IT strategies are often nonexistent or ineffective:
According to our IT Management & Governance Diagnostic, 64% of governments have an IT strategy process they feel is ineffective.
IT does not do a good job of communicating their support for organization goals. As a result, 17.5% of government leaders still feel that their goals are unsupported by IT.
IT departments that have not developed IT strategies experience alignment, organization, and prioritization issues with the broader government organization.
Most surveyed leaders value tech leaders with experience fostering operational stability and strategic alignment, however…
The CIO is seen as an order taker by organizational leaders. This usually results in the demands on IT far outstripping the IT budget.
Projects and initiatives are not prioritized around the organization’s objectives. Synergies and dependencies are recognized too late. Projects are often late or put on hold because of sudden changes to organizational requirements.
Impact and Result
Follow Info-Tech’s approach to developing a strong IT strategy for government departments:
Use Info-Tech’s government-focused approach to discern the organizational context.
Clearly communicate to government executives how IT will support the government’s key objectives and initiatives using the US Government IT Strategy Presentation Template.
Use Info-Tech’s prioritization tool to help make project decisions in a holistic manner that allows for the selection of the most-valuable initiatives to become part of the IT strategic roadmap.
Build an IT Strategy for US Government Organizations Research & Tools
1. Build an IT Strategy for US Government Organizations Deck – Research to help arrive at an IT strategy well aligned to organizational goals.
This step-by-step document walks you through how to properly develop an IT strategy for US government organizations and clearly align their IT initiatives to organization goals, IT excellence, and technology innovation.
Workshop: Build an IT Strategy for US Government Organizations
Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.
Build an IT Strategy for US Government Organizations
Success for US government departments and agencies depends on IT initiatives clearly aligned to organizational goals,
enabling IT excellence, and driving technology innovation.
Align IT Strategy with organizational goals to maximize value creation
US Government IT departments work in an environment in which, although there may be broad federal/ state mandates (e.g.
cybersecurity and zero trust), there often is agency/departmental guidance that results in an individualistic approach
to implementation within the agencies and subagencies. Numerous external and internal factors affect their work,
including multiyear budget cycles, compliance requirements driven by US Code variations among organizations, evolving
technology trends, changing public expectations, and the need to adapt to ongoing legislative imperatives that are not
aligned to previous program imperatives. Often, IT organizations are expected to deliver innovative solutions without a
good understanding of the need to address legacy infrastructure and organizational issues while also dealing with the
challenge of developing and retaining increasingly hard-to-find technology talent in a post-COVID workplace environment.
This complex operating environment presents unique challenges, making it imperative that government department IT
leaders have a clear understanding of the organization's priorities, objectives, and resources and develop their IT
strategy aligned with organizational goals. This will help ensure that their technology investments maximize value
creation through improved operational efficiency, better cost management, and enhanced quality of services to the public
and other stakeholders.
This blueprint and associated tools will provide you with a step-by-step approach to achieve an IT strategy that is in
sync with your organizational objectives and will help establish IT as a strategic partner to the broader department and
Research Director, CIO Strategy
Info-Tech Research Group
What is an IT strategy?
An IT strategy provides a holistic view of the current IT environment, the future direction, and the initiatives required to achieve the desired future state.
An IT strategy is defined based on the organizational imperatives it enables, not the technology used to accomplish the organizational imperatives. It should support nimble, reliable, and efficient responses to strategic objectives.
It guides the prioritization of initiatives and investments focused on driving organization value while ensuring
alignment between IT and the broader organizational mission.
An IT strategy is not a list of IT initiatives that have been developed in isolation and are not aligned with the
Defining an IT strategy means organizing IT's financial, technical, and human resources around the organization's goals
and providing oversight to manage risks.
IT decisions are made with a focus on long-term investments in both dollars and manpower.
Initiatives are implemented based on an organizational mission-first approach.
An IT strategy ensures the wise investment of dollars and workforce on IT initiatives that help achieve organizational
goals and objectives while driving future growth.
An IT strategy enables the alignment of IT activities with mission objectives and sets expectations about what can be
Introduction to the US Federal Government
The US Federal Government is composed of three distinct branches – Legislative, Executive, and Judicial – whose powers
are vested by the US Constitution in the Congress, the President, and the Federal courts, respectively.
The Federal Government consists of 15 departments, multiple agencies, and a multitude of special offices and
organizations created to execute the laws and regulations placed into law by the Congress of the United States.
