The Importance of Creating An IT Strategic Plan
By LIANNE MONACO
An IT Strategic Plan is necessary for any business to succeed. It is a roadmap to implement a company's policies, procedures, and processes. During a company audit, the organization's IT policies, standards, and procedures are evaluated to ensure that they support the IT strategy and comply with regulatory and legal requirements.
Policies provide a baseline for Stakeholders, employees, and business partners to follow. Policies are the high-level instructions that should support the mission, vision, and objectives of the business. The objectives outlined in an organization's IT strategic plan align with the organization's policies and are pliable enough to accommodate new business priorities and technologies that have the potential for driving business growth.
Processes provide the map or path for which policies should be directed. For example, when a company creates an Internet Policy, the process maps should provide the various sub-components of that policy, and how they intertwine, providing Stakeholders, employees, and business partners a visual of what the Internet Policy entails.
Procedures contain the step-by-step instructions of each sub-category within a policy. Think of it as a full-detailed guide book or playbook.
Once you have created Policies, Processes, and Procedures, your company is still not ready... It is important that the policies, processes, and procedures all align with one another. Policies, processes, and procedures must then be tested in order to pass an audit. If your company cannot prove/provide evidence (artifacts) that the policies, processes, and procedures have been followed and met, the auditor would identify each failure to provide artifacts as a gap, which could cost your company financially and/or damaging your company's integrity.
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