E RADAR’s Head of Research Dr Daniel Dresner discusses his proposed corporate IT strategy template designed to help make technology selection just that bit more effective for organisations.
When I was carrying out an IT review for one of my clients, one of his team asked me if I had a template for an IT strategy. Ashamedly I hadn't. It's something that I've been meaning to get around to (best intentions and all that). Over the last decade, I've honed my consultancy skills by applying the lessons learnt during my research apprenticeship (thank you Professors Wood and Wood-Harper, Doctors Garfield, Gledson et al) which was benchmarked by the award of a PhD. Now I'm supervising (MSc) students of my own.
What is an IT strategy?
An IT strategy is a comprehensive plan that digital professionals use to guide their organizations. An IT strategy should cover all areas where technology needs managing, including cost management, human capital management, hardware and software management, vendor management, risk management and all other considerations in the enterprise IT environment. Executing an IT strategy requires strong IT leadership; the chief information officer (CIO) and chief technology officer (CTO) need to work closely with business, budget and legal departments as well as with other user groups within the organization.
Many organizations choose to formalize their IT strategy in a written document or balanced scorecard strategy map. The plan and its documentation should be flexible enough to change in response to new organizational circumstances and business priorities, budgetary constraints, available skill sets and core competencies, new technologies and a growing understanding of user needs and business objectives.
My cohort at Manchester University's School of Computer Science (an international engine of enthusiasm from Uganda, Nigeria, India, China, and Liverpool) is looking at information and cyber security maturity, and IT strategy to name but two of the projects. And one of them is looking at that age-old problem: what does a good IT strategy really look like? And there are plenty of pretenders to the solution but like the store that offers you 10 washing machines where a hybrid of five of them might just do what you want, it would seem that the pedestal for a good template is still empty.
- Do you see what you would want to see in an IT strategy?
- Does it help you make the pick and mix of technology to realise your business' objectives?
- Does it suggest a IT architecture that is secure and resilient?
- What questions would you ask of it and what would be your ideal answers?
- Would you use such a template in your business?
Download the IT strategy template
E RADAR subscribers can download a copy of the corporate IT strategy template below