Scope of an IT Strategy
It is advisable to develop an IT strategy that meets your business strategy goals along with making your technological capabilities better. It all depends on the extent of the role of IT in your organization with respect to applications, infrastructure, services, architecture, and human capabilities. That is why a clear definition of the scope of IT strategy is essential to remain clear in thoughts, decisions, and actions relevant to IT strategy.
There are some common aspects included in the broad scope of an IT strategy. However, the factors relevant to each of those aspects differ from company to company and industry to industry. In this article, we bring forth the various inclusions of the scope of an IT strategy that is required to be highlighted to create and implement a successful IT Strategy.
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Scope of an IT Strategy - Analysis
IT application portfolio
IT application portfolio means having the right mix of applications in your organization that align with your functional and business goals and objectives. IT application portfolio is a key aspect of an IT strategy scope because it leads to the implementation of the IT strategy and hence, contributes to possibilities of higher costs and risks. Furthermore, they add to the complexity because of higher inter-relatedness.
It is important for business leaders and CIOs to use application portfolio management to improve business processes, reduce risks, and increase revenues. For this, you need to embed technology into the right places and fill any technology-related gaps. You need to identify the key applications in your company, find the most effective and ineffective ones, remove the redundant applications, check if the ineffective ones can be replaced or updated, and implement relevant security controls for each.
However, application portfolio management is achieved only when you interact with people using the actual applications (employees) and the people who influence decisions on these applications (customers). You must have discussions with executives working on those applications, project managers involved in the execution of the project, application architects, and key decision-makers involved in the planning for technological transformation. You need to know the challenges they face with applications and how they derive value out of any application.
Once you have the required knowledge on each of these points, take note of them and develop a checklist for internal help. The aim is to use this data and information for facilitating the right IT application portfolio management. Furthermore, ensure to remain in continuous communication and collaboration with the relevant decision-makers to factor in the relevant changes in the ever-evolving technology application environment across the world.
IT service management
Similar to the significance of IT applications and infrastructure, IT services also form a significant part of any organization’s IT strategy. IT service management means the processes and procedures to use information technology for the benefit of the company to meet its business needs. CIOs must plan to improve the operations of IT infrastructure and applications so that companies obtain value from them at low costs while the company can focus better on the core competencies that generate revenues. This may require the CIO to formulate a roadmap that improves the value of operations of each application and infrastructural aspect along with the adoption of best management practices that make it possible.
IT organizational design
An IT strategy with a clear definition of IT application portfolio, infrastructure, and services does not give you the success you desire. It requires a robust operating model that includes all the essential components of an IT strategy, including applications, infrastructure, services, architecture, innovative practices, processes, and people. Furthermore, the inter-relationships between these components, management of the entire ecosystem, and alignment with business strategy enable you to address business needs.
You need to find the aptest organizational design that brings the IT strategy in line with the business strategy. Another strategic requirement is to select the best approach to implement this organizational design, which makes the IT processes simpler and easy to navigate. You need to keep in check the influence of competitive forces, changing industry landscape, and evolving technological needs to make the IT strategy’s organizational design valuable for your business.
Comprehending all the aspects of the scope of an IT strategy is essential to make your IT strategy effective for your business. Only then, it becomes a driver for your business and not a destroyer of your business goals. The onus lies on the CIO, business leaders, and other key decision-makers to adopt the best practices of IT management that can enable the success of IT strategy in such unpredictable and testing times for every business.
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