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Strategies for Providing an Information Technology Planning Capability
According to Forrester Research, there are several recognized strategies for providing an information technology planning capability[1].
A repository of application data. Planning tools provide a common inventory of application data including costs, life cycles, and owners, so that planners have easy access to theinformation that drives their decisions.
Capability maps. Forrester recommends using capability maps to link IT’s capabilities to the critical business processes they support. These software tools provide a graphical tool that clearly outlines how the business capabilities that IT provides to the business are linked to IT’s efforts.
Gap analysis tools. Alongside capability maps, planning tools captureinformation about the future state of business capabilities as dictated by business strategy. Users leverage this functionality to identify the areas where IT capabilities need to be built, enhanced, or scaled back — driving IT’s strategy.
Modeling and analytic capability. These tools enable planning teams to create a variety of plans, which can then be compared to one another to weigh the pros,cons, and risks of each. In addition, their impact on architecture and current initiatives becomes visible. This keeps plans relevant, provides teams with the foresight to plan holistically, and enables IT to communicate the plan clearly.
Reporting tools. Reports guide the planning team’s decisions — for example, which applications have redundant capabilities, have not been upgraded, or are plaguedwith costly issues. IT’s strategic decisions are therefore more easily justified.
Strategic IT Planning Comes of Age – New Forrester Analysis.
Submitted by AG on Tue, 04/14/2009 - 8:50pm.
Since the turn of the decade, forward thinking executives and technologists have pondered how to use enterprise architecture and IT planning processes to drive enterprise strategy.  This has not been an easyroad. 
 In the run up to the Dot Com bubble, IT organizations went on a spending binge.  Most companies purchased technologies without proper due diligence or strategic planning.  By 2000, CIOs had a larger share of the enterprise budget than ever before.  
 With the crash of the Dot Com boom, IT organizations were dramatically overextended on spend and commitment to business process automation. With constricted budgets and headcount, IT rapidly found itself on the defensive.  CIOs and VP’s of IT lost what gains they might have had related to influencing corporate strategy – they lost their seats at the table.
 From 2002 – 2007, IT organizations restructured and refocused.  Cost reduction and efficiency gains were the primary areas for IT to impact the enterprise.  While IT spenddropped dramatically, in many companies, IT began to regain credibility by delivering measurable value in reasonable timeframes.
 By 2005, an intrepid few organizations began to understand the implications of merging cost cutting and efficiency strategies with strategic planning, standards management and business alignment concepts.  A handful of Tools vendors launched offerings that combined the bestof both these worlds.
 Fast forward to 2009.  In the heart of economic darkness, we are seeing a broadening renaissance of IT strategy.  Companies like Barclays Bank, Accenture and Vodafone as well as Government agencies like Department of Homeland Security and Los Alamos National Laboratory, have made investments in strategic IT planning capabilities and returns on investment as great as 700%(*) have been validated for these kinds of projects.
 Recently, Forrester stepped into the fray with a report titled “Tools for IT Planning”. (March 23,2009 - by Sharyn Leaver with Tim DeGennaro and Alex Cullen)  In this report, Leaver and colleagues state the “optimal tool base as one that keeps information regarding business strategy, IT capability, demand, capacity, and standards in a single...
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