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Posted by Nigel Fenwick on November 28, 2011
It’s the perennial issue for many CIOs and often the No. 1 challenge for new CIOs: “How do I align IT with the business?” And while this is perhaps the most important challenge for IT groups struggling with a bad reputation across the business, it’s certainly not the most important challenge for IT groups with a solid track record of success. For these teams, the challenge is how to move beyond alignment.
In the report Beyond Alignment: BT Strategic Planning, I highlight how critical it is for IT to help formulate business strategy. The research suggests that how a firm develops and manages business strategy is pivotal to the question of how IT can move beyond alignment. Unfortunately, there are a number of challenges with this:
To overcome these and other challenges, CIOs and IT strategists must step up their game around strategic planning. Business technology (BT) strategy development is arguably the most important activity within IT, having the biggest impact on business results, yet some CIOs delegate developing “IT strategy” to one or two individuals as if it’s a chore — or they set up an annual strategy planning process tied to setting the IT budget. Successful BT strategy planning requires support from an ongoing process and involves senior IT staff in business-unit leadership team meetings throughout the year. The reality is that, for most organizations, strategies continuously fluctuate with the ebb and flow of markets. Leaders adjust — and they need their business technology strategy to adjust to the realities of business, at the speed of business.
But that’s just my current analysis . . . our research is ongoing and I invite you to take part in our current research survey on strategic planning. I’d also love to hear your thoughts and comments here or on our discussion board? Does IT have a role in developing business technology strategy? Are the goals of your organization clear enough?
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