Creating IT strategy is one of the complicated
task that I know. To create a good IT strategy, you have to use many ingredients
from different types and sources. Those ingredients should be used
in unique combination that can be cooked and then be served as a delicious Cake
to different customers ( IT workers, IT management, Information workers,
enterprise CxOs and sometimes the board). In this post I'll try to describe
what, and who I manage to create an IT strategy.
Usually I tend to split my work into 6 main work
- Collecting as-is data
- Mapping IT assets: collecting existing IT assets
to understand what IT manage and to get a hint how.
- Information model: information entities and their
relations. Helps to understand interaction between business units and level of
integration from business perspective. Information model is also being used as
an input to Information management.
- Applications and products : applications
(internal development), External products and relations. Will be used for
different aspects as well as mapping to core-context model.
- Technologies, Databases and servers : collect
data about technical component and their relations. Used to understand what
stand behind each application/product and to find out if resources are balanced
(from usage point of view) and if new technologies (such as virtualization) are
- Communication infrastructures : same as
technologies, but focused on communication.
- DRP : current design recovery plan.
- Information security : what procedures and IT
assets are in place to support information security.
- Information from externals: what type of
information the enterprise is getting from externals, in what format and how the
data is being handled by the enterprise.
- Information management: how information is
manage, who own information, who use it, what is each information availability,
- Program of Work (POW) management : what is the
current (if exists), how POW is being prepared, who is involved in this effort,
what are the inputs for the process, is the POW address IT needs or just
business needs, is it multiyear plan, is the plan enable prioritization and
control, do we have milestones, deliverables and time tables, etc'
- Budget management : who current budget is build
(centralized or separated between business units), how the process is being
done, who is involved, what are the inputs, is it multiyear budget, do we have
breakdown of budget chapters, is the budget structure represent the major areas
of expanses, is the structure enable management queries regarding budget
behavior, Can we optimize budget without changing IT deliverables,
- IT equipment procurement management: are there
any policies regarding procurement (Tender, predefined suppliers, how the
process is done, where), what are the relations to other business units (when IT
purchases), how IT physical assets are managed, any retire principles for IT
- Project management : is there one and uniform
process for IT project, is the project follow PRINCE2, PMBOK or any other
project management methodology.
- IT infrastructure management (ITIL) :
checking who much ITIL is implemented (even if its not ITIL explicitly) .
Are we implementing any management of Incident, problem, configuration, release,
change, capacity, financial, availability, continuity and service
- Governance: mapping the IT against governance
frameworks such as COBIT.
- IT organizational structure and Human resources
management. Existing structure and how it should support current tasks, one shop
or shop per business unit, duplicated teams, location of teams in
hierarchy, are teams located in the same physical location, compensation per
- Training / Education : Current training and
education plan or opportunities available, are they per role, are they address
known gap in worker knowledge, are they related to POW, etc'
- IT management - supporting forums:
Are there any IT or enterprise wide forums that serve IT needs or IT is
involved in, what is the perception of IT, is the CIO has CEO support, what is
the CIO location in organization structure,
- Understand the business, future direction and who
it impact IT
- Business capabilities : what are the functions
performed by the business to reach goals and objectives. Including new
capabilities (or changes in capabilities) that support new business directions,
or any business change. Used to see alignment between IT and business needs
(current and future)
- End-to-End business processes (Value chain):
mapping main processes that generate value to the enterprise. Used to see
interaction and integration between business
- Understand new technology future IT directions
and how they can Impact the business.
- Create TO-BE architecture: Creating new
architecture (blueprint or high level architecture) based on business
directions, new technology options, key finding from IT assets mapping and IT
- Identify gaps between as-is and to-be: list all
gaps in each element that we mapped in the "AS-IS"
- Translate gaps into a roadmaps with dependencies
and assignments : group gaps into projects, write one page of project high level
analysis, assign resources to projects and creating a road map
(taking in account dependencies )
Then I translate the work streams data into a word document with
6 main chapters:
- Executive summary. Actually I'm writing different
executive summary for each audience using relevant linkage to
document paragraphs. I found out that although it's more work it proves to be
more digestible. This way I can use different lingo and sharp
different aspects of the strategy for each audience without rewriting the entire
document and with ability for adjustments on the other hand.
- Description of the as-is + to-be. Describe the
data as it was collected from different roles. This part should hold just facts.
I'm using it to build my findings on top of agreed facts.
- Analysis : TO-BE based on analysis of collected
- Blue-prints and Principles : based on the
analysis what need to be done, and which principles should be followed by the
- Roadmap : Translate blueprints and principles
into defined projects with assignments and dependencies with other projects and