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Are There Gaps in Your IT Strategy?

Posted by Dave Goff on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 @ 05:04 PM

Everybody is talking about IT Strategy lately. As IT managers you’re faced with considerable pressure to communicate a comprehensive strategy and also show a clear road to improving the business value of your activities. IT strategy management is often met with yawns by CEOs and other executives, yet it can advance or undermine every move a company makes.  In one-sided communication models like this, it’s often the case that only problems are properly recognized or attributed to your team.

You have most likely created a roadmap for your IT strategy and you’re ready to implement it right away. What about those problems that may rise to the surface and catch the attention of the company decisions-makers?

KnowledgeLeader has just published a great IT strategy audit document for avoiding the more difficult pitfalls.

IT.Strategy.GapThe “IT Strategic Gap Assessment Report” is described in this way:

“Strategic alignment between business goals and drivers, and IT goals and initiatives is a critical area for most organizations. Increased financial and regulatory scrutiny has forced organizations to implement tighter fiscal policy around spending from a cost containment and strategic investment standpoint. As a result, it is important for organizations to be able to measure and monitor the value delivered by those investments. This report focuses on the gap assessment results of a company’s IT strategic plan.

The various objectives of this assessment are to evaluate the level of alignment between the business strategic plan and IT strategic plan, assess the adequacy of information and process used in the development of the plan, and develop a roadmap for optimization of the IT strategic plan. This assessment evaluated the IT strategic plan against a known framework for strategy development and also evaluated the alignment of the IT plan with the overall business strategic plan.”

With this report you’ll be able to identify and control the issues that disrupt alignment between business strategic planning and the IT strategic plan, assess the adequacy of information and process used in the development of the plan and if necessary, develop a roadmap for optimization of the IT strategic plan.

The audit report is split into a framework of 6 activity categories of a typical organization:

  1. Decide What's Important
  2. Set Goals That Lead
  3. Align Systems
  4. Work the Plan
  5. Innovate Purposefully
  6. Step Back

Each activity category lists several components, what was addressed, the gaps that were identified and recommendations. For example, under the final category you’ll find this component: 

Component

Addressed/Accomplished

Gaps

Recommendations

Review and evaluation of external and internal factors affecting strategic planning

A strategic planning market assessment is performed. This assessment evaluates industry trends, products, competitors by product, and emerging markets and technologies. This information is used to develop the strategic objectives for <Company X>.

There is no evidence of external factors being considered in a formalized process for IT strategic planning.

IT should formally consider and document external and internal factors affecting internal and external customers and consider those during strategic planning sessions.

 

With this tool in hand, you can easily identify strategic gaps and report in a concise way and provide a clear roadmap to how they will be addressed.

This audit report template is available to KnowledgeLeader members. Need it quick? Sign up for a free 30-day trial.

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Topics: IT audit, IT strategy, Audit Template

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