The four main points of IT strategic plans are the mission statement, the SWOT analysis, the list of actions to be prioritized, and the "road maps" that are used to examine and readjust the strategic plan in the future (Bradford & Duncan, 2000). The mission statement is a very important part of the plan, because it is the basic definition of what the company stands for and where it is headed in the future. Without it, IT cannot plan for continued structure and development, which can cause the company to stagnate (Bradford & Duncan, 2000). The SWOT analysis comes next, and addresses the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that are being faced by the IT department of the company. These can include both internal and external issues, both of which have to be dealt with correctly in order to allow the company to continue to see success (Bradford & Duncan, 2000). Because IT is such an important part of companies today, what happens in that department affects nearly everything else that takes place within the company.
Prioritizing the actions needed is next on the list when it comes to IT strategic planning. There is no need to work on something just for the sake of working, when there are more important issues to be faced (Bradford & Duncan, 2000). Prioritizing everything means that the IT department will be focused on the most important issues first, so that the concerns that really need to be addressed do not languish. Finally, road maps are required so that the company can see where it intends to have its IT department at specific intervals in the future. These are usually at the one, two, and three-year marks, but they can be placed at other intervals, as well (Bradford & Duncan, 2000). There is no specific rule for when they need to be seen, and every company is different.
Bradford, R.W. & Duncan, J.P. (2000). Simplified strategic planning. NY: Chandler House.