The Definitive Guide to IT Strategy
IT strategy: an equal partner of the business strategy for a developed and productive enterprise
The earlier role of IT as a supporting function has changed over the years. Now, it is a critical function integrated deep into the products and services of an enterprise. The enterprises are using business models with IT as the base and core aspect. Now, they recognize the importance of IT infrastructure, architecture, assets, systems, processes, and services, collectively forming the IT strategy for achieving the business goals and improving the productivity of enterprises. The definitive guide to IT strategy provides you with all the necessary information as to the scope of IT strategy, IT strategy framework, IT strategy roadmap, the role of CIO in IT strategy, and the importance of IT strategy.
There is continuous evolution in technological advancements that the business world is witnessing. As a result, the business environment has become smaller, highly sophisticated, and more collaborative than the earlier times. The businesses are responding to these changes in IT with adjustments and updates in their IT strategy and business strategy. However, it is becoming difficult for enterprises to align the IT perspective with the business perspective because of frequent variations in IT initiatives and the fluctuations in the economic and industrial scenario.
To bring in the required harmonization between IT strategy and business strategy, it is vital to:
Understand the importance of an IT strategy
Identify the key components of an IT strategy framework for your business
Make a relevant roadmap to realize the IT strategy
Recognize the scope of your IT strategy
Appreciate the role that a CIO plays in planning, creating, and executing an IT strategy
Human assets required to run the system and carry out the processes and their skillset
Why is an IT strategy significant for any business?
An IT strategy is a significant part of your business strategy. An IT strategy talks about the current capabilities of an enterprise in information technology and where it lacks behind, what are the emerging technologies that it can adopt, and how well the IT strategy can lend support to the business goals. An enterprise creates an IT strategy:
To generate value from business processes
An IT strategy makes your IT capable enough to bring all employees on a common platform for collaboration, increase the productivity of business processes, improve the relationship with customers, and enhance the outcome generated from different functions and departments.
To give business a competitive advantage
To harness maximum benefits from innovative technologies
Businesses adjust their IT strategies to factor in the innovativeness in technology and changes in the business landscape to ensure the success of their business strategy.
To benefit all the stakeholders of a business
With a globalized marketplace, IT ensures to keep everyone in the same enterprise connected to exchange information so that all develop together.
What are the components of an IT strategy framework?
This component includes the understanding of an enterprise’s vision, mission, goals, strategy, future plans, principles, values, beliefs, stakeholders, strengths, and weaknesses.
About the business
An IT strategy roadmap is essential for the successful realization of an IT strategy. It is a tool of communication from the business to the key decision-makers, employees, and team members who will execute the IT strategy and who will benefit from the successful implementation.
Current IT scenario
An insight into the IT infrastructure, assets, capabilities, capacities, architecture, budget, processes, data, applications, and resources forms the IT scenario of an enterprise.
This component includes the goals of an enterprise in terms of IT capabilities, human resources, interfaces, and the security environment that make up the IT objectives.
It gives an understanding of the market trends in IT, competitors’ IT strategy, and the challenges for business processes.
It talks about the steps to be taken by the enterprise to grow from the current IT scenario to desired IT goals.
Feasibility of IT roadmap
In this component, enterprises must ensure to have the relevant budget, time, and human resources to execute the IT roadmap successfully.
This component ensures that the IT strategy aligns well with the business goals so that the business strategy is realized.
What are the key elements of an IT strategy roadmap?
To give a direction to the IT strategy, align it with the business goals. An IT strategy roadmap defines the key steps for transformation from the current IT setting in the enterprise to the desired IT goals. The key elements are:
Business and IT alignment
IT adds value to every function or department of an enterprise – be it marketing, supply chain, finance, customer relationship, or any other. It makes every business process faster, flexible, automated, and efficient. Therefore, an alignment is essential between the business and IT strategy to maximize the value generated from IT.
As-Is system analysis
This step requires an analysis of the current IT strengths that the enterprise has with respect to hardware, software, data, telecommunications, services, and human assets.
To-Be system analysis
This step involves the proposition of the desired results from IT strategy with respect to improvements required in current systems, innovations in technology, upgradations, replacements, or adoption of new technologies.
The IT plan defines the landmarks in the journey from the As-Is System to the To-Be System along with the costs, timelines, and effort required.
How do you scope an IT strategy?
CIOs must conduct a scoping of the IT strategy to avoid missing any major factor of IT that may derail the entire process of execution of the IT strategy. The scope of an IT strategy includes:
IT application portfolio
CIOs must make a note of all the applications used in the enterprise and develop policies to manage the application portfolio in association with the relevant users and decision-makers for each of the applications.
Managing the IT infrastructural needs is a difficult task considering the key decisions required in the case of in-house or outsourcing, making the right investments, altering demands of business processes, and the changing regulatory environment.
IT service management
Managing the IT services of an enterprise that can improve the value generated from business operations is essential to meet the business needs.
IT organizational design
With the right combination of IT infrastructure, applications, and services, the right organizational design that facilitates the inter-relationships between these scoping elements is vital for the realization of IT strategy goals.
How does a CIO make a difference to the IT strategy?
CIO is responsible for developing, implementing, and leading the IT strategy. He/she understands the key IT requirements of an enterprise, identifies the new and innovative IT initiatives in the market, studies the implications of each IT initiative on business processes, and deals with the right sourcing partners. Therefore, he/she is not just a source of enabling technology but a tactician that makes IT beneficial for the enterprise. CIO is the IT strategist because he/she:
Leads the changes in IT in the enterprise through an understanding of business requirements, customer expectations, and feasibility of the IT strategy
Manages risks such as security issues, integration concerns, and challenges related to the alignment of IT with business goals
Facilitates the transformation of IT in the enterprise from the current state to the next more advanced, strategic role
Innovates by identifying the new technologies that can bring a difference to the business and creating new innovative revenue streams from IT usage
Need any assistance to address any of these questions?
If you are looking for help to find answers to any of the above-mentioned questions for your business, you can contact us for IT strategy consulting services. We, at Technovisors, have the expertise to develop an innovative IT strategy for you that can lead to excellence in your business processes. Our experience in varied industries, wide-ranging knowledge in IT strategies, and customized, value-generating approach for our clients offer your business greater scalability. We make your future IT secure, profitable, and effective so that you achieve your business goals.