In the simplest terms, the ICT strategic plan makes it plainly clear what ICT will pursue for the next three to five years, and in what order they will do it.
Developing an ICT strategic plan to such a simple message such as this takes time, communication, and consultation. It also takes leadership and decisions.
The resulting plan will be the cornerstone on how you chose what projects to endorse, which contracts to renew, how you will acquire and develop your human capital. It must clearly support the business operational plans and the organisations strategic plan.
The five key considerations to remember when developing an ICT strategic plan are:
- It must support the operational and strategic goals of the business – and it must be obvious that it does this.
- The ICT team need to be able to read and understand it – this is not a thesis, but closer to a plan on a page.
- It’s a plan – not a prophecy, and not a rule book. It is more like a map, which allows for variation as needed.
- It must reflect your current or planned ICT capability, budget structure and maturity. The plan should set goals you perhaps can’t reach now, and must also reflect your ability to achieve them.
- The plan should be created, physically documented and presented annually, and referred to at many key decision points through the year.
The process of developing the ICT Strategic plan is not always easy, but having independent people lead the process and reflect your needs will often be the single decisive action a CIO can make to turn the plan from a discussion point, into a reality.