INFORMATION SYSTEM PLANNING
Information system planning is a process for developing a strategy and plans for aligning information systems with the business strategies of an organization. To assist managers and executives in developing information systems that help achieve an organization’s corporate mission, formal planning methods have been developed and made commercially available. The purpose of these planning methods is to describe an organization-wide direction for a firm’s information systems. This includes identifying key elements on which applications depend and are built. It may also include describing the interrelation of these elements and possibly documenting the current status of the organization’s information needs or outlining future plans. Three widely used approaches to planning information systems are IBM’s business systems planning (BSP) method; Nolan, Norton & Co‘s computer architecture strategic planning method; and the critical success factors method. IBM’s BSP approach, which is among the most widely used planning methods, focuses on identification of the data necessary to run an organization. Nolan, Norton & Co.’s computer architecture strategic planning method links an organization’s current capabilities with its future needs. This method emphasizes development of a strong technical infrastructure, or foundation, to support the applications. Critical success factors method seeks to identify areas that are key to an organization’s survival and to ensure that these elements are incorporated into the organization’s information systems. An organization’s corporate mission should be reflected throughout the preparation and evaluation of its information system project requests. The plan of an organization’s information systems must take into account the firm’s existing systems, as well as its future requirements. Thus, information systems planning requires a vision-a view of the impact that information systems have on an organization’s long-term corporate success, strategically and operationally. Having a vision is essential, but it must also be communicated if the organization’s personnel and other resources are to be successfully mobilized to build and maintain a viable information systems plan.