Background – Objective IT Assessment & Executable Roadmap
A large non-profit organization with 100 individuals in IT had aggressive business growth plans and desired an external objective assessment of their IT environment. They wanted to make sure their IT environment was aligned with the business and supported their future business goals and objectives. They desired a plan with an executable roadmap to move their IT organization to the next level of maturity.
The Challenge – Obtaining Approval for Improvements
The organization had a large set of custom complex applications developed over the years. The business application needs were very specialized, with no vendor application packages available for their core systems. The systems had been patched over the years to meet the changing needs of the organization. Since the systems originated, newer and improved technology was available in the industry, but the business never invested in a significant overhaul of systems.
The Solution – Thorough Analysis of Business and IT
As with any function within the organization, or within any IT department, there are always areas that can be improved and effectiveness increased. Improvement areas were identified in the areas of business applications, technical infrastructure, organization, and processes.
The key business drivers were developed after a thorough analysis of the business, including the business situation, direction, business strengths and improvement areas, business opportunities and threats, analysis of key stakeholders and stakeholder needs.
The Results – Detailed IT Strategic Plan and Executable Roadmap
Based on the business drivers and IT goals, the IT strategy identified guiding principles in all areas of IT (business application, technical infrastructure, organization, and processes). The principles were used to direct and rate all future decisions so the plan would be alive and referenced on an on-going basis. A balanced scorecard identified key metrics to measure progress. A governance and prioritization process recommended how to prioritize projects using the business objectives and guiding principles as the measures.
The strategy was actionable and included a roadmap on the steps to get from the current situation to the future vision of taking IT and the business to the next level using technology specific to the needs of their organization and its customers. Business executives were involved in the process and supported the effort to ask the Board for funding to improve the IT environment.
The three-year roadmap was executed and reviewed on an annual basis and revised in conjunction with the business strategy and business plans.