What is IT Strategy Consulting and How Can it Benefit My Business?
Is your business on the cutting edge of strategically implementing IT to support your business now and in the future? See how IT strategy roadmapping works.
Information technology is an essential function of any business and continually increase in value. IT does more than support other parts of an enterprise, helping to automate routine tasks and processing efficiency. IT has become integrated into the services and products of many industries, even industries that are ”low-tech” are increasingly leveraging information technology for digital transformation, and as a foundation of new business models.
However, there are still business leaders who only manage IT as a technical function of their companies. In those cases, IT processes, IT organization, and IT systems may be designed well for technical operations, but poorly aligned from a whole business perspective. While there are potentially several causes of this viewpoint, such as sudden or long-term growth, business direction or competitive disruption that create dissonance between what IT is providing and what the company needs, IT should be a priority of the highest order for every business that wants to continue to grow profits going forward.
What is IT Strategy Roadmapping?
The term roadmapping is defined as “the strategic process of determining the actions, steps and resources needed to take an initiative from vision to reality.” Roadmapping can be a tool to use in many types of plans, but for the purpose of this page, we’ll see how it can be applied to IT.
A team of knowledgeable IT experts familiar with industry business and technology can facilitate the development of an integrated IT strategy for your company. Using focused engagement as an approach to IT strategy, the development will include:
- IT and Business Alignment — Beginning with a review of the vision, goals, mission and strategy of your business, to derive the implications for IT
- What IT needs to be and do to support the business strategy and deliver business value
- What capabilities can IT implement to form the core of new business models
- IT Current State Analysis — Conducting a thorough assessment of the current IT environment
- Data centers, documentation, networks, use of cloud computing, and equipment
- Assessment of current IT applications portfolio from online user surveys, in-person interviews
- Ranking major business systems by the importance to the business, management value, technical quality
- Determining the highest priority candidates for upgrading, replacement or nurturing
- Benchmarking use of outsourcing and outside IT support providers, IT spending and staffing, management of best practices, and any new initiatives planned
- IT Future State Vision — Envisioning of IT strategy
- A future state when IT technology, systems, processes and people are fully aligned with the business strategy
- Workshops to explore potential innovative technologies relevant to the company
- Comparing the vision to current state and conducting a gap analysis
- IT Strategy Roadmap — Forming a roadmap from gap analysis to create a strategic narrative, where you are going and how to get there
- Deliverable — A strategic IT road map for the business that defines major initiatives, the desired future state, priorities for implementation
- Summary descriptions and budget estimates for each major initiative including new IT capabilities and business application systems, IT infrastructure improvements, upgrades, IT process improvements, IT organizational changes or restructuring, risk management programs, and IT governance structures
What is the Scope of an IT Strategy?
When developing a complete IT strategy, you must include the following personalized for your needs:
- IT Applications Portfolio — Business applications needed to support business processes including CRM, ERP, HR/HCM, business analytics and intelligence, a wide range of industry-specific systems
- IT Infrastructure — The technical architecture of operating systems, hardware, databases, communications, end-user computing platforms, facilities including cloud platforms to replace in-house IT systems and infrastructure
- IT Service Management — Decisions related to where and how IT services should be delivered. Who should deliver, outsourced or managed services providers, or internal IT workgroups
- IT Organizational Design — People, including evaluation of staffing levels, skills, identification of skills gaps, recruiting new personnel, designing the optimal IT organizational structure to implement the road map
- IT Management Best Practices — Internal processes including proven best practices for IT operations, IT financial management, IT security and risk management, IT governance, IT applications development and innovation