Although it may be viewed as a single entity, the departments, agencies, and special offices of the federal government
are not subject to a singular management framework.
Is authorized and approved by the US Congress.
Authorized appropriations may (and usually do) differ from appropriated funds, which increases the complexity of
supporting government-wide IT initiatives.
The Office of Management and Budget further subdivides the budget allocation to the federal agencies and offers spending
frameworks for agency IT departments.
Although it may appear that the US Federal Government has a uniform approach to IT strategy, the government is in fact
an amalgamation of independent entities, operating and funded by independent legislation that inhibits a monolithic
approach to IT. As such, various agencies/departments, although following broad IT strategy guidelines, implement IT
governance in varying ways, which creates both challenges and opportunities.
US Office of Personnel Management provides guidance and sets policies on human resource management.
Each department/agency develops and implements its own human resource strategy.
Introduction to the US State Governments
State Governments in the USA are composed of three distinct branches – Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.
The United States is a federal republic of 50 states, a federal district, and five territories.
Each of the 50 states holds jurisdiction over a geographic territory, where it shares sovereignty with the federal
Main sources are taxes, fees, and federal grants.
State revenue is gained through income, sales, property taxes, and fees for various services such as licenses and
In addition, state governments received federal grants to support specific programs such as Medicaid, education, and
Various agencies/departments, although following broad IT strategy guidelines, implement IT governance in varying ways,
which creates both challenges and opportunities within their individual geographic and political environments.
Each state department/agency develops and implements its own human resource strategy while following broader guidance.
Understanding organizational context for your dept./agency as well as the broader federal/state government is important
for creating an effective IT strategy.
Challenges & Opportunities in Government IT
Heightened resident expectations on delivery of government services due to shifts in attitudes since the pandemic and
Finite budget, requiring prioritization and hard decisions on where to spend.
Adherence to stringent compliance requirements including security standards, accessibility requirements, and privacy
Modernizing legacy systems while continuing to ensure critical department/ agency support.
Attracting, retaining, and upskilling top IT talent facing competition with private sector.
Rise in cyberthreats and data breaches, enhancing need to implement robust security measures to protect sensitive
Lead digital transformation by leveraging new innovative technologies such as AI.
Incorporate user-centric design thinking while developing services/products.
Leverage data analytics to identify trends, gain insights into department operations, and make better data-driven
Defend against cyberthreats by implementing zero-trust security shifting from securing network boundaries to a focus on
verifying users, assets, and resources.
Migrate to cloud computing to reduce costs, increase flexibility, and improve service delivery.
Develop cross-department collaboration to focus on similar use cases for service modernization and thus, multiplying
Looking at challenges and opportunities will give you unique insights on key focus areas for your IT strategy.
IT strategies are often nonexistent or ineffective.
According to our Management and Governance diagnostic (MGD), 64% of government organizations have an IT strategy process they feel is ineffective.1
The IT strategy does not effectively communicate support for organization goals. As a result, 17.5% of government
leaders still feel that their mission goals are unsupported by IT.2
IT departments that have not developed IT strategies experience alignment, organization, and prioritization issues with
the broader organization.
Three-quarters of surveyed executives value technology leaders with experience fostering operational stability and strategic alignment,3 however…
The CIO is often seen as an order taker by the broader organization's leaders. This usually results in the demands on IT far outstripping their budget.
Projects and initiatives are not prioritized around organization's objectives. Synergies and dependencies are recognized too late. Projects are often late, put on hold, or terminated because of sudden changes to mission requirements.
Follow Info-Tech's approach to developing a strong IT strategy for government
Use Info-Tech's government-focused approach to discern the organizational context and develop your strategy.
Clearly communicate to government executives how IT will support the government's key objectives and initiatives using the US Government IT Strategy Presentation Template.
Use Info-Tech's prioritization tool to help make project decisions in a holistic manner that allows for the selection of the most-valuable initiatives to become part of the IT strategic roadmap.
A Government CIO has three roles: enable organizational productivity, run an effective IT shop, and drive technology
innovation. Your IT strategy must reflect these three mandates and how IT strives to fulfill them.
1: Info-Tech, Management and Governance Diagnostic; n=89 since January 1,2021
2: Info-Tech, CEO-CIO Alignment Diagnostic; n=57 since January 1, 2021
3: CIO Journal, 2020
Establish the Scope of Your IT Strategy
Establish the scope of your IT strategy by defining IT's mission and vision statements and guiding principles.
