2011-09-22

Writing IT strategy


The IT strategy development logic is the following:
Business strategy -> business architecture TO-BE -> application + information architectures TO-BE -> technical architecture TO-BE -> IT (or EA) AS-IS -> IT roadmap

Main topics in the IT strategy document are the following:
  1. Executive summary (½ page – summary for senior management, e.g. the Board members)
  2. Business context (½ page – WHY the major directions in the IT strategy have been taken)
    • Strategic directions for the IT as an enabler for the company’s mission and vision
    • Potentials of the IT as a strategic driver for the company’s business
  3. IT contribution to business success (1 page - HOW IT capabilities and plans will contribute value to the business or delta in business is reflected by the delta in IT)
  4. IT guiding principles (½ page – rationales to guide IT decision making)
  5. Assessment of the current state of the IT environment
  6. IT Roadmap (WHEN and WHAT to reinforce and build)
  7. Etc.

Item 3 is illustrated by the following image:


Ideally, such dependencies can be generated from business processes and applications (i.e. from your EA repository).

In the real situation this illustration may become rather complex, so some techniques for better understanding can be necessary. For example, the selection of a rectangular highlights all connected rectangulars and links, as shown below:


And the final advise: be careful with arrows - people may interpret them differently.

Thanks,
AS


2 comments:

tonyjoyce said...

This looks to be an interesting concept and a useful approach to assessing architectures through mapping business needs to IT capabilities (along with software packages and custom tools or processes). It doesn't indicate who might be responsible for satisfying either set of needs. It feels like something is missing between the two sides.
Would adding a column for the people (business, IT) or for their roles (customer, supplier) help to illustrate the boundaries that are uncovered through this model and mapping technique?

Alexander Samarin said...

Actually, this illustration is the tip of the iceberg of information from the EA. Its main purpose is to show (in A4 size) to the top management that out IT capabilities and projects are subordinated to the business.

Extra static information in this illustration may increase its complexity and reduce its understanding. Although extra information may be visualized dynamically (as at the second slide).

Thanks,
AS