Diligent IT Planning Results In Business Success

IT planning is one of the disciplines within the domain of information technology, which discusses the investments related to technology. For each and every company, the information system plays an important role in offering a competitive advantage, bolstering productivity of staff and enhancing functional efficiency. Nevertheless, this field is very dynamic and in order to achieve success businesses need to continuously align their IT strategies to with their company objectives. This demands a long-range planning in order to address the existing as well as the future requirements of the information system.

IT planning is a collaborative procedure between the stakeholders of a company and technology experts, keeping in view the direction that a company would take in the future and how technology can help with its success. Since every organization has a different structure, therefore, the plan that this prepared for each organization should also be different and unique.

IT Planning Approach

The following components should be included in the strategic information technology planning of an organization:

· Information analysis and requirements recognized by interviewing the members of the management team plus the staff.
· Determine what are the existing and what will be the future requirements.
· Prioritization of prospects for system improvement.
· A structured planning approach that defines the company as well as information system objectives, goals and techniques for the organization.

Strategies that Build IT Planning Capability

The strategies that have been recognized by Forrester Research for successfully developing an IT planning capability are highlighted below:

Application data repository: The inventory of data related to applications which encompass costs, life cycles, etc., offer the information needed to drive decisions.

Capability maps: Capability maps are used to link the functions of information technology to the company processes that it supports. This is used in developing a technology road map for the organization.

Gap analysis: This is used for identifying the areas of the businesses that require conditioning or scaling down of IT functions.

Analysis and modeling tools: These tools are used to support the IT budgeting team in developing different plans that can be compared and examined in terms of pros and cons.

Reports: The reports guide the IT auditing team’s decisions. For instance, reports on applications having redundant functions, those on applications that have not been updated and others that are affected by problems help to justify strategic decisions.

IT Planning – In-house Resource Vs. Outsourcing

Keeping pace with improvements and planning the IT needs of an organization are both challenges that many businesses face in their endeavor to be successful, specifically in these times of economic problems. The option of maintaining in-house resources may not be an inexpensive option for medium and small businesses. For such businesses, outsourcing of IT management may prove to be a better option. The consultants provide the services of skilled as well as experienced manpower and all required tools that are needed to handle an organization’s IT infrastructure. This enables the organization to focus more on its core activities. Other benefits of outsourcing include access to specialized resources, cost reduction, better focus, better risk management and workload reduction.

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