IT strategic planning is the driving force behind today’s innovative businesses. In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, this essential blueprint not only keeps companies at the forefront of change but also maximises the potential of emerging technologies. By aligning business growth with IT capability, it ensures that technology serves as a catalyst for success, integrating IT leaders into the very heart of organisational planning

In this article, we’ll explore the essential reasons why a business needs comprehensive IT strategic planning, what this planning should encompass, and how to overcome challenges that may hinder robust strategic planning. We’ll also provide insights into selecting, planning, and implementing your five-year goals, ensuring alignment with your company’s growth. If you need further assistance in shaping your IT strategy, our IT consulting services are available to guide you every step of the way.

What Does IT Strategic Planning Entail?

Like a strategic business plan, an IT strategic plan provides a detailed blueprint for how a company wants to develop its IT. It also describes the steps they plan to take to achieve this. This then helps the company make decisions about its IT while implementing its broader strategic plan and business objectives.

When properly implemented, it highlights the areas in which a company’s information technology helps decision-making. Furthermore, an effective plan can assist in determining where IT consultants can streamline business operations to profit from the financial investment required for success.

Having said that, this does not mean that an IT plan cannot be changed. Instead, business-oriented objectives are the primary focus of IT strategic planning, which also achieves its strategic vision through a flexible roadmap that takes changing business and technical priorities into consideration.

In reality, excellent IT strategic planning recognises the uncertainty of the future. It recognises that technology is evolving. A comprehensive IT strategic plan, on the other hand, fosters flexibility and insight. This allows the organisation to see beyond the horizon and incorporate future technology as it emerges.

Inspired IT presenting cyber security plan

Why It’s Important to Have an IT Strategy?

Without sound IT strategic planning, a business is essentially running in the dark. In the absence of a long-term strategy, it relies on a short-term focus, jumping from goal to goal without a clear plan in mind.

Needless to say, working in this manner is unsustainable and serves only to inhibit progress.

Proper IT strategic planning ensures a business is able to set itself up for the future. It is more than just future-proof; it is also future-enabled.

IT strategic planning ensures that an organisation’s systems and technology can continue to adapt to whatever the future holds. It ensures that the business user experience stays fluid and seamless during these changes and that users across all business areas have access to the technology and platforms they require to perform their daily responsibilities efficiently.

From the outside, it helps to guard against business risk by implementing contingency planning across the board, whether in terms of IT concerns, data security, or even strategies for future disruption.

When managed comprehensively, it ensures that consumer-focused organisations can adapt to future changes and operate in an agile manner, no matter what the future brings. An organisation can incorporate digital transformation projects and business objectives while also evolving its five-year goal setting as the goalposts shift.

How IT Strategic Planning Can Benefit Your Business

IT strategic planning enables a company to be ready for technological change. Whether it occurs in one, two, or five years, having a sound strategy in place may lessen the risks related to uncertainty. In addition to providing a road map for technological upgrades, IT strategic planning has some significant business benefits.

Allows for Swift and Flexible Decision-Making

A business is ready for any situation with a thorough IT strategic strategy. This implies that as the company navigates the ever-changing business waters, personnel at every level, from its C-suite team to the frontline staff, have a game plan to follow and a clear direction.

Change, on the other hand, does not have to be bad. A comprehensive IT strategic plan keeps a company up to date on technical advances and allows it to capitalise on new platforms, systems, and technologies as they become available.

The proper platforms, such as those that make use of enhanced AI or incorporate IoT technology into their supply chains, can be smoothly implemented to ensure business continuity.

This enables the business to quickly react to change without incurring financial losses. They can utilise it to deploy the right platforms at the right time, leading to enhanced decision-making and the achievement of corporate goals.

Helps Reduce Long-Term IT Costs

Reducing costs goes beyond just saving money. It also helps prepare businesses for future developments.

In an IT context, this can imply IT budgeting for future projects and increasing future funding to completely integrate new technology into a company’s workflows. This includes deciding when and how to hire IT change specialists.

Having the right IT strategic plan development ensures that a company has the funding and capacity to effortlessly implement new processes and technologies. Furthermore, these methods help in decreasing employee training time, and friction during adoption, and guarantee minimal business disruption as these new platforms go live.

Even if the initial expenditures may seem higher, money spent on the proper deployment and execution of IT resources and technology means that the business can capitalise on this new technology more quickly and obtain a competitive advantage in their market sooner.

Helps Create a More Durable Business

Business disruption is unavoidable. However, one of the most obvious advantages of IT strategy planning is that it allows the organisation to implement IT plans that are designed to face adversity and deal with it in real time, without the business coming to a halt.

It’s likely that an organisation already has measures in place to deal with situations like fire, theft, and other physical disturbances. By designing an IT strategic plan, a firm may ensure the protection of its data and change and apply its IT processes as the business environment evolves.

Enables Digital Transformation

Businesses change over time, but major changes are often addressed as part of an initiative to transform the business. Therefore, the primary use of an IT strategic plan for a Chief Technology Officer and other corporate IT leaders is in their technology strategy.

