Do IT departments need to be more involved in strategic planning?


The IT department will often only be called upon when a system breaks and needs to be fixed. Much of their work can even go unnoticed by those in the C-suite. However, as digital continues to mesh with the business world in a whole raft of ways, should an organisation’s tech-centric individuals have a bigger say in the strategic planning process?

The big picture

Research collated by Lanrex suggested that the IT department is one of the only business units that can take a truly top down view of the organisation. Naturally, this lends itself to strategic planning.

While it’s important to have department-wide or even team-specific goals, the real benefits are felt when the entirety of the enterprise knows the overarching end game that the company is working towards.

Of course, while the IT department can certainly have an input in coming up with objectives, meeting them will be more reliant on finding the right tools – such as strategy planning software – to offer a clear pathway to goals.

IT’s strategic plan

As touched on, it’s possible for organisations to separate out their plans across departments, and give those in the IT space in particular room to breathe. Again, while it’s important to have overarching aims, this can also offer benefits.

CIO contributor Stephanie Overby surmised that one of the most important aspects of such a plan is timing. IT projects can take a while to implement if they’re complex, and the applicable benefits may not be felt for some time.

Again, this ties the department back into the organisation’s wider goals. While many in the business world are looking for instant results, those who have deployed digital projects in the past will understand that there are times when that’s simply not possible.

This level-headedness, twinned with the fact the IT department will have a broad understanding of what’s happening in myriad business units across the organisation, is one of the key reasons why its advice and knowledge should be used when a new strategic plan is on the drawing board.