A new framework offers a system for defining, collecting, analyzing, and organizing data for IT strategic planning. Now let's look at the data table itself. Creating a strategic framework for an IT project might seem superfluous—haven’t you already documented enough? The Center of Excellence: Necessity or Fad? While these activities all aim to improve the IT strategic planning process, the idea of true data-driven strategic planning is still discussed only at the general level without a detailed implementation framework. Your performance plan should: What becomes exciting in this planning process is that the C-Suite and the IT team start to become aware of the full capability of the business through technology. But how do you go about being strategic? IT strategic planning is a regular topic at EDUCAUSE conferences and in EDUCAUSE publications. Learn more about BMC ›. get in touch now. The data-driven IT strategic planning approach classifies data types in various ways to ensure there are no holes in your data collection effort. Although this is a task that the strategic planning committee will not necessarily have the time or resources to take on, the strategic planning resource team should. A principle source of these data is current service usage data, such as the number of computers on campus; Wi-Fi usage (by time, location, and type of user); the number of different software packages supported and used; the amount of space devoted to computing resources, including networks; the number of data elements in the data warehouse; and help desk interactions. Small and medium sized businesses can get by like this for a time without things spirally out of control, but eventually they will need to establish a plan so that the business and IT operations are closely aligned towards a common end. These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion. The metrics and benchmarks used to evaluate performance should present accurate picture of the project progress in context of organizational goals intended with the project. Say, for example, that moving a certain type of research computing to centralized equipment will save $600,000 per year. Coupling this with the specific number of personnel available and the number expected to be needed, as well as possible training approaches, allows for a richer discussion of both people and funding. In deciding the type and level of analysis to perform, consider how data will be used (either in describing the current state, analyzing issues, or determining the future state or action). Successful IT strategic plans result from discussions of a broad variety of issues related to the future provision and use of IT services. ©Copyright 2005-2020 BMC Software, Inc. (Yesterday's high-performance computers are hardly comparable to today's.) Of course, the reality is often different from your planned scenario. A strategy guides project managers to design milestones that fulfill specific business objectives at each project stage. The "Data Definition" sidebar discusses how to define the data you want to collect. If you cannot specifically define these data, you cannot appropriately analyze or draw inferences from them. Prior to assessing which data should be collected, the strategic planning committee should. Usage data — emails per month per person over a five-year period. Key to that support is developing appropriate, carefully analyzed, and thoughtfully presented data to help produce a plan that best serves the community. As this example shows, presenting data about the current state (number of emails) by constituency (faculty and students), and factors influencing the future (trends in email versus social media use) can lead to fruitful strategic discussions about where campus communication is headed and what IT will need to do to support it. The data-driven strategic planning framework consists of two parts; the first part is a sequence of tasks to be executed during data collection and presentation (see figure 2). Log in or create an EDUCAUSE profile to manage your subscriptions. Also, adding metrics such as the relative research intensity of the institutions should make the data even more useful and thus of higher quality for decision makers. Decision makers and key stakeholders must look at the collective output of IT projects on a business’ success. (If it costs a million dollars an hour, is it still a need?) Managed Services vs. Presenting data in contexts and forms that are meaningful to planning-process participants will help them understand the data's strategic significance. With growth comes increasing complexity. Determining the range and scope of data that will allow institutions to develop IT strategic plans for all constituencies will itself require planning. A strategy framework can help you consider a variety of aspects and components of your proposed IT project, helping you reach well-informed decisions during the planning and execution processes. EDUCAUSE Strategic Planning constituent group's theme, Data-Driven IT Strategic Planning for Data-Driven IT Leaders, Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License. A strategic plan is a framework for describing the organization's key processes, people, and technologies at a specific time in the future (typically 3–5 years) and how the organization can reach that future, given its current processes, people, and technologies. The IT vision should describe the desired future position of information technology within the organization and: Determine the framework within which the IT department makes decisions. We look forward to seeing your thoughts and comments. Gap Analysis. What is high performance? Think of a chemistry or math equation, where you must account for the right mix of variables to produce the expected outcome. These numbers can be augmented with financial data showing the total cost and the cost per unit for as many of these services as possible. Contact us if you have questions about how Make IT can help implement an IT Framework for your business. Current service usage data provide the volume picture; to understand the performance picture, you will need other data, such as outage statistics, and data forms, such as user satisfaction surveys. Sign up for free EDUCAUSE Review weekly emails to hear about new content. This is Part 1 of our series on establishing an overarching IT  framework within which the IT Department organizes and operates the IT role. Therefore, you should be able to measure both your project milestones and the impact of decision choices beyond the project. It also means collecting data to address the issues of multiple constituencies, from students, faculty, researchers, and staff to alumni and applicants. Developing a strategy framework for your IT projects offers a variety of benefits. The Gartner Magic Quadrant for ITSM is the gold-standard resource helping you understand the strengths of major ITSM software vendors, insights into platform capabilities, integration opportunities, and many other factors to determine which solution best fits your needs. Often the first step to creating an effective IT strategic plan is to start with reviewing the organization's strategic plan, which helps in identifying the areas where the use of technology can improve operations. Figure 4 shows an example. Figure 1 shows the major components of the strategic planning process. Although it may soon be relegated to the "oldies but goodies" list as we move to cloud services, a favorite topic of strategic planning committees has been how best to provide email services to an institution's various constituencies. Consider and list out the MVG of your company: Now, the MVG becomes the foundation for your strategy. Showing how your institution's spending compares with that of peers on a per capita basis can provide additional information. With your strategy in place, your project heads into the real world. Strategic planning project teams consist of committee members and resource staff providing data and other materials to the committee. ), The data's source, including primary (collected for the current study), secondary (previously collected), and external (public databases). Such projects require more than a simple update and often need significant planning and data collection. Sometimes, strategic planning committee members do not have a complete picture of IT's current state on campus. Here are some popular strategy frameworks that are useful in developing IT strategy: There are dozens more strategic frameworks easily available, but not all are intended for or a good fit with IT projects. Have you missed any important data elements or sets that will be critical to committee deliberations? The list of such questions goes on, and a full data definition should answer all such questions — before they are asked. To simplify, we'll focus on usage data for students and faculty only (see table 1).