By doing this, companies can make sure that as technology develops, their organisation is improving its capability in a forward-looking manner.

Although it should go without saying, company IT leaders must make sure that the transformation includes their IT ecosystem and data centre architecture. That it also paves the way for new developments and disruptive technologies in the future.

Having a 5G-ready business, distributed cloud architecture, and using AI-powered automation and machine learning are all upcoming technologies that CTOs are aiming to deploy. IT strategy planning must be integrated into entire business strategies and planning.

The benefits of scenario planning and forecasting ensure that all business variables are accounted for, allowing for flexibility and agility in its roll-out and allowing the business to implement its digital transformation in line with its day-to-day functions.

Inspired IT consulting internal meeting

What Steps Are Involved in the Strategic IT Planning Process?

Robust IT strategic planning cannot be half-baked; it must be done with purpose and thorough planning. While the particular actions carried out in a company’s IT strategic planning process may vary, most planning will typically follow these major steps.

1. Discovery

IT and business professionals will collaborate to discover business challenges and possibilities. This stage is about determining which processes are effective, which could be changed, and how the company can better meet future demands.

Internal and external stakeholders will be polled via surveys, interviews, and focus groups. The goal is to assess IT performance, identify any issues that people are having, and seek ways to improve.

2. Planning and Analysis

Following a thorough identification and categorisation of the business’s challenges, opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses, business IT leaders will analyse their data to gain a clear understanding of where resources should be invested, processes should be optimised, and the challenges they may face.

At this level, robust scenario planning is essential so that the company can anticipate the most likely paths for its technological investments and comprehend the underlying business value of its investment.

3. Funding

The organisation must obtain the funds required for its strategic initiatives for them to be implemented successfully and to satisfy the requirements and resources required to reach its objectives.

4. Ideation and Execution

Business IT leaders use their analysis at this point to pinpoint and specify the strategic business goals, deliverables, and results of their upcoming IT strategy throughout the expected time range.

By developing a targeted strategic plan, it is possible to assess how IT goals relate to and complement business strategies and objectives while also making sure that risk mitigation is taken into account.

This stage effectively specifies the mission statement as well as the plan for achieving the deliverables. It ensures that every business decision is linked to the necessary investment and that all the appropriate roles and responsibilities are assigned to stated measurable goals.

With clear strategic direction, now is the time to create targets, define what success looks like at each level, and build in the metrics that decide when success has been achieved.

Once this is accomplished, it is time to put your IT strategic planning into action.

5. Establishing Key Performance Indicators

When developing an IT strategic plan, a company must identify quantifiable goals and milestones to remain competitive. These objectives should be measurable, free of internal bias, and connect with the company’s broader business plan.

Setting quantifiable goals and milestones is a great approach to guarantee that your IT plans are successful. For example, if you want your website to produce more leads, you could create a target for enhancing the overall website experience — including components like website load times and TTFB — and make it part of your IT strategy.

6. Developing a Mid-Term Plan

So, you’ve got a strategic plan, and a project management team, and you’re concentrating your efforts on the right projects? Your mid-term horizon is crucial for ensuring that you not only complete the necessary tasks but also those that will have the most influence on your bottom line.

It is typically easier for project managers to focus on a short-term goal, but if you don’t look ahead, you may miss out on important duties.

When developing an IT strategic plan, IT professionals must keep the mid-term vision in mind. This time frame is usually 12 to 18 months in advance.

Long-term planning is still useful, but they are becoming less popular in today’s quickly changing business and technology landscape. To ensure success, it is critical to distinguish between the three operating timeframes – operating plan, mid-term strategy, and long-term goals.

7. Ongoing Evaluation

Many business owners tend to jump from one technology fad to the next to keep up. However, this causes them to overlook the essence of technology and its true purpose – to help organisations run more efficiently by addressing critical pain points.

It is critical that IT strategic planning is not merely undertaken and then abandoned.

Businesses must include regular reviews and measurements of their IT strategic plan and planning process to guarantee they are future-ready. This guarantees that the business is on course to meet its objectives, that long-term strategic business objectives remain relevant, and that IT can adapt as the business landscape evolves.

Owner operator of Inspired IT, Matt Seeds, running through an internal service meeting presentation with his team

Stay Aware of Common IT Strategy Problems

Concentrating on Tactics Above Strategy

A major mistake in any strategic planning is being engrossed in the tactical aspects required to realise the strategy rather than focusing on the broader picture.

A business must maintain a high-level perspective; it can set tactical goals, but it must not become so focused on what the IT department is doing that it loses sight of the big picture.

Your IT Strategic Plan is Set in Stone

One major flaw in strategic planning is that your strategy must conclude at the specified time. But then what? A strong IT strategic plan evolves and iterates over time; it is not a one-and-done thing.

A one-time plan like this gets a business to a particular point but does not take it any further. The firm can alter its plans as its goals change by remaining dynamic, updating the planning regularly, and fostering change and progress.

