Components of a Successful Strategic Technology Plan
Right now – this very second – is the slowest innovation and technological advancement will ever be. It will only get faster from here. So what can we do about it?
A Strategic Technology Plan is a guide as to how an organization will use technology to help achieve its business strategy. It’s a snapshot to let an organization know where they are now and where they want to be in the future in regards to technology and infrastructure. Behind the scenes, this plan aligns the business and technology sides of an organization for about three years at a time. Additionally, it aligns capital expenditures with technology to support the business strategies. This should be routinely updated (remember that whole speed of innovation and technological advancement thing?).
Your strategic technology plan should have the following components:
- Executive Summary
- Credit Union Mission
- IT Mission
- Credit Union Description
- Technology Planning Team
- Technology Trends in Financial Services
- The current State of Technology
- Key IT Strategies
- Major changes planned
- The time frame of plan & changes
- Technology/process-improvement strategies and progress on technology/process-improvement initiatives
To develop your plan, your organization should begin with technology and infrastructure assessments, determine strategic technology initiatives, and hold business owner interviews.
After you create your plan, executive management and board presentations should be conducted to explain it. Your plan will become a working document; ongoing updates and maintenance should occur to ensure you stay on top of your technology game.
A Strategic Technology Plan can benefit the entirety of an organization. On the technology side, a plan structures communication between the technology department and business executives, allowing the IT department to act strategically when making investment decisions and managing projects. A plan will also help get buy-in from business leadership, ultimately, making it easier to get buy-in from the business users.
On the business side, a technology plan allows business executives to use functional strategies in tandem with IT leadership to determine the types of technology projects needed to achieve their goals. This road map also provides transparent resourcing needs for when business staff will need to be assigned to IT projects, clear trace-ability to costs and the detail for why those resources and dollars are required.
Key Takeaways for your Technology Strategy
If you are a technology leader, you need to push your executives to support the development of an IT road map to help you invest strategically and have structured conversations around investment with other executives.
“If you are not a technology executive, you should be pushing your organization to develop a road map, so you can act more strategically in your area and benefit the business holistically with new investments.”
Overall, a Strategic Technology Plan makes sure everyone has a voice at the table, clearly and transparently spells out expectations for both management and employees and encourages a clear and regular line of communication throughout the organization. Can you afford not to have one?