We are at the observation or Analysis part of our I.T. Strategic Plan, this area can have many or a few sections, I am listing possible categories or subsections for you to review and consider, and then I will look at each one separately. In this section we will look at the following:
2. Key Success Factors
3. Core Competencies
4. S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats)
5. Possible Interrelationships
6. Budget Alignments
7. Planning Observations
These may be the same for you or you may have different categories but you get the idea, all of these mini-descriptions I have been laying out for you, are a framework to work from. The first one we’ll look at today is Markets, we need to determine who your supporting and or selling to internally and externally.
Depending on how your organization is structured will determine who is who. For example, if your organization has an HQ (Headquarters), multiple businesses under one umbrella, Field staff and customers, you will need to identify who they are and what they do from an access point of view. Each market will require levels of access and different types of information, it could be sales reports, personal data and or customer’s wish to track & see there purchase history.
One market would be internal HQ staff, another would be field staff, if you have multiple companies or offices with multiple databases you would have to break those independent units down. Documentation becomes critical here because you must know exactly what they need, access points, security, data requirements and so on. As you can see this can be a very laborious pile of work, that’s where your work earlier with department heads and subject matter experts pays off. You would already have a requirements document and a wish list, that would be your starting point to map out the details.
Identifying your markets means you most likely understand all the different complex levels of need. For example, HQ staff will want quick access to the seamless information, e.g. a full 360 degree look at a customer, maybe their personal data or a staff member. Field staff who are stretched for time and resources want strong productivity tools. To be able access financial documents and other required reports. This could also serve as clear evidence that you are indeed providing for and supporting staff in the field. Your I.T. Plan can solve a number of technical challenges but it can also restore or maintain confidence in HQ for those who do not work in the Mother Ship. By providing multiple levels of service and support, is the best PR money can buy, provide the best service and all will speak highly of you and your team.
Next I’ll look at the Key Success Factors section.
The past three years have seen huge growth in a phenomenon called Social Media, very few organizations understand what it is and don’t have a solid strategic way of maximizing the potential market growth. They know their staff are spending vasts amount of personal time and company time in those networks but don’t understand why and or the power of Social Media Networks.
The challenge with Social Media Networks are many but the one CEO’s and the like will struggle with is control and how they can leverage those environments. Which Network do we hitch our wagon too? How does it work and why? How do we control those networks for our purposes? You can make up your question here as it fits with the not knowing of how to harness a wild beast called Social Media.
Has the time come for organizations to take Social Media Networks seriously and should they include them in their I.T. & Business strategic plans? What’s your plan? Does your company have an I.T. Strategic Plan? Do you know what one is and looks like? Does the I.T. Plan align with with business processes?
Here is a breakdown of how an I.T. Strategic Plan might look:
1.) Purpose (Vision, Mission)
3.) KRA ( Key Result Areas)
5.) Action Plans
7.) List of Similar Providers
8.) Current Business Relationships
9.) Key Success Factors
10.) Core Competencies
11.) SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
12.) Budget Alignment
13.) Planning Observations
This is not written in stone but you get the idea, each consulting group will have their own framework, this happens to be mine. If you have questions or thoughts please leave a comment and I’ll try to answer your request.
No matter how or what you do and or how you use technology (Information Technology) you should have a plan and Social Media Networks could be a strategy in your plan, it depends on the perceived value of those networks.
If you would like to hire Owen to assist you in developing a positive I.T. Strategic Plan and ensure that plan aligns with your overall business strategy you can e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org