Would you embark on strategic planning without an outside consultant? Probably not. It is difficult for leaders to lead a strategic planning session while also being part of it. While most strategic plans are comprehensive in nature, they don’t dive deep enough into key areas such as technology to effectively support an organization’s vision for the future.
According to the Harvard Business Review, strategic plans are “used to prioritize efforts, effectively allocate resources, align shareholders and employees on the organization’s goals, and ensure those goals are backed by data and sound reasoning.”
Most organizations develop three- or five- year strategic plans. We live and work in a rapidly changing world so many businesses are starting to recognize the importance of revisiting and diving deeper into the strategic plan every year to adapt as needed.
Unfortunately, while most strategic plans are comprehensive in nature, they don’t delve into key areas such as technology to effectively support an organization’s vision for the future.
In many cases, decisions regarding technology are done within silos, when, in order to support the organization, conversations about technology need to be integrated across the enterprise.
Is your organization’s technology outdated or not working the way you need it? Are you investing in technology without looking at what it will solve across the organization? Strategic IT plans must align with an organization’s business plan.
While the credit union industry has rapidly accelerated digital transformation, all technology has a role and a purpose, therefore, technology should not be adopted or changed simply for the sake of technology. Technology isn’t a magic solution – it can’t work in your benefit if it doesn’t align with your overall business plan.
Due to how fast it evolves and the impact it has on an organization’s ability to operate and mitigate risk, technology is a crucial area of focus for strategic planning, but many organizations don’t have the expertise to know where to begin.
In developing strategic plans, companies typically engage with an outside consultant or facilitator. This is no different when developing strategic plans for technology.
A facilitator that specializes in technology is important for the following reasons:
- It is difficult for leaders to lead a strategic planning session while also being part of it. And when it comes to technology, few members of the leadership team, if any, have the knowledge to make informed decisions relative to the organization’s plan. Technology planning requires input from all areas of an organization. Facilitators serve as a neutral party and can ensure that all perspectives are shared.
- Facilitators with expertise in technology know the right questions to ask and can foster better conversation among the team to understand pain points, current processes and what is working and not working.
- The facilitator can help develop goals, a roadmap for getting there and budget.
The fourth quarter is traditionally reserved for organizational planning and budgeting, so now is a good time to develop an IT strategic plan that aligns with your organizational business plan.
With the support of experienced tech consultants, your team can develop an IT plan that considers all users and all anticipated outcomes to align with the overall organizational business plan.