Westfalen-Lippe Regional Council (LWL) draws IT roadmap
// Cloud Computing, IT Processes and Organisation, IT-Strategy
Companies have to establish a clear vision of the future if they want to know how to assure long-term success. With the help of an IT roadmap, business strategy, IT strategy and current IT trends are systematically put in relation with the IT services offered. In an interview, Wieland Schäfer, head of the LWL.IT department, explains his motives for creating an IT roadmap for the Landschaftsverband regional council.
novum: Mr. Schäfer, what motivated you to draw an IT roadmap for LWL?
Wieland Schäfer: There were different motivational aspects. At first, we wanted to take a close look at the critical points in our IT infrastructure. We then wanted to assess the products we are using under the aspect of preparedness for the future and wanted to actively position ourselves with respect to solutions ready for the future. It was important to me to utilise the specialised knowledge of my staff (both with respect to technology as well as process) in the preparation of the IT roadmap.
novum: Do you draw a clear line for yourself between questions of IT strategy and those raised by the preparation of an IT roadmap? Are they dependent on each other?
Wieland Schäfer: The IT strategy provides the framework within which the IT roadmap must move. At the same time, the development of the technological infrastructure, on which we focused a lot, provides new impulses for the further development of the strategy. At times it is only technological innovations that make new processes possible.
novum: How strongly do non-IT topics (mega trends) influence your central IT planning today?
Wieland Schäfer: This influence surely exists. Let‘s just take „demographic change“. The question is: with which competencies, which division of labour do we have to position ourselves today, or, phrased differently: what can we do ourselves, what do we hand over? Here, we are looking at topics such as shared services, cooperation with external partners, communal partners. Cooperations in general are playing an important role here. This dealing with non-IT topics will also be important in the future. The IT technical trends such as cloud computing, mobile working, green-IT are already taken into consideration in LWL projects today.
novum: A short while ago, you prepared an IT roadmap for LWL.IT. How strongly does it control your approach
Wieland Schäfer: We did, of course, have overall IT planning even prior to that, however we only pursued it on an annual basis. But we were of the opinion that it needed to be more in-depth and more broad, that it should project further into the future and should be more binding. Furthermore, the IT roadmap only makes sense, if it is continually expanded in the future and regularly re-evaluated. That is what we are planning on doing. This way, the IT roadmap will become the basis for resource planning, financial planning and staff planning, and is geared towards a planning horizon of 3-5 years.
novum: Did you seek out the cooperation with an external consultant for your first IT roadmap for fundamental reasons?
Wieland Schäfer: It was very important to us to obtain a critical view from the outside, especially with respect to the technical and strategic point of view. The consultants were tasked to assess whether we, as LWL.IT, were positioned correctly and whether all topics that are important for the strategic planning were taken into consideration. It was important to us to work with a partner who has already prepared IT roadmaps frequently. With its pragmatic approach, noventum excelled at taking into consideration the specifics pertinent to our situation.