At the heart of every effective IT Strategy is a good quality business automation plan. This is represented by the "Information System Plan". Managing the automation of an organization on a coordinated and holistic basis is not easy.  There are two strategic questions that always have to be answered:

  • What are the automation priorities implied by the organization's Business Strategy?
  • How does one identify and manage an appropriate response to business risk in the IT Infrastructure?

In turn these highlight a significant set of problems that need to be addressed in the corresponding IT Strategy.

Information Systems Planning provides an approach to address many of these issues which is simple to understand and hence very effective for communications and collaboration. More specifically it produces a set of documents that are invaluable for helping to derive a comprehensive and business-focused strategy for Information, Systems and Technology. 

The paper addresses some of the more important issues to consider when developing the IS Planning Matrix and illustrates how this was extended using an extract from the IS Plan for a retailing group.

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