Absence of Obvious Ownership

The IT department is not an island unto itself.

You’ll be losing out on a simple approach to enhance the operations of your organisation if you view the IT team as a separate creature with its objectives and requirements. In truth, a cogent merger of IT strategy and business strategy can boost firm performance.

Senior management wants to hear from the IT department. But before they may hear, they must first listen. As a result, it’s critical to include key members of the leadership team in discussions about how technology may assist the organisation in achieving its objectives.

Without this involvement and buy-in, senior leadership will be unable to keep track of the status of IT projects or their synergies with company-wide efforts.

IT is Constantly Changing

There is no space for adaptation or error in a rigid IT strategy plan. Any departure from the plan and objectives is viewed as a failure. Even worse, it indicates that the IT strategy itself is out of step with organisational objectives. A strategy plan that ignores the fact that no one can predict the future with absolute certainty is destined to fail from the outset.

Your IT’s Worth is Not Fully Appreciated

While IT is used by individuals at all levels, recognising the underlying value of IT and how it helps a company succeed in the current world is often missed. As a result, it is critical that all business executives and key stakeholders involved in the planning stage, not just the IT leaders, understand the business value that IT provides to the organisation.

This is essential in delivering a strong IT strategic plan. This direction must come from the top, be understood and implemented by the Executive team, and include business leaders at all levels.

The Components of an Effective IT Strategy

Robust IT strategic planning enables a company to lay out the technology investments needed to accomplish key business objectives. It enables the company to map out the resources required to drive its transformation project, as well as identify the goals and metrics for success.

A solid IT strategic planning process, when handled properly, will deliver:

A big-picture vision of the business

Both now and in the future. What does success look like at each stage, and how does it happen? What is going on around these goals to ensure they are met?

A strategically sound point of view

It takes a long-term perspective to assist the business in its IT journey, while also connecting with other business plans and strategies to help fulfil organisational goals and objectives. Rather than becoming caught down in the tactical operational aspect of the company strategy, it is visionary and high-level.

Disruption control

Strong IT strategic planning can at least have contingencies in place for different sorts of interruption, with actions and plans on how to manage it. The business may not always plan out specific disruptions that they’ll face. Few companies could have predicted the occurrence of a global pandemic, but those that had a thorough IT strategy in place would have been prepared should employees need to work from home.

Consistency across business platforms

While not particularly addressing individual platforms and apps, a solid IT strategic plan enables the business to detect and manage shadow IT concerns. For those who are unaware, shadow IT is the addition of non-approved tools and software to the business complement without the express authority of the IT department. This can be a problem in larger organisations because it implies different teams and departments are using different technologies, which can cause communication and collaboration issues.


A solid IT strategic plan is dynamic and has the flexibility to adapt as the business environment changes. Business IT leaders frequently review it, make adjustments, and alter it to ensure that it stays aligned with the goals and objectives of the company. As a result, it is constantly changing. When done properly, it updates the future as the business peeks further and further into the future, changing even the definition of what the future will look like.

Comprehensive communication

Strong IT strategic planning is only useful if business leaders are on board and understand what is involved. A high-level IT strategic plan that is presented to and understood by your Executive team guarantees that it is included in business planning and strategy.

IT strategy can then be disseminated throughout the organisation, ensuring that IT strategy is incorporated into business decisions at all levels.

Cloud-First Strategy

Begin migrating your applications to the cloud that best serves your business needs. Once you’ve migrated them to the cloud, it’s critical to monitor and change them to meet your performance and cost requirements. When determining where to host your workloads, various aspects must be considered, including data sovereignty, legislation, and organisational competence. Each of these can have an impact on the decision-making process, so it’s critical to consider all choices before making a final choice.

Government Agencies’ Specific Strategic IT Requirements

Government organisations have the unique challenges of being both service providers and operations organisations. Governments are responsible for managing and providing public services, and they also require massive information vaults to function successfully.

Many commercial organisations are concerned about security, and when it comes to government IT security, those concerns are compounded. Over the last few years, the Federal Government has been the source of numerous secret material leaks that have been both frequent and destructive.

Government departments must be progressive in the process through which their data is created, communicated, processed, and kept to increase data security, as their profile makes them a high-priority target for hackers.

Data security must be a cornerstone of a five-year government IT strategy plan.

Having Difficulty Implementing a Successful IT Strategy?

Your company’s five-year goals are more than mere milestones; they are the roadmap to innovation, growth, and technological excellence. IT strategic planning is not just about keeping pace with technology; it’s about leveraging it to propel your business forward. Are your strategic objectives aligned with tangible business outcomes? Is your IT department fully integrated into your strategic vision?

At Inspired IT, we don’t just assist with technology alignment; we partner with you to craft a vision that resonates with your long-term success. We understand that every business is unique, and our tailored IT strategic planning services are designed to fit your specific needs and aspirations.

Ready to transform your IT strategy into a powerful engine for growth? Contact Inspired IT today, and let’s embark on a journey to shape your next five years with clarity, confidence, and innovation.