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Information Technology

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How Strategic Information System Planning Influences an Organization

Many organizations utilize Information Systems (IS) in their day to day activities, as they (i.e. Information Systems) play a major role. To effectively manage the Information Systems, Strategic Information Systems Planning (SISP) becomes vital as it enables organizations deploy their information systems successfully. According to King, Strategic Information Systems Planning involves identification of information systems objectives and deciding on application software to be implemented to achieve the objectives (17).  The objectives cover various aspects of an organization. If, for instance, the objective of an organization is to improve the performance, it would be better to align information system strategy to the organization’s strategy.

Information systems are normally complex in nature; Strategic Information Systems Planning helps organizations gain an understanding of the complexity of the information systems. This is made possible by analyzing both internal and external environments of an organization, designing and planning viable information technology architecture, and coming up with suitable approaches that would enable information systems successfully support the goals of an organization (Samela & Spil 30).

Management input in organizational information technology greatly determines the success of information systems and, consequently, the overall organizational success. Strategic Information Systems Planning helps managers develop information systems strategies and allocate resources so as to outcompete their competitors (Basu, Hartono, Lederer, & Sethi 31). With Strategic Information Systems Planning, organizations implement the best information form the systems that meet the needs of users and are easy to maintain, troubleshoot, and update. This enables organizations to minimize costs associated with information systems and maximize their benefits.

Successful Strategic Information Systems Planning requires emphasis at the early implementation stages. This enables organizations to identify and implement the best information systems that would meet both organizational and information technology strategies and eventually achieve organizational goals. This can be done by employing various SISP methodologies that provides techniques of solving organizational problems.

Governance Structure that Promotes Success of the Information System Function within an Organization

An information system governance structure ensures information systems in organizations align with their strategic goals. Effective information systems governance provides organizations with informed decisions at the right time. It ensures that issues related to information systems and organizations are communicated through the right channels. Through communications and discussions, many helpful ideas and changes emerge that would enable the success of information systems. Well-thought decisions emanating from better communication and sharing of ideas through information systems governance structure enables success of all organizational information systems.

Information system governance structure that promotes success information systems may consist of two levels: Information Systems Strategic Committee, and Information Systems Operating Committee. Information Systems Strategic Committee plays a major role to the success of the governance of information systems in organizations. The committee is answerable to the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Finance Officer (CFO) and ensures the information systems strategies that fit into organizational strategies are developed and implemented according to the plan. It provides guidance and advice for strategic information systems issues both to the CIO and CFO who, in turn, submit the issues to the top management of organizations.

The Information Systems Strategic Committee is important as it is mandated to perform the following tasks: Oversee the information systems’ governance process, represent all parties involved in information systems in organizations, develop information systems’ plans and prioritize them, advice management on important information systems initiatives for allocation of funds, monitor and access the benefits created by information systems, and guide organizations on ways of developing effective strategic information systems planning.

Information Systems Operating Committee is divided into two: Project Management Committee and Operating Committee. Project management committee is important, as it is responsible for the following: Providing guidance on organizational information systems projects, developing projects’ objectives and ensuring they are met, resolving conflicts and solving problems that may arise in the course of the project development, identifying project risks and developing ways of averting or reducing them, approving information systems projects, and developing project schedule and budget. The Operating Committee will be responsible for the successful operation of information systems in organizations.

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