Friday, March 12, 2021

IT Strategy Management

IT needs to do more planning and prioritization, bring transparency, and align IT portfolio management with strategic business goals and objectives.

Information technology is one of the most critical business assets of the company, and often IT maturity is proportional to the overall business maturity. To date, IT is strategic, running strategic IT takes strategic thinking. 

In many organizations though, too often business strategy and information technology strategy are developed mutually exclusive of each other. In logic, IT strategy should be the subcomponent of business strategy, clarify IT-enabled business competencies and operation layers as well as how they fit together. A strategic CIO is changing the dynamics of the business enterprise by leveraging technologies for strategic advantage and refining IT reputation as a trustful business partner.

Information Technology strategy will need to be revisited and should be crafted in a manner of keeping flexibility: Making long-term strategic planning is a must do “thing” in uncertain times to embrace change proactively. Because from a management perspective, it is easy to look like you are making progress by focusing on the tactical issues. It is very much harder, and requires courage and skills to really tackle what is wrong at the strategic level. The degree of planning has a positive correlation with degree of uncertainty and unpredictability. A key characteristic of the IT strategy is that it should be "fused" with the business so that as the business changes course the IT strategy is also modified.

The digital IT trajectory to make strategic difference is about becoming a revenue generator and choice maker for driving business growth and delighting customers. In a well developed IT strategic plan, establish IT statements of mission, vision, and values, define strategic goals to accomplish over the medium and long term period of time, identify how those goals will be reached (strategies, objectives, responsibilities, and timelines), the organization's competitive portfolio, business capabilities, Project Investment Priority, GRC, and talent development planning, etc. Differentiation is not the end game, value creation and forward vision are.

IT strategic planning helps to broaden the ecosystem view and consider competitive forces in the business and the marketplace: Some organizations create a sense of internal competition that can easily make the C-level participants lose sight of the end game. Strategic CIOs have a better chance to create a blue ocean for providing a competitive advantage to the IT organization, unleash its full potential and reach the next level of organizational maturity.

Because strategic CIOs can leverage multidimensional thinking via different lenses to understand business complexity and its dynamic ecosystem to craft a good strategy. In order to implement it, they need to understand the competition, also have to build up the strong partnership with executive peers, business managers, and other service providers, pull up the resources and partners to build up new business differentiators for executing it smoothly, manage risks effectively, and allow the highest probability of success.

IT strategy execution flow is a healthy cycle of Strategic goal- capability – project – (people, process, and technology): Setting a strategy without a thought about the execution can really get you into trouble. Successful strategy execution is based on ‎information, innovation, intelligence, and improvement for delivering solid business results. All strategies are intent. Some of them become actionable with plans. Many plans lose viability during their expected window of opportunity. We can't just design a strategy, we need to think about how we're designing it. Modifying a plan does not necessarily change the strategy, but it may mean that the strategy has to be re-implemented.

The challenge for the business management is that while there are both long-term and short-term goals for the business, far too often these goals are in opposition to each other. Thus, it is important to map strategic goals into business capabilities, take a portfolio approach to build business capabilities by striking the right balance of taking transformative initiatives for seeking opportunity and operating transactional activities for seeking continuity. In management practice, not all projects are equal, some help to develop new products which drive revenue, others could be small system enhancements. In order to reap the success in the business transformation, a clear and dynamic digital strategy is needed with proper execution through iterative steps, to make strategy execution as a dynamic continuum.

The connection between IT and business lies in using the common digital language to help business cross that bridge to IT. IT needs to do more planning and prioritization, bring transparency, and align IT portfolio management with strategic business goals and objectives. The large leap of strategy implementation can be made through the strategic partnership establishment by innovating, modernizing business models and developing significant opportunities for catalyzing business growth and delighting customers, harnessing innovation and improving business maturity


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