Information Technology Planning

The Web. The Internet. Wireless. Hand-held PDA. E-Commerce. Purchased versus in-house services. Packaged versus customized software. The pervasive world of information technology seemingly changes by the week. Each of these changes represents a new skill set for personnel, a new competitive opportunity for the organization, a new “must stay current” requirement impacting budget and resource planning. Long-term planning for information technology and its impact on the organization can often seem a futile never-ending endeavor, yet to ignore these demands is to put the institution’s future at significant risk.

The Pappas Consulting Group Inc. provides a comprehensive program of information technology planning techniques to assist education and non-profit clients in managing the chaos of this rapid change into a focused but flexible path towards the future. We recognize that technology services are not just about technology, but have a major impact on the Mission, culture, priorities, business operational practices, and working environment for the people of the organization. We help people to:

  • Understand the scope of opportunities for what technology can do for the Mission and operation of the organization;
  • Identify the range of options for providing technology solutions;
  • Forecast the true effort that will be required throughout the organization to implement and support future technology directions;
  • Evaluate and plan for the impact of technology choices on the Mission, strategic objectives, operations, and the people who work at, and are served by, the institution; and
  • Develop the project plans and institute the project management framework necessary to accomplish subsequent project goals within scope, costs, and agreed-to expected outcomes.

Information technology planning can be focused on one or all of the following key areas:

  • Technology Organization and Support: governance and planning; technology organizational structure; campus-wide operational and support roles; HELP desk functions; technology skill assessment; budgeting, training, procurement support functions
  • Technology Infrastructure: hardware configuration; networking configuration; database configuration and inter-connectivity; data center operational procedures and structure; quality assurance / change management controls; security controls
  • Business Applications: application software review; identify critical failures; develop functional requirements; create high-level design solutions

Comprehensive Services Program

In assisting our clients with their information technology needs, we provide a process and comprehensive services to meet the specific requirements of the individual institution. One or more of the following services can be adapted, tailored, and utilized as needed in the manner most appropriate for each client to accomplish its information technology planning requirements. Other planning services can also be utilized as appropriate to supplement this program of IT planning services.
  1. Audit of Institutional Readiness for Change – Culture and Commitment
  2. Development of Consensus For Expected Outcomes
  3. Identification of Business Drivers for Institutional Technology (current business functions and reporting not working properly, business functions and reporting not being supported, anticipation of future business needs [competitive, regulatory, productivity, accountability, partnerships, new services])
  4. Identification of Institutional Opportunities from Technology (efficiencies [financial, FTE, resources], enhanced constituent services, personnel realignments, improved working environment, enhanced management support, comprehensive institutional and constituent reporting, new marketing and service opportunities)
  5. Development of Design Options and Alternative (technology design, business processing design, organizational design)
  6. Forecasting Change Impact on the Organization (re-distribution of work responsibilities, strategies for responding to resistance to change, re-drafting of job descriptions, evaluation of current/future skills required, planning for staff development and training needs)
  7. Purchasing Execution (identification of needed products and services to be purchased, preparation of appropriate Requests for Purchase [RFPs], assistance in vendor selection, assistance in contract negotiation, assistance in financial and funding planning)
  8. Implementation Oversight and Vendor Management (development of implementation plans, development of training plan for project teams, orientation and transition support for new vendors selected, oversight of the implementation process: scope, budget, and timelines, quality assurance for implementation activities and their outcomes, independent progress and status reporting to institutional leadership)

In delivering this package of services, we ensure that:

  1. We are and will remain vendor-independent for any subsequent products or services obtained by the institution.
  2. All services will be provided in an integrated method to ensure compatibility and to eliminate redundancy.
  3. All project activities will be fully inter-connected among vendors, users, project team(s), and the agreed-upon project goals and scope.
  4. Technology decisions and designs will be connected to institutional Mission, culture, strategic plans and objectives, and business processes.
  5. All facets of the institution will be incorporated into project planning, implementation, and outcomes, including: service outcomes, institutional personnel, technical skillsets, job descriptions, organizational structure, constituents/customers, hardware, software, networking, technology support requirements, and planning for future needs.

Randy Bell
Senior Consulting Associate
Pappas Consulting Group Inc.