There is no magic formula for creating an effective IT strategy, and the process can sometimes be long and seemingly never-ending without solid and experienced advice. There are a number of over-arching guiding steps and processes that can be applied to create one for a firm. Working as and with consultants for many years I have managed to refine the key principles into 12 steps that provide method, focus and structure to delivering an effective strategy. Using this experience we have been able to create a template for IT strategy and use it in real world case studies to deliver effective decisions on strategy.
Using our method there are three phases to creating the framework needed for an IT strategy. Simply put, these are: assess where you are, set on your targets and decide on your roadmap to get there.
Inside this three phase framework we can break the decisions into four areas to measure and understand; these are: complexity, costs, business objectives and service levels. This gives 12 steps to achieving the strategy. In a series of blog posts I want to consider the basic principles of each area in turn to show how to use these to create a template for writing an IT strategy.
The first post will cover how to understand your current situation with regards to systems and services. As simple as it sounds, many companies do not have a clear understanding of how your systems and services align to business objectives. The next blog entry will explore the ways to set your targets, looking at which approach is best to adapt. The penultimate post in the series will go into details about how to achieve those goals in a practical, detailed and proactive method.