IT Strategic Planning

What is Strategic Planning?

What is Strategic Planning?

An agency that does strategic planning influences the future, rather than simply prepares for or adapts to it. Strategic planning outlines an agency’s long-term goals for carrying out its mission.

Strategic Planning Diagram

  • Goals, developed based on the mission, are broad statements of what an agency wants to achieve over a long time. Goals stretch and challenge an agency but are realistic and achievable, and they help answer the question, “Where do we want to be?”
  • Goals are formalized into objectives, or desired outcomes that provide clear targets for specific actions and define where an agency will be by a particular date. Objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound statements that outline the steps to achieve an agency’s goals.
  • An agency develops strategies that outline the specific actions it will take to meet its objectives.
  • An agency sets measures and targets to evaluate whether it has met its objectives.

The evaluation results show an agency’s progress toward meeting its overarching goals, which it revises based on the results. The strategic planning process then begins anew.

The strategic plan produced by this process defines how an agency will achieve its desired results over the next three to five years.

Under G.S. 143B-1330, every agency must submit a technology plan to the state chief information officer in each even-numbered year. The Statewide Information Technology Plan, also called the North Carolina IT Roadmap, covers five years, so to properly inform the plan, agencies’ plans should cover the same time period. 

What We Do

What We Do

The Strategic Planning team assists state agencies, NCDIT and the state chief information officer in achieving two goals:

  • Align IT plans and resources with business goals and strategies
  • Improve IT planning, budgeting and management

The team offers workshops—along with planning guidance, templates and standards—to guide agencies in developing their own IT strategic plans. The team helps agencies:

  • Carry out the IT planning process, and improve service delivery through effective, cost-sensitive alignment of business strategies and IT initiatives
  • Link IT initiatives to business plans to clearly understand each IT investment and its business value
  • Apply architectural principles, practices and standards to technology, information flow, business processes and IT deliverables
  • Identify opportunities to combine common capabilities (IT and business processes), and recommend steps to reduce duplication, avoid cost and improve performance, leveraging economies of scale wherever possible

The Strategic Planning team focuses on the processes, disciplines and methodologies that govern the interactions and boundaries of business and IT management. The state’s reliance on technology demands better management that effectively combines business and IT interests. Such management lets the state introduce new, innovative services, improve constituent satisfaction and program outcomes and increase operational productivity and efficiencies.

Schedule a strategic planning workshop.



An agency's IT strategy should support its business needs and mission. A strategic plan provides a roadmap that charts the best possible path for an agency to carry out its mission. Creating and following a strategic plan allows an agency to:

  • Effectively serve North Carolinians
  • Collaborate with other state agencies
  • Ensure that its initiatives align with its mission
  • Give transparency to key stakeholders
  • Increase business efficiency, and avoid duplicating efforts and wasting capacity