Sunday, August 4, 2013

CIO’s Strategy Planning Scenario

Fundamentally, an IT strategy should flow from the business strategy.

Preparing a strategic plan is important as it points the organization in a direction where it can maximize its value position and reap as many benefits as possible. This direction must allow for economic, market or customer change and let business adapt swiftly. Alternatives and adaptation are the keywords to survival. 

To put another way, strategic planning simply answers the two questions: Where will you compete and what do you need to do to win? Now information and technology leads to disruptive innovation more often than not, so CIO as a strategist: What’s your strategy scenario?

  • Vision-Strategy-Execution Flow: It is from Vision (where do you want to go, what do you want to achieve)–Gap analysis (the current state assessment) –Strategy (How to get there, roadmap) –to Execution -Balanced Scoreboard (objectives, metrics). Vision (Where do you want to be) needs to be tied to two inputs - the business strategic plan goals and the upcoming technologies. Without linking the IT Strategic Plan to the Business plan, the department appears to be a non-contributing entity and the perception of the department demises. Technology is changing so rapidly, that ignoring an emerging technology will put your organization behind your competition. The real trick is to merge these two inputs into your strategic plan by following the strategy framework.
  • Fundamentally, an IT strategy should flow from the business strategy. It should reflect where the company wants to be and thus what IT needs to do to enable the business in making its strategy work. As the business wants to grow revenue, profit and value, IT must focus on assisting the growth of revenue, driving profit and, as a result, creating value. Nobody cares what IT is doing until the business can't do something because IT doesn't let them do it effectively or efficiently to at all.
  • IT Strategy Flow is Strategic objective – Strategic goal – Capability – Project – (People, Process, and Technology). The relationships, though described as a top down (one to many), can actually be many to many because for example a particular project could impact multiple capability increments. Key Factors & Consideration in a solid strategic planning and execution:

1) Current functional maturity & capability and overall organizational capability & maturity. Do the functional areas in each part of the business have what they need to achieve the five-year business plan? How about an organization as a whole?

2). Current IT maturity and capability. What things are in place that will enable the business strategy? What can be done to strengthen them? What things are in place that will inhibit or endanger the business strategy? What can be done to minimize them? Are the right skills in place? Are costs in line with the five-year plan?

3).What will change about the business over the next five years in order to achieve the strategic plan? And what are the impacts of those changes on IT? Higher transactional volumes? Heavier investments in product development? Does the business need to make decisions faster?

4) What is the organization's capacity for change? If radical changes are needed, does the change management structure exist internally to deliver on that? If not, should you look for a partner or possible acquisition target?

5).What's going on in the market? Where are the suppliers headed? Where are the competitors headed? And most importantly, where are the customers headed?

6).What could cause you to fail? Brainstorming scenarios for failure in the future helps everyone be clear about what you don't want to happen and what can be done to avoid it.

7) A continued assessment to allow IT monitor and modify the IT strategy, if and when organizational strategy changes. It is also worth noting that IT strategies must always be driven and redefined by, and aligned with the organizational strategy to succeed.

CIO's strategy planning is a continuous journey, a scenario to smell four seasons of business and touch the flows of business nature, it takes principles, preparation, and practices 


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