The critical factor in planning for IT infrastructure is the impact of IT on business operations.
For large businesses, this can be an expensive process involving consultants and specialists, but smaller businesses can often perform the analysis and planning in house. Prerequisites for effective business systems planning are the existence of a business plan that details the goals and strategies of the company and the communication of the plan to the people responsible for implementing the plan.
Goals and Strategies The requirements for a company's information systems can only be integrated into a plan when it is clear where the company wants to go and how it plans to get there.
A strategic plan lays out the company goals and the strategies it intends to implement to achieve them. In small businesses, such strategies often focus on financial goals and corresponding marketing plans. These business plans are the initial input for the information systems plan and influence the types of systems that the company will consider.
Corporate Processes Once the overall orientation of the information system is clear from the strategic plan, the business systems planning process has to look at what the company does. If the company has manufacturing, the information system has to include production planning.
If it is service oriented, the software has to have hourly billing and cost assignment features. The key corporate processes are a second step in defining the requirements for the proposed information systems. Sometimes the processes themselves require re-engineering to let them work with information systems.
Corporate Data A key question for the planning of information systems is the nature of the company's data processing requirements. Large volumes of complex data need different systems than flat, simple databases or mailing lists. A company's data is a valuable asset and its nature can't easily be changed.
As a result, the data has a major influence on the kind of information systems that are required. Constraints The strategies, company processes and data represent the major inputs to the planning of the information systems, but the systems themselves are subject to constraints.
The most important limitation, especially for small businesses, is the cost. Other constraints may include technical, space, time and operational factors. The information system planning process has to consider that the ideal system may not be a realistic possibility, and alternatives must be situated within the constraints.
End-user Input Once the planning process has established the overall concept and requirements for the information systems, it is important to involve the end users in the design for the interface. The people who carry out the work have the best knowledge of what is required to do their job.
Not supplying what is required is a frequent planning failure, and getting end user input at this stage is vital to the success of the business systems plan. Implementation The final step for an information system is to plan for implementation. At this stage the plan becomes a project and the planners have to assign responsibilities and resources, ensure that the project plan matches the strategic and business plans and set completion, budget and performance targets.
At this stage the business can expect to have functioning information systems at the project completion date, fulfilling the identified needs.understand the business’ strategy and then figure out a plan to support it. However, all too often, IT’s strategic systems posed a business -- not just a technological -- challenge” and didn’t DEVELOPING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY FOR BUSINESS VALUE.
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Business Plan and Budget O-7 A continual challenge for IT is the capacity to deliver on new priorities.
Additional IT systems require a varying degree of. to Support Your Growth.
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