You just get home after spending a few late hours in the office finishing your IT strategy document. You’re looking forward to some time away from the demands of the office before your big status meeting with the CFO tomorrow. At least that’s a battle for another day, except for a small oversight; tonight is your wife’s turn to host her monthly book club meeting.

Book clubs have been the cemetery of many a literary dream. You realise this as you exchange pleasantries, clutch the hard copy of your IT strategy a little closer to your side, and make your way to the bedroom to safer territory. Judgement is reserved for another day.

But, would your IT strategy survive the scrutiny of the literary aficionados who are occupying your living room and simultaneously robbing you of quality time with the MrsJust like a good book, IT strategies should have a thorough assessment and development of the main characters and a gripping plot to match .

Here’s what your IT strategy should include to give it a complete story:

  • A beginning: A complete assessment of your IT infrastructure and how it is equipped to deal with existing and future business demand sets the plot to how you will identify and plan to meet current and future challenges.
  • A middle: IT Managers, just like protagonists of good books, have to face many challenges.  Your IT strategy should provide the reader with an understanding of how IT&T is prepared to meet its identified challenges and equally important, how IT will perform in the event of a disaster. Disasters and how well IT departments are prepared for them are what turn protagonists into heroes.
  • An ending: One thing that is a must for any IT strategy, is a vision that outlines how its management of infrastructure will ensure the smooth unhindered operation of business function; thereby creating an environment that leverages IT to its fullest. This, of course is the closest to riding into the sunset an IT Manager will get, bearing in mind that the nature of the industry can be somewhat unpredictable – just like a good plot.

IT strategy documents usually have to read like a good story; it has to have a beginning, middle and come as close to a happy-ending as possible. The most important thing to keep in mind is that without a detailed strategy, you may find yourself at a disadvantage when trying to see the bigger picture in terms of where you’ve come from, and where it is you’re going in the long term.

A decent strategy will empower you to make informed assessments around future expansion endeavours, and allow you to identify areas within the environment that require re-examination.

Image credit: Sonia P Navarro