Developing an IM Strategy and Roadmap

The Information Demand Problem

The need for integrated and larger amounts of data that is transformed into Intelligence for decision making is known to be a critical imperative for companies in all industries. From new regulations in industries, such as finance and healthcare, to understanding changes in consumer demand for retailers, and ways to reduce accidents in manufacturing and construction trades there is a driving need for data integration and analytics in the market place.

Many organizations are sitting on numerous silos of data in operational systems and data warehouses and are still struggling to integrate it and turn it into actionable information. Even with the availability of new capabilities around “Big Data” such as Hadoop, in-database, in-memory processing, and grid computing power, unless the data is understood, it can’t be used to drive business decisions. So how do you move forward and solve the data integration problem while delivering short-term results to the business? Organizations need a strategy and a roadmap that clearly guides them on the journey to delivering advanced analytics that provide more accurate and timely intelligence so more profitable decisions can be made.

IM/BI Strategy and Roadmap (Healthcare Provider Example)

So what does a Strategy and Roadmap look like and what areas should it address? To start with you need to define what the goals and objectives are around IM and BI for your organization. Using Healthcare as an example you may need to focus on improving data governance and data architecture including integrating data from legacy systems that need to be archived.

It is important to define industry and client specific imperatives that the Strategy and Roadmap need to address. From a Healthcare Provider perspective, many are establishing or joining larger provider networks to aggregate purchasing power, share information, etc. In addition, new Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems (e.g. EPIC, Cerner, Allscripts, etc.) are being implemented to address regulations such as “Meaningful Use” reporting. As a result of these challenges a provider organization may list out the following key requirements that an IM Strategy and Roadmap should address:

  • Integrate legacy data as needed with the new data captured in an integrated EMR
  • Archive data which is isolated in disparate legacy systems that are being sunset
  • Allow for Healthcare Information Exchange (HIE) external data acquisition and provisioning
  • Resolve the changing structure of data (ICD9 vs. ICD10) moving forward
  • Meet the information needs now while preparing for and delivering increasing demands in the future

Once the challenges, goals, and objectives are established it is time to gain an understanding of the current environment. This includes understanding business goals and objectives and exploring how analytics can help the business stakeholders achieve their objectives. The organization and processes around managing data are then assessed and finally the current technical capabilities are evaluated to identify functional gaps. Most organizations typically have the technology in place, but lag when it comes to formal and effective data governance and data integration capability. In many cases this requires key initiatives that will drive organization, process and cultural change. In order to integrate and share data across the organization, its meaning across the organization must be understood and agreed upon. Although this sounds simple in concept, many organizations find that the same business measure is defined differently from one stakeholder to the next.


In the case of a Healthcare Provider, an example is “length of stay” measure. Multiple departments may measure the length of stay according to different activities. Which one is accurate? Is one wrong? How can different populations accomplish their business objectives and measure accurately without a consistent definition? This is where data governance, Meta data management practices and related initiatives are needed to ensure the organization understands, defines, and can share consistent information.

A comprehensive Strategy and Roadmap should address, People (organization and governance), Process, and Technology. At STS, we work with our clients to customize a methodology for developing a strategy and roadmap that meets their specific needs and budget.

Our methodology, shown below, is customized to meet each client’s need. We ensure our client understands the process of developing the strategy and roadmap so they can continue to refine the roadmap going forward.


An IM Roadmap is made up of many views that take an organization on a journey from the current state to the future. A well-defined strategy that accompanies the roadmap should layout the initiatives and projects that will take the organization on the journey and deliver both short and long term value.


Mapping out projects and initiatives is key to implementing any roadmap. At STS we work with our clients to educate them and deliver a strategy that they own and can drive forward.

Contact us today to learn more on how to create an IM Strategy and Roadmap for your organization.