- Forrester Councils
- Councils Overview
- log in
Posted by Nