1.2 Using the Strategic ICT Toolkit
The strategic ICT toolkit is designed to be of relevance and practical use to senior management who are influential in the formulation, implementation and use of strategic ICT. This includes members of the institutions senior management team, all senior decision-makers with local responsibility for the strategic use of ICT within their own faculties, schools, departments or teams and the senior ICT management team.
Todays senior decision-makers understand that ICT is underpinning almost every process in an institution and they recognise that by deploying it correctly they can enhance a wide range of practices across teaching, research and administration. By engaging in the development of strategic ICT senior decision-makers are ensuring that their needs for problem solving and facilitating positive change, through the use of ICT, are recognised and integrated within the institutional strategy. The result is a more mature and effective deployment of ICT across the institution and for senior managers this can increase investment benefits in costs, efficiency and the quality of data and services available.
It is expected that through the use of the toolkit individuals will be able to develop more constructive alliances, to have available improved knowledge and insights into ICT and its value to the institution and therefore be better positioned to improve decision making relating to institutional and ICT strategy.
The objective of this SICT toolkit is to consolidate the research and knowledge available and present this in the most useful way in the context that each institution starts from a different position and requires varying information and guidance by which to champion their own journey in maturing their strategic alignment of ICT.
The SICT toolkit is structured to provide flexible access across three key areas illustrated below:
- A knowledge base of information that provides awareness of the factors that impact and influence an institution's strategic use of ICT and ultimately therefore, the value that is gained from its deployment. We have identified these areas as key 'enablers' of strategic ICT
- A set of case studies drawn from institutions within the HE sector with models of operational, strategic and transformational maturity. They illustrate the different context set by institutions for ICT to provide operational, strategic or transformational support. The University of Nottingham, who completed this project, undertook research, during early 2010, with 20 institutions from across the UK HE sector
- Self-analyses across the two perspectives of Institutional Maturity and an individual's disposition to strategic ICT, called 'Individual ICT Strategy Savvy'
Institutional strategic ICT self-analysis
The maturity of an institution's strategic ICT is analysed using the key enablers of strategic ICT as identified within the knowledge base. This self-analysis uses a structured method to measure an institution's current maturity and guides the analysis of alternative approaches to maturing strategic ICT. By careful exploration and consideration with management, as appropriate for the scope and objectives an institution chooses to address, the project will be able to inform a business case for changes that will improve strategic ICT.
Individual ICT strategy savvy self-analysis
The self-analysis is specific to an individual and uses a questionnaire to assess their disposition to contribute, engage in and undertake activities, within their institutional role, that supports strategic ICT maturity. The questioning technique is used further to identify and develop actions that will generate improvements. It is an optional tool to complement and be considered in addition to an institution's maturity model.
The toolkit is structured to be able to support institutions in a number of different approaches that they may take to investigating and improving their strategic alignment of ICT to institutional strategy. It is not intended to be read end to end nor is it a tool to assess the 'value' or 'quality' of a specific solution or service.
The Toolkit is a strategic resource that seeks to support institutions in exploring and improving their approach to the formulation and implementation of ICT that is aligned to institutional strategy. It questions, analyses and provides a knowledge base of information and good practice. It can
- be used in a structured, managed project for the institution, or part thereof, for which there is an institutional strategy to improve ICT strategy alignment
- or to analyse an individual's ICT strategy savvy
- or as a source of information to improve awareness