ability to support the business (ITIL). This section should highlight gaps in the organization’s commitment to best practices and the steps necessary to close them. Getting this right demands knowledge of information technology best practices. No information technology organization adopts these best practices overnight; it is a process that frequently takes years. However, the best instances of IT business strategy adhere to best practices.IT governance: IT governance is closely related to IT best practices; it refers to the policies and procedures that specify how the information technology organization accepts, analyzes, launches, and controls new initiatives and their quality and budget. As with best practices, many firms’ IT plan example documents might be improved. This section analyzes and highlights IT governance gaps and potential solutions.IT service catalog: Supporting the business entails creating a standardized catalog of information technology services that are matched with the business’s requirements. This section should outline gaps in the current IT service catalog and the strategy for addressing them. However, specific intervals are more difficult to close than others, and it’s easy to overestimate in this area.Communication Plan: Transparency is one of the roads to success in any organization: Transparent communication about the existing situation, anticipated changes, the causes for such changes, and the progress of in-flight projects. If the IT company does not have an operational communications infrastructure to keep its customers informed, this section details how it aims to accomplish that goal. IT businesses must exercise caution to avoid being overburdened.

How To Process Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is critical to a business’s long-term success. A corporation with a strategic plan can more effectively direct its energies and resources toward reaching a goal. Consider the seven stages below to assist you in developing practical, actionable strategies:

  • 1. Recognize the value of a strategic plan

    The first and most essential action in the planning process recognizes the necessity of a plan. In terms of management, this means that you must be familiar with the industry context in which your organization operates to find development prospects. Also, you must be familiar with the business’s internal procedures to recognize when a problem has to be resolved. After identifying opportunities, you can begin considering actions that will enable you to capitalize on those opportunities. For instance, the government may be soliciting bids from enterprises in your industry. You can devise a strategy to assist your organization in bidding if you know this.

2. Establish objectives

The second step in the strategic planning strategy is to establish goals. Depending on their purpose, plans can be found for both specific departments and the entire firm. Meanwhile, a department’s objective would boost particular performance indicators, such as sales or customer happiness. While an organization’s goals can be broad, while defining departmental goals, you must be comprehensive and explicit so that your team members understand what they need to perform. For instance, while growing profits may be a corporation’s aim, individual departments will require more specific targets. Goals are critical to the strategic planning process because they enable managers to steer their teams more effectively. They provide employees with a single destination to strive for, which helps to focus their everyday efforts.

3. Create hypotheses or premises

When creating a company plan, keep the future in mind. Naturally, because the future is unknown, your project must be predicated on some assumptions or premises. A forecast is a familiar premise in which specific predictions are made. If the company’s objective is to expand earnings, management must estimate whether the industry can support the increase. External premises are anything outside the business that could affect the plan and accomplish established objectives. When attempting to achieve an organizational goal, all managers must operate under the same premises and agree on them.

4. Conduct research into alternative methods of accomplishing goals.

Typically, there are multiple distinct paths to achieving a goal. You’ll need to invest time in researching numerous strategies your team could use to accomplish a specific target. Researching alternative methods of achieving a goal is critical since managers have leeway when directing their teams. Certain managers may prefer novel approaches to accomplishing goals, while others prefer more traditional techniques. When evaluating alternative methods for achieving goals, the purpose should be to restrict the field of possibilities to a few viable ones. As previously stated, there are likely innumerable choices for reaching the established goals. If you do not reduce the options, your managers will find it challenging to choose an effective solution. Once you’ve chosen a few potential paths to your goals, it’s time to thoroughly investigate each one to determine which is the incredible alternative. You should carefully analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each solution, particularly with your business’s established goals. Consider that you are creating a financial plan for your business. It will help analyze the risks and potential returns associated with each feasible option. Additionally, you would need to assess each alternative you choose to determine if it will assist you in achieving your final target efficiently.

5. Determine your course of action

After you’ve defined your objectives, built your premises, and found or analyzed alternative alternatives for achieving your goals, you can decide on a path of action. The strategic strategy you adopt will be the most profitable in an ideal world. When choosing a course of the act, you should rely heavily on empirical evidence, such as quantitative analysis. Your experience as a manager can also assist you in determining the best strategy for achieving your specified objectives. Using your personal experience, you may discover that one of the strategies under consideration is something you have seen performed in the past and know to be beneficial.

6. Create an auxiliary plan

Once you’ve decided which plan to implement, you may also need to build a secondary plan to assist you in implementing the preliminary plan. Secondary programs will vary according to your objectives, so keep them in mind as you create this additional plan. If your company’s goal is to introduce a new product, your primary project may involve conducting market research, devising a marketing strategy, and arranging for manufacture. The secondary plan will outline all steps necessary to support the immediate plan’s implementation.

7. Put the strategic plan into action

The final stage of the strategic planning method is to put the strategy into action. Depending on the objectives you’ve established, this may be the most time-consuming step in planning. When it’s time to plan into action, managers rely on their skill set and experiences to ensure that everything goes successfully. If the organizational goal is particularly complex, managers must devote sufficient time to ensure that team members understand their roles and fit into the larger picture. All team members must be informed and collaborate to ensure success.


What constitutes a sound information technology strategy?

A good IT strategy strikes a balance between two objectives: daily operations support and future development. Some IT and business leaders are solely concerned with immediate issues and do not take the time to develop a long-term strategy.

What are the IT company’s strategic objectives?

A strategy is a long-term project you develop to achieve the desired future condition. A strategy outlines your business’s goals and objectives, the products/services you intend to build, the clients you wish to sell to, and the marketplaces in which you intend to profit.

What is an information technology team?

Network architects, analysts, engineers, and hardware experts comprise a networking team. A popular subset is the computer systems administration team, which provides help to end-users through the configuration and maintenance of computers, operating systems, and other network-connected applications.

Numerous strategic sales plan templates are available online to be downloaded, altered, and personalized to your exact specifications and needs. There are multiple pre-made and print-ready templates available in Word and PDF formats. Strategic planning will assist you in determining how to prepare for your company’s growth in the most effective manner. This will alleviate the stress associated with developing new plans from scratch. Ensure that you select the appropriate template for editing and customize it to your liking.