An IT Strategy Framework

MappIT framework identifies and positions all key concepts which can support the IT strategists in defining the IT Strategy.

These concepts include on one side Enterprise Business and IT Architecture, Spending and Sourcing Operating Model; on the other side Business Strategy, IT Strategy and finally the Capabilities and Initiatives.

For completeness reasons the framework include also IT governance concepts like Service Model and IT Processes and Procedures.

The framework identifies all concepts required to respond to four key questions, which are:

  • WHY? – What business and IT reasons drive our strategy?
  • WHAT? – What target capabilities the IT Strategist needs to implement in order to achieve the strategy compared to the current ones?
  • HOW? – How the IT Strategist needs to change our current IT architecture and IT operating model in order to support these capabilities?
  • WHEN? – What are the plans related to the implementation of these capabilities?

The framework can be split in two main domains which are the Business one (the upper side of the framework) and IT one (the lower side).

The status, at a certain point in time, is the Architecture or Operating Model, which describe how the domain (Business or IT) work in this point in time.

A “Model” (Architecture, Spending, Sourcing, Service, etc.) is a static concept providing a snapshot of Business or IT as a whole (or a portion of it) ad a certain time (typically an AS IS or current one and a TO BE or target one).

For each of the previous domains we can define dynamic elements (described as horizontal chevrons) which are the Strategy and Governance arrows which describe the needs and rational of the domain (Business or IT) to move from its current status to the target status.

A “Strategy” (Business and IT) is dynamic concepts, which describe the sequence of steps to move from the current model state to the target one.

The framework can be used as a whole to address all key dimensions of the overall IT domains and models, or can sliced vertically, moving across various models on a specific IT subdomain (e.g. Customer Management or Digital Channels) or in alternative it can be sliced horizontally, taking into consideration the evolution of a specific model (such as Architecture, Spending, Organization…) for all IT domains.

Depending on the navigation path you choose as more suitable for your needs, the framework allows proceeding in different types of analysis such as, for example:

  • Business Assessment: assess and track your current business context
  • Application Assessment: assess and track your current technical landscape (both application and infrastructure)
  • Infrastructure Assessment: assess and track your current technical landscape (both application and infrastructure)
  • IT Organization and Sourcing Analysis: map and analyze you IT organization and resource skills
  • Spending Analysis: reclassify and analyze your current IT expenses or future budget
  • Portfolio analysis: analyze the project or application estate using a portfolio approach similarly to the ones used for investment analysis
  • Business Alignment analysis: define and map your future vision, objectives and requirements
  • IT Architecture Design: evaluate different scenarios and design the target architecture
  • IT Operating Model Design: design the target IT organization, sourcing and skills

The emphasis on a type of analysis obviously is driven by the business scenarios that the IT strategist need to face, so for example:

  • in post-M&A Integration programs the IT strategist want to more deeply analyze your system landscape in order to drive a simplification, integration and rationalization process, so in this case Assessment analysis is the central one
  • in scoping big-size projects, such as an ERP Implementation, you are probably more interested in the business driver/objective and system functional/process capabilities aligned with those business needs, so in this case Business & Application assessment and Alignment Analysis are the most important
  • In restructuring or reorganization of an IT department you are probably more interested in spending and organizational aspects, so in this case Organization and Sourcing analysis is more relevant
  • In defining you annual budget or your IT system plan you are probably more focused on spending items, so in this case Spending and Portfolio Analysis are the main analysis to perform
  • In datacenter consolidation/virtualization you are probably interested in mapping your infrastructure assets so Infrastructure Assessment and Portfolio Analysis are the main analysis to perform.

Read more on this topic from my eBook…or stay tuned for new posts.

About FrankITecture

I'm an IT Consultant with many years of experiences in IT Architecture, IT Governance and IT Strategy projects in many Market Sectors (Telco, Finance, Retail...)
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