Review IT Performance From Last Fiscal Year
A retrospective of IT's performance helps recognize the current state while highlighting important strategic elements to
address going forward.
Build Your Key Initiative Plan
Elicit the organizational context and identify strategic initiatives that are most important to the organization and
build a plan to execute on them.
Define IT's Operational Strategy
Evaluate the foundational elements of IT's operational strategy that will be required to successfully execute on key initiatives.
Info-Tech's methodology for IT strategy
01: Organizational Context
02: Key Initiative Plan
03: Operational Strategy
04: Executive Presentation
Organizational (org.) strategy
Org. context information
Diagnostic reports to assess current state
Last year's IT budget execution
Key initiatives list
Last year's IT budget execution - operational strategy
Initiatives & roadmap
Org. Context Information for Step 2:
Org. objectives & initiatives
Government organization's customized capability map
IT strategy information for approval:
Year in review
Key initiative plan & profiles
Operational strategy information:
Metrics & targets
Functional roadmap & next steps
Executive presentations for:
Executive director/program director/department head
Gather information on last fiscal year's strategy. Particularly information on:
Specific IT initiatives/projects completed
Project start and end dates
Metrics and targets and progress made toward them
Last fiscal year's budget information
Establish Scope of Your IT Strategy
1.1 Mission & Vision Statement
1.2 Guiding Principles
1.3 Finalize Scope
This phase will walk you through the following activities:
How to build IT mission and vision statements
How to elicit IT guiding principles
How to finalize and communicate your IT strategy scope
This phase involves the following participants:
Senior IT Team
To complete this phase, you will need:
US Government IT Strategy Presentation Template
Use the US Government IT Strategy Presentation Template to document the results from the following activities:
Mission and vision statements
IT guiding principles
1.1 Mission & Vision
IT must aim to support the organization's mission and vision
A mission statement:
Focuses on today's activities and what the organization does to execute those activities.
Drives the organization.
Answers: What do we do? Whom do we serve? How do we service them?
"A mission statement focuses on the purpose; the vision statement looks to the fulfillment of that purpose."
A vision statement:
Focuses on tomorrow and what an organization ultimately wants to become.
Gives the organization direction.
Answers: What problems are we solving? Who and what are we changing?
"A vision statement provides a concrete way for stakeholders, especially employees, to understand the meaning and purpose
of your organization. However, unlike a mission statement – which describes the who, what, and why of your organization
– a vision statement describes the desired long-term results of your organization's efforts."
Source: Business News Daily, 2020
1.1 Mission & Vision
IT mission statements demonstrate the IT organization's purpose
The IT mission statement specifies the organization's purpose or reason for being. The mission should guide each day's
activities and decisions. The mission statements use simple and concise terminology and speak loudly and clearly,
generating enthusiasm for the organization.
Strong IT mission statements have the following characteristics:
Articulates the IT function's purpose and reason for existence
Describes what the IT function does to achieve its vision
Defines the customers of the IT function
Easy to grasp
Sample IT mission statements:
To provide leadership for the use of innovative information technology in a secure and efficient manner to enable and
empower the department.
To lead innovative change by providing digital and data-driven services to stakeholders (internal and external).
To help fulfil organizational goals, the IT department is committed to empowering department stakeholders with
technology and services that facilitate effective processes, collaboration, and communication.
Collaborate with our business partners to create the best experience for all veterans.
1.1 Mission & Vision
IT vision statements demonstrate what the IT organization aspires to be
The IT vision statement communicates a desired future state of the IT organization. The statement is expressed in the
present tense. It seeks to articulate the desired role of IT and how IT will be perceived.
Strong IT mission statements have the following characteristics:
Describes a desired future
Focuses on ends, not means
Concise; no unnecessary words
Sample IT vision statements:
To be a trusted advisor and partner in enabling innovation and growth through an engaged IT workforce.
IT is a cohesive, proactive, and disciplined team that delivers innovative technology solutions while demonstrating a
strong stakeholder experience mindset.
World-class provider and trusted partner enabling department's transformation into a leading prudential regulator.
To become a world-class organization that provides a seamless, unified veteran experience through the delivery of
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What Is a Blueprint?
A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.
Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.