Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Top Priorities in IT Planning Checklist

 IT planning checklist is important because your goals and objectives will be your drivers. 

The increasing pace of changes means unpredictability and un-repetitiveness. The accelerated change doesn’t make business planning obsolete though. On the opposite, planning and forecasting become more critical, even it is challenging. Because business planning provides direction, diagnoses issues, and outlines the preferred course of action. As the saying goes, plan is nothing, but planning is everything. This is especially true with increasing speed of changes and continuous disruptions.

 Due to change nature of technology and overwhelming growth of information, IT planning is crucial to improving organizational effectiveness and responsiveness. Here are three top priorities in IT planning checklist.

Focus on the strategic goals of the business as well as the mapping objectives of IT: Strategic Planning by definition is translating the company vision into broadly defined goals or objectives. IT strategic planning is a cohesive component of the business strategy. Thus, CIOs should always stay focusing on the big picture of the business, leverage and prioritize, ensure that the IT is on the right track to achieve well-defined goals, as well as respond to emerging business issues with speed, without getting lost or burning out in continuous IT overload. IT planning provides CIOs an opportunity to “stand aside” from the operational issues and look at things from the top management perspective. How well CIOs make planning and how you actually align the organization to best carry out the vision will directly impact on the role they would play as the IT leader -a strategic business executive or a tactical IT manager? An innovative leader or an operational controller, etc. IT planning needs to ensure a seamless strategic alignment process of creating IT goals from the main corporate goal, One of the primary impediments to strategic alignment is a dissonance between upper and middle management and a similar dissonance between middle management and the bottom line. Thus, it is the hard work for IT management to make the related adjustment and manage an iterative planning-execution continuum effectively.

Define the total impact and total value of IT, clarify the cost of IT as the percentage of revenue: IT is always striving to improve its value to the business. All IT spending must be rationalized against the business benefits, to make sure that the money being spent on IT is aligned with the long-term goals of the company and not just have fun with new technologies. IT first needs a way to define value to the organization, and to do that, it needs to properly understand all elements of value that are translated to the organization, and how all the pieces and parts of the organization are ultimately impacted, for good or bad, by each new IT-led business initiative. IT can prove that the combination of quality and price for any given service feature is comparable to the marketplace. The Total Cost of Ownership is often held up as the critical metric for IT performance, the usual argument is being what you want to provide a service at the lowest possible cost, both in terms of acquisition cost and ongoing "care and feeding." But keep in mind, IT cost-benefit analysis is multifaceted, it is flawed if only economic costs and benefits are considered. Total impact and value should be defined, not just by the cost or finance perspective only. To make IT more visible as the strategic business partner, the best solution is to have IT represented on the Board, make sure CIOs can talk about the business, not just technology, and directors understand the value of a strategic partnership with IT.

Understand and deal with the main customers’ critical concerns or imperatives: The biggest challenge to business success is IT and the biggest challenge of IT is to understand the business and customers’ expectations. Digital is the age of people,  IT is shifting its focus from inside-out operation driven to outside-in customer-centric for getting digital ready. Thus, people-centricity needs to put on the top of IT planning checklist. Digital is the age of people and options, it provides the opportunity to think the new way to do things, so it forces CIOs to get really creative on how they architect and implement change, to get a step further from IT-business alignment to IT-business integration and IT-customer alignment. WIth the right goal setting and planning, IT feels more comfortable to involve customers and different stakeholders, listen to their feedback, gain fresh insight, make a new interpretation of existing problems, or take different propositions and approaches to emerging problems. IT should contribute more to delight end customers, but also empower their internal users with efficient technology tools to improve their productivity, engagement, and overall employee satisfaction.

Organizations rely more and more on technologies; the IT department has more and more to overcome in running at digital speed. IT planning checklist is important because your goals and objectives will be your drivers. There are so many things IT can help the business accomplish, but there are also many obstacles IT needs to overcome. It is critical to set the right priority, adapt to changes promptly in order to run high-performance and highly innovative digital IT organization.


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