Quick Start: Planning IT Strategy
Manage competing demands with a rough and ready IT strategy.
Articulating a clear IT strategy that aligns with business objectives is the
most important activity an IT manager can do for the department.
Managers who want to develop a strategic
IT departments that are ready to move out of
firefighting mode and begin planning their
IT departments that want a time and resource-
efficient process to carry out IT strategic
Mature IT departments looking to optimize
Get longer term funding for multi-year
Understand the critical steps and key players
in the strategy planning process.
Create an effective short- and long-term IT
strategy using best practice methods.
This Research Is Designed For: This Research Will Help You:
The IT Strategy Toolbox will provide clear direction to your IT strategy.
Many IT departments focus on initiatives and services that don't support business goals or align with organizational priorities.
Strategic misalignment occurs when IT departments misunderstand management requirements, or when they don’t collect
the data that the business needs to make key decisions. In these cases, IT fails to support the projects and deliverables that
will deliver the most value to the organization, which can strain relationships between the business and IT.
An IT Strategy will help you cope with competing demands, make the most of limited resources, and meet organizational
needs. An IT Strategy lays out roadmaps to establish and maintain the systems, infrastructure and services necessary for the
business to achieve long-term objectives.
The tools and template in the IT Strategy Toolbox can help you:
Align business and IT initiatives
Build an infrastructure roadmap
Build an application roadmap
Establish an operational direction for IT
Build an IT investment roadmap
The IT Strategy Toolbox gathers all the tools you need to clearly demonstrate the business value of IT, and establish
milestone commitments to deliver business solutions. They will help you develop a clear picture of what systems and services
are needed, when new investments are required, and how they all contribute to the success of the company. This guide will
provide you with a brief introduction to some of the tools in the toolbox and how to use them.
Make IT a Source of Business Value
An IT Strategy is a roadmap that lays out an investment plan for the
infrastructure, applications, and services necessary to meet the long-
term objectives of the business. Without an IT strategy, the shop
Won’t take a systematic approach to improving customer experience
Will focus on IT initiatives and services that don’t support business
goals or align with organizational priorities
Will make investments that don’t support those projects and
deliverables that will deliver the most value
Build a rough and ready IT strategy
Develop a basic IT strategy to understand the priorities of your IT shop
and how they align with the goals of the organization. Use the IT
Strategy Toolbox to align business and IT, build roadmaps for
applications, infrastructure, and operations, and make an IT investment
The IT Strategy Toolbox can help you:
Clearly articulate organizational goals and the role IT must play
in achieving them.
Evaluate how well current infrastructure, applications, and
staffing meets your needs.
Define the projects you need to strengthen existing capabilities
to meet future needs.
Quick Start: Planning an IT Strategy
Some of the tools you will access:
Align Business and IT
Enterprise Strategy and Goals Template
IT Vision and Mission Templates
IT Service Model Alignment
IT Strategy Budget Impact
Business Case Template
Application roadmap tool
Infrastructure Components Inventory
Network diagram primer
Infrastructure roadmap tool
IT Staffing and Skills Worksheets
Your IT Strategy Toolbox
Perform an initial assessment of the benefit you expect from the project.
Begin building the business case now to improve executive
support for your initiative and measure its success
You can’t report what you don’t measure
Planning and implementing a right-sized IT strategy
will help you cope with conflicting priorities, avoid
missed commitments, and plan strategic IT
investments that maintain your capacity to deliver IT
services to the organization.
Initial measurements of mission-critical IT processes
will highlight the benefits you expect from the project,
generate support for your initiative, and help measure
Info-Tech recommends using the following KPIs to
assess the impact of your initiative. The specific KPIs
you use will depend on the operational goals of your
organization, and which tools and templates from the
toolbox you deploy. Start with metrics that address
specific issues in your organization.
How to complete this task
1. Estimate the work hours involved in the project.
2. Define the KPIs in simple, meaningful language.
Example: customer satisfaction = the % of
customers satisfied or very satisfied with how IT
Example: revenue per IT FTE = revenue in $ per
full-time employee in IT
3. Record initial measurements of the two KPIs.
4. Measure your KPIs again once the project is done to
assess its impact on your organization.
$ per Full-Time IT
Revenue per IT
The first step in building an IT strategy is assessing
the current state of IT, and understanding corporate
strategy. Use Stakeholder Guidelines and Analysis
and Visioning Working Sessions. Use the Business
Executive Interview Guide to structure fact-finding
meeting with key stakeholders in your organization.
Use the IT Vision and Mission Statement to
articulate the purpose, scope, and objectives of the IT.
The Technology Monitor can help track and evaluate
how new technologies might be of value to business
Finally, an IT steering committee is an excellent tool for
making the business accountable for desired IT
investment decisions. The IT Steering Committee
Charter, Meeting Agenda, and Challenge
Assessment Tool can help establish and run an
effective IT steering committee to govern new IT
Visioning working sessions can give you a sense of corporate
goals and how they affect IT
Build roadmaps to identify gaps and opportunities, assess
alignment, and determine when you need to invest
Roadmaps are essential to determine when and if
technical components can be retired, evolved or
added to create new opportunities for the
organization. Use the
Infrastructure, Applications, and Operational
Roadmaps to assess alignment, identify relevant
gaps, and turn them into opportunities for IT.
Use the FastTrack Tool: IT Organization
Direction to assess and improve the organizational
structure of IT. The FastTrack Tool will help you
conduct an IT skills inventory, assess
organizational gaps, and identify opportunities for
Use the Investment Roadmap to define and
prioritize strategic initiatives. Once you have a good
idea of the value of each project and how it will be
delivered, the Investment Roadmap can help you
integrated each with projects that are already on
your agenda. This will help you establish a
timetable for your strategy, and set when to make
key contributions to business objectives.
Other tools and templates in Quick Start: Planning IT
Explore the other tools and templates in Quick Start: Planning IT Strategy.
Here are suggested tools and templates to help improve your IT strategy planning processes.
Section 1: Align Business and IT
Use the tools in this section to document the goals and strategies of the organization, take
stock of IT initiatives, and assess how well they contribute to business success.
Section 2: Build an Application Roadmap
Build a roadmap that will allow the organization to leverage apps management resources
more efficiently, and extract maximum value from the organization’s application portfolio.
Section 3: Build an Infrastructure Roadmap
Determine when technical components can be retired, evolved or added to create new
opportunities. The tools assist in evaluating components to determine when each must be
Section 4: Establish a Direction for IT Organization
Use the tools in this section to help assess and improve the organizational structure of IT.
Section 5: Build an IT Investment Roadmap
Define and prioritize strategic initiatives, and establish a timeline for you strategy to
determine when your organization will deliver its contribution to business objectives.