The ICT strategist which can also be called a strategic business planner is responsible for ensuring that there are plans in place for an organisation's future course. Strategic planning is the formal consideration of an organisation's future course.
The ICT strategist is responsible for knowing where the organisation stands (What do we do?), determining where the organisation is going, and how it will get there. The resulting document is called the strategic plan.
They are responsible for setting strategic objectives and defining a roadmap of ways to achieve those objectives. They are also responsible for ensuring that the strategies are embedded within the business operational plans and performance management plans.
The ICT strategist will work closely with other ICT staff such as the chief information officer, chief technology officer and ICT manager.
An ICT strategist exhibits a combination of capabilities from the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) and from the Leadership competencies for Queensland.
Within the SFIA profile, the strategic business planner has level 5/6 capabilities, i.e. initiates and influences the skills outlined below.
Refer to the framework for descriptions of the seven levels of responsibility and accountability.
SFIA skill code
SFIA skill level of responsibility
SFIA skills level descriptor
Takes responsibility for understanding client requirements, collecting data, delivering analysis and problem resolution. Identifies, evaluates and recommends options, implementing if required. Collaborates with, and facilitates stakeholder groups, as part of formal or informal consultancy agreements. Seeks to fully address client needs, enhancing the capabilities and effectiveness of client personnel, by ensuring that proposed solutions are properly understood and appropriately exploited.
Agrees research goals and methods and performs research projects to generate original and worthwhile ideas. Attracts and manages external research funding.
Provides advice and guidance on research methods, data collection, data analysis and the presentation of research findings. Selects, adopts and adapts data collection tools and techniques for both qualitative and quantitative data. Maintains a strong external network within own area of specialism and takes a leading part in professional activities outside own employing organisation. Presents papers at significant conferences, writes articles for publication in high quality specialist journals, and presents reports to key stakeholders. Develops, reviews and constructively criticises the research and ideas of others. Develops and shares practical demonstrations of research findings.
Obtains organisational commitment to innovation. Develops organisational capabilities to drive innovation. Leads and plans the development of innovation capabilities and implementation of innovation processes, tools and frameworks. Leads the communication and an open flow of creative ideas between interested parties and the set-up of innovation networks and communities.
Emerging technology monitoring
Monitors the external environment to gather intelligence on emerging technologies. Assesses and documents the impacts, threats and opportunities to the organisation. Creates reports and technology roadmaps and shares knowledge and insights with others.
Leadership competencies for Queensland describes what highly effective, everyday leadership looks like in the sector. In simple, action-oriented language, it provides a common understanding of the foundations for success across all roles. The profile describes three performance dimensions (vision, results and accountability) and 11 leadership competencies required against five leadership streams.
Leadership streams are not connected to a level or classification, but rather reflect the balance between leadership and technical skills required of an individual. Individuals can consider the value proposition of roles rather than the traditional lens of hierarchical structures or classification levels. The five leadership streams are:
- Individual contributor (Leads self and does not supervise others)
- Team leader (leads a team and typically reports to a program leader)
- Program leader (leads team leaders and/or multiple areas of work)
- Executive (leads program leaders or other executives)
- Chief executive (leads the organisation).
When developing a role description, identify the role type and then focus on the most important attributes and create a balance between SFIA skills and leadership skills.
Degree level qualifications in business or information technology are essential for the role of a strategist.