IS/IT “Stategic” Plan

In general a business organization usually would have at least three functions and the corresponding divisions.

  1. Finance Function – the division with main function to secure the cheapest financial source to finance the business activities.
  2. Operations Function – the division with main function to make the products or services.
  3. Marketing Function – the division with main function to market and sell the products or services produced by the business as main source of revenue to the company.

These functions might intersect one another to some extent.

As the role of IS/IT to date are become more and more important, i.e., considered to having significant contribution to the strategic competitiveness of business organization, we now witness increasingly many organizations established a division specifically responsible for overseeing the IS/IT function in the organization – the fourth important function in any business organization. All activities or action plan of these functions (now there are 4 important functions) should be geared or aligned toward achieving the strategic objective/goal of the business. Those action plans that are directly derived from business strategy are usually labeled functional strategy.  So for example, IS/IT action plan directly derived from business strategy often called “IS/IT ‘strategic’ Plan”.  Strategic, because it is directly derived from business strategy – not that IS/IT division is having its competitors.  Strategic, because it is devised and formulated to achieve the strategic goal of the business, the objective to be achieved by implementing the business plan.

To summarize then,

  • IS/IT strategic plan is a derived strategy; derived from business strategy. This also means that all characteristics of the business strategy are inherited by IS/IT strategy; eg., Hollistic, Intergral, etc. – there is no such a strategy defined for a particular application.
  • In other words, ones should be able to draw clear and distinctive connection (mapping) between IS/IT strategic plan and business plan – or in other words, it should be aligned with business strategy.
  • There could not be any IS/IT strategic plan without a clearly formulated business strategic plan.
  • IS/IT strategic plan is basically an action plan, derived or aligned with the business strategy.
  • IS/IT strategic plan should be formulated in business terminology or business level language understandable by business leaders/managers and also in terms of business measures. It should not be in terms of IS/IT technical language. (Ir. Togar Alam Napitupulu, MS., MSc., PhD)