Opinion and Analysis
What makes an effective ICT strategy?
Posted Wednesday, May 30 2012 at 18:56
As a strategic function, the IT department is established to enable the business achieve its information goals.
IT strategy must take into consideration the organisation’s needs and specific objectives. In the same breath, the IT strategy should also have in-built flexibility and adaptability.
While most Kenyan organisations do carry out ICT strategic planning, very few do it effectively.
What should be included in a well thought out ICT strategy?
It should show how the organisation is: aligning technology to support wider business service delivery priorities; assigning responsibilities for managing ICT resources and achieving desired outcomes; addressing existing technology needs, and; keeping an eye on emerging technologies.
An effective ICT strategy should define how the organisation will use processes, people and other resources to ensure effective and efficient use of ICT in enabling the organisation achieve its goals.
The strategy should clearly describe who is responsible for making different ICT decisions and how they should go about making those decisions.
Some of the ICT governance questions that an ICT strategy should answer include; what is the ICT management reporting structure? What are current resource skills versus what is needed?
Many organisations in Kenya have huge gaps between their business processes and the capabilities of their applications, systems, and infrastructure. The ICT strategy should address how the business will bridge this gap.
A good example here would be an organisation implementing M-Pesa transfer service for their customers.
The ICT strategy should describe how they will integrate existing technologies with the new M-Pesa infrastructure.
A good ICT strategy should describe how ICT will coordinate and perform the activities and processes necessary to deliver services to business users and customers.