Developing a framework is the first step in building out a comprehensive IT strategy. A framework will define the concepts necessary to move forward, ranging from the driving forces behind the organization's IT strategy to the current capabilities of the IT infrastructure. The more refined the framework is, the more refined the strategy will be.
Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when creating an IT strategy framework.
Include Multiple Forms of Business Analysis
An IT strategy framework is an all-encompassing strategy necessary for propelling your organization forward. Though it would be helpful if there were a singular type of analysis that could help your business, there isn't; multiple types of business analysis are necessary for superior operations. Building an IT strategy framework may require a business assessment, application assessment, infrastructure assessment, portfolio analysis, spending analysis, and more -- all of these things together need to be integrated into your IT framework.
Create a Preparedness Strategy for Trends
Your IT framework should take into account external trends as well as internal initiatives. Disruption rarely occurs out of nowhere. When an industry is disrupted, it's because it hasn't kept up with new technology. Businesses must always be integrating new technology trends into their IT strategy framework if they are to keep a step ahead of their competition. This means identifying the trends that are most likely and adapting their offerings accordingly.
Don't Forget to Quantify the Benefits
Just because an initiative is ultimately beneficial doesn't mean that it's worthwhile. When developing an IT strategy, it's easy to lose track of the forest for the trees. Before an initiative begins, the benefits related to the initiative should be appropriately quantified. A solid cost-benefit analysis will tell the business whether or not this initiative is truly valuable. There are many minor improvements in an organization's IT infrastructure that might not be worth the additional expense.
Always Include Regulatory Compliance
Only part of an IT strategy is about developing value. IT strategies also need to meet current changes in regulatory compliance -- and often these changes can have a significant impact on the organization. An IT framework should have an area which takes into consideration the new regulations that will need to be researched and met.
A better framework will ideally lead to better ROI and better IT decisions. Comprehensive IT frameworks make it easier to identify the impact of new business initiatives and to prepare the organization for the future. But a framework alone cannot build a strategy; it's also absolutely critical to have the correct information, analysis, and assessments. Together, both data and strategy will be able to build out an IT infrastructure right for the organization's future.