We often hear CIOs and other leaders convey feelings of discontent or cynicism when it comes to planning their IT strategy. Some express a struggle to allocate the proper time, resources, and expertise required. Others say they feel like they’re wasting energy to produce a document that generates little, if any, tangible value.

The truth is, however, that if your IT strategy is just a tall pile of papers gathering dust, you’re doing it all wrong. Businesses that lead the field know that their core business processes and IT strategy are inextricably intertwined.

As Jeremy Wanamaker, CEO of Complete Network  says, “Technology underpins every facet of our modern society; its influence on day-to-day business cannot be overstated.” 

Let’s adopt a practical approach to developing and implementing an effective IT strategy, from planning and vision straight to execution.


What is an IT Strategy Plan?

An IT strategy is a comprehensive roadmap template that describes an organization’s approach to information technology. Ideally, the plan should guide the organization in achieving strategic goals and objectives by marrying your IT solutions with your core business strategy.

A well-planned IT strategy will explain how and why information technology choices enhance operations, drive innovation, and create value. Furthermore, the plan should include means for monitoring progress, evaluating performance, and adjusting as necessary to ensure that the organization remains agile and competitive in its use of technology.

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Benefits of Creating an IT Strategy Plan

A well-developed IT strategy offers a full catalogue of benefits that can significantly impact an organization’s success and competitiveness, including:

  • Maximize the value that technology can deliver to the business.
  • Better guarantee that IT decisions align with the organization’s strategic goals and objectives.
  • Identify opportunities to streamline processes and improve operational efficiency using technology.
  • Foster a culture of innovation within the organization.
  • Identify and mitigate risks associated with technology, such as information security threats or system failures.
  • Improve the customer experience.
  • Drive a competitive advantage by leveraging technology in unique and innovative ways.
  • Ensure the organization’s technology infrastructure is scalable and flexible enough to meet future business needs.
  • Reduce costs associated with acquiring or upgrading technology.


Four Keys to an Effective IT Strategy Plan

The most effective IT strategy plans have four key elements that provide a sturdy foundation upon which to build. These include focus, clarity, accountability, and execution.


1.  Strategic Focus

Determining where to concentrate your focus and efforts in IT strategy planning involves assessing which technologies best align with your strategic ambitions. A few noteworthy areas to consider include:

  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR)
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Next-gen Cybersecurity
  • Cloud Computing


2. Goals and Objectives

Clearly defined goals and strategic objectives that outline what the organization aims to achieve form the backbone of its IT strategy. Setting SMART goals is a strategic approach that ensures that your planning is well-defined and achievable.

  • Specific: Goals should be clear and specific, outlining exactly what is to be achieved.
  • Measurable: Include metrics or criteria for measuring progress and success.
  • Achievable: Plans should be challenging yet attainable. They should stretch the team to achieve more but remain within the realm of possibility.
  • Relevant: Align your goals with the organization’s overall objectives and priorities contributing to the larger mission and vision.
  • Time-bound: Have a clear timeline or deadline to create a sense of urgency.




3. Accountability

Assign specific individuals or teams to take ownership of projects and be accountable for their success. Clear accountability means that there is a straightforward understanding of who is responsible for the success of a project, including making key decisions, managing resources, and ensuring that deadlines are met.

This level of ownership clarity and accountability is essential for effective project management, as it helps to prevent confusion, minimize delays, and reduce the chances of misunderstandings and conflicts.


4. Project Execution

Execution is the cornerstone of any effective IT strategy plan as it bridges the gap between strategic vision and tangible outcomes. This phase is where the rubber meets the road, where ideas are transformed into actionable initiatives that drive real change within an organization.

Keep in mind that effective execution requires more than just implementing projects; it also requires strong leadership, effective communication, and a culture of accountability. It’s essential to have the right people in place, with the right skills and resources, to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget.


The Best IT Strategy Plan Example

Now that you know the four key components that make up a robust IT strategy, let’s provide some examples of what your plan should include. Although every organization has different goals, objectives, and missions, the following aspects are fundamental to all plans.

Abstract: The abstract should succinctly summarize the key points of the IT strategy plan, including its goals, objectives, major initiatives, and expected outcomes. It should provide a high-level overview to give readers a clear understanding of its purpose.

Scope: The scope should outline the boundaries and focus of the plan. It should clarify what is included and what is not, as well as define the core aims your plan is designed to achieve. It should also outline the approach and methodology that will be used to carry out your plan.

Context: Provide a detailed overview of the current IT landscape within the organization, including existing technologies, infrastructure, and processes.

Initiatives: Outline specific initiatives that will help achieve what’s outlined in the plan. This may include projects related to infrastructure upgrades, software implementations, cybersecurity measures, or digital transformation initiatives.

Review: Establish a process for regularly reviewing and evaluating the progress of the IT strategy plan. For example, use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success and conduct surveys and interviews to gather stakeholder feedback. The review process should be iterative, allowing for adjustments to the strategy based on changing business needs

and technology trends.

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Key Components of IT Strategy Plan vs. Traditional IT Planning

Components IT Strategy Plan Traditional IT Planning
Objective Alignment Aligns closely with business goals and objectives Often operates in silos, separate from business objectives
Technology Integration Prioritizes seamless integration of current and future technologies May focus on current technologies without planning for future integration
Risk Management Includes proactive risk assessment and mitigation strategies Typically reactive to risks and issues as they arise
Resource Allocation Strategic allocation of resources for maximum efficiency and impact Resources may be allocated without a strategic framework
Performance Metrics Utilizes specific KPIs to measure success and guide adjustments May lack clear metrics for evaluating IT performance
Stakeholder Engagement Emphasizes collaboration and communication with all stakeholders Limited engagement with stakeholders outside the IT department
Innovation Emphasis Encourages leveraging new technologies for competitive advantage Often maintains status quo, less focus on innovation


Strategic Planning Process: From Vision to Execution

You’ve reached the point where you now have the foundational knowledge, understanding, and information required to develop a full-fledged IT strategy plan. However, if you still feel a bit overwhelmed or not quite ready to tackle such a complex undertaking alone, you’re in the right place.

The Complete Network team helps businesses in Albany, New York, Charlotte, North Carolina, Savannah, Georgia, and Bluffton, South Carolina to develop an ROI-driven IT strategy plan that keeps costs and complexity under control.

Contact our friendly team at 877 877 1840 and [email protected]. We look forward to speaking with you!

How To Supplement Your Internal IT Team.

In an ideal world, technology would be a consistent source of competitive advantage and benefit for small and midsized businesses. The reality is that many fail to realize that confidence.

Without the right resources and support, even a highly skilled technology team can become overwhelmed by the growing list of technology management duties. When important tasks get neglected, it creates ripple effects throughout an organization that damage productivity and efficiency.

The co-managed IT services model solves these problems by providing your existing IT team with all the support and resources they need to successfully plan, manage, and defend your network technology.

This guide covers:

  • • Aligning technology with business goals
  • • Reducing churn while preserving institutional knowledge
  • • Empowering your staff to maximize productivity
  • • Achieving the highest level of cybersecurity defense

Download it for free by filling out the form here.