Information Systems Strategy Development

Norman Harris commenced his work in the application of computer based information systems to business in 1967 for ICI.  He has documented the methodology he prefers to use for problem analysis. 

The method is supported by preparing a "Systems Map" of the current and projected needs and the specifying targets which represent a realistic aim for achievement in 3 - 5 years.  This aids both the analytical thinking and the presentation to staff and understanding of management.

Recommendations are made to determine the optimum strategy, which aligns most closely with the present situation and the projected business needs of the next three years.  

These recommendations will be allied to cost/benefit analyses to choose only those systems investment opportunities which offer a better than average return.

Following discussions and agreement, an action plan is produced to move the organisation toward the new goals.

It is also essential to understand or develop the Corporate IT/IS Procurement Standards to ensure that systems are only acquired that meet these preferred standards, to ensure long term upgrade capabilities. 

IS Strategy Development Workshop
This process has also been turned into an in-house course/workshop.

The seminar describes the steps that would be taken in a full consultancy assignment.

  • Review the business and strategic plans of the organisation.
  • Establish the processes required to achieve those plans.
  • Do gap analysis on what exists to what is needed.
  • Discuss a team development of the new/revised processes.  Their supporting Procedures, Forms, etc.
  • Specify the information systems needed to support these processes.
  • Understand the current systems.
  • Assess the current people skills
  • Discuss how processes are then refined and the systems ensure that the stipulations of procedures are “locked in”.
  • Discuss the project management of their implementation.
  • Devise a Plan and Budget to cover the agreed plans.

However, an assignment can enter at any point in the sequence. 

Typically, the main business areas of consultancy assignments are:-
Major assignments have been completed to convert the business' need for information, to manage and support its processes, into an Information Systems Strategy, which will evolve with the future needs of the business.

  • Document/Information Management and a progression toward Workflow Control.
  • Operational Systems of Process Plant CAD systems.
  • Control of the Supply Chain.
  • Cost, Time & Financial Reporting.
  • Personnel Systems covering Payroll, employee records and the individual competence of staff to perform efficiently as a team member in the current and projected business environment.