IT Strategic Planning
Did the recent events make you realize your information technologies need some attention? Maybe you are wondering how the money you invested in the technology you have, supports the business and help it succeed. Well, if you haven’t already done so, it is probably time to undertake a strategic planning exercise.
A good first step is to review your strategic plan and identify areas where technology could help improve operations and profitability. Another way to proceed could be the classic SWOT analysis. It could help you identify the weakness and opportunities affecting IT’s ability to contribute to your success. Regardless of how you chose to go about it, chances are, you will begin to identify gaps between where you are and where you need to be. That is of course, if you took the time to map where you are headed and where you want to be in a few years. And that is exactly where we usually find the biggest opportunity.
With the constant pressure of the day to day operations, organisations often don’t take the time to pause and step back to look at the big picture. Decisions are made in the heat of the moment instead of being guided by a solid plan.
No wonder organisations have many IT projects at the same time and many of these same projects fail. At Groupe SBC, we like to think there is another way and it starts with proper planning.
Pragmatic no nonsense approach
We like to add value as early as possible in the process and every steps of the way. While the major steps may look standard, the magic is in the details and how we go about each.
The first phase is to align the IT strategy with the business strategy. It sounds obvious but in our experience, often times there are significant discrepancies. As mention previously, we’ll take the time to step back and “see the whole”. This realignment can be done in a few way but we like to do it via workshops. It is more engaging than some of the more traditional ways of doing.
As we like to tell our customers, we are there to add value, not collect a cheque. As such, if you already have documentation from previous planning exercises, we will thoroughly look at them and reuse as much of it as we can.
Once we understand where the business is going and where some of the potential gaps are with regards to the current IT strategy, the second phase is all about defining the future state. Again via interactive workshops, we will define the business capabilities and the future state using the current processes as a guide and industry standards as benchmarks. We will inventory the various opportunities and create a backlog which will in turn serve as our single source of truth when it comes to IT projects.
To deliver the future state, we may need a new or improved IT delivery model and potential a different IT sourcing strategy. It is during that phase that we will have these very important conversations.
Phase 3 is all about creating a roadmap and a budget for this new state we have just defined. Using the backlog of opportunities, you will have to select and prioritize them and decide which ones should become a project. Once we have our list of projects, we’ll break each one down and come up with a budget/cashflow for each one. We’ll put all of them together onto a roadmap and, should it be approved, that will be your IT strategic plan for the next couple of years.
One of the reason why we are so effective at putting strategic plan together is in part due to the fact that we have delivered many high profile and mission critical projects. This field experience guide our thinking and help us put together more pragmatic strategies. So not only can we help you with the strategic aspect but once completed, we can help you operationalize it and deliver the selected projects.