2Introduction Aim Use of the Guide This presentation is prepared to support and give a general overview of the ‘How to Develop an Information Strategy Plan’ Guide and should be read in conjunction with the publication.Use of the GuideThis guide covers the subject of developing an ‘Information Strategy Plan’.The guide firstly explains why strategic planning is required for companies. Next, a step-by-step procedure for developing an Information Strategy Plan is presented.The final section includes the implementation requirements of an Information Strategy Plan. This part is a summary of the ‘How to Implement an IT Strategy’ Guide.
3Strategic PlanningStrategic Planning aims to provide an understanding of the functions of the business, as well as a map for its future.What business are you in?Where are you now?How did you get there?Where do you want to be in the future?How are you going to get there?
4Strategic Planning Business Strategic Planning Process that your organisation employs to make decisions about its business direction.Information Strategy PlanningDeals with the whole ‘information resource’ of an organisation and its relation with the general business environment.
5Strategic PlanningInformation Strategy should be integrated with Business Strategy and other aspects of the organisation.
6Strategic PlanningAs business and information strategies become aligned, organisations can answer questions such as:Is IT adequately supporting our activities?Can we reduce the cost of core processes?Can IT help us ‘tie in’ to clients on a long-term basis?Is IT improving staff satisfaction and motivation?Can new services and products be created?Can IT help us gain new markets?How can the organisation’s information and knowledge be managed as a resource?How can the new technologies be used to address changing business needs?
7Developing an Information Strategy Plan There are five stages in developing an Information Strategy Plan:Initiate Information Strategy Planning ProjectIdentify Your Business PositionExamine Capabilities and TechnologiesDevelop System and Technology RoadmapPrioritise Solutions
8Developing an Information Strategy Plan Five stages are linked:
9Initiate Information Strategy Planning Project i. Gain senior management approval and sponsorshipFind a senior manager to sponsor the whole project from its inception to the implementation of new IT systems.ii. Appoint a championHave a key employee or ‘champion’ who drives the process with energy and commitment.iv. Involve business managers and employeesPlanning process should involve different participants from senior managers to employees.iii. Appoint team and schedule activitiesAppoint a team that represents a cross section of your organisation’s business area.
10Identify Your Business Position i. Assess your current business positionWhat is your current market positionHow do your customers see you?What are your strengths and weaknesses?What kind of culture and business values do you have?Does your organisation make decisions centrally or delegate responsibility?ii. Examine your future business directionDo you want to stay in the same business?Where do you want to be in the future?Which are your priority business areas?iii. Decide what role IT should play in your businessDecide on your general approach to developing IT systems.Will you want to use IT to enter into new markets?Decide how much to spend on IT.
11Examine Capabilities and Technologies i. Identify your current IT capabilities and key technologiesExamine the type of IT systems and infrastructure your organization has.How appropriate are your existing systems and technologies?Which major activities are not supported by IT?ii. Identify your current IT capabilityConsider your organisation’s IT capability in respect to IS and computer technologies, IT training and awareness and IT business processes.iii. Identify external systems and technologiesSearch the IT market and identify new technologies which may be of use to your company.
12Develop System and Technology Roadmap i. Map your project life cycle processesTo understand how your organisation functions it is a good idea to model your business in a graphical form.ii. Examine your information sharing requirementsDecide which systems need to share information, and think about how this could be achieved.iv. Decide which major systems you will needDecide which software systems are most important according to your business activities.iii. Explore the relevance of the Internet / E-business to your organisation.Examine whether Internet / E-business could give you advantage in your project life cycle.v. Plan your infrastructure requirementsDecide what technology infrastructure your organisation will need to support its systems.vi. Standardise your systems / technologiesTo ease project communication, it is important to reach agreement on standards systems.vii. Plan your people training and requirementsTrain your employees according to the requirements of the new system.
13Prioritise Solutions Prioritise Solutions i. Prioritise critical software systemsYour organisation’s vision and business directions can guide you in prioritising the critical software packages that you must install first.ii. Indicate resources and timeframesIndicate how much each system will cost?How many people are required?How long it will take to install.Who is responsible for the installation?iv. Communicate and seek feedbackIt is important that other people in the organisation have a ‘buy-in’ to the strategy.iii. Plan how you will manage changes to the documentIndicate how your IS Plan will be maintained.How often it will be reviewed?Who will do it, and what resources are needed?How much will it cost?What training will be required to maintain it?iv. Get authorisationSecure authorisation for funding the priority solutions.
14Implementing an Information Strategy Plan Implementing IT Strategy guide suggests that:Specification of user requirementsSoftware selectionSequence of implementationWhat are the major issues when replacing expensive ‘legacy’ systems?Timescales and resourcesManaging expectations.Training and supportare important factors for the implementation of an IS Strategy Plan.
15Implementing an Information Strategy Plan It is also important that the developed strategy to be presented clearly to a defined audience.The strategy can be presented to the following:- Senior managers- IT managers and staff- Participants in the planning process- User representativesOther parties affected by the plan:- Clients- Sub-contractors- Associated companies- Unions
16Implementing an Information Strategy Plan For large organisations ‘piloting’ a system is often the first step towards implementation. Pilot projects have some advantages including:Reduced risk of time and cost over runsReduced risk in selecting the wrong systemBenefits are achieved earlier thus increasing management and user confidenceThe organisation is able to revise its requirementsThe level of training required can be assessedThe approach fits well with the construction industry’s tendency to fund IT systems on a project basis
17Managing Changes to an Information Strategy The strategy planning project needs all the elements shown in the figure below in order to be successful. If any of the elements are missing, strategic planning will face difficulties.
18Concluding RemarksInformation strategy will demonstrate to the organisation how it can gain business benefits from IT.Information strategy should be based on the business strategy to gain a greater understanding of the potential of IT systems.Continuous sponsorship and involvement from the top management is needed.Organisations need resources, infrastructure and incentives to implement the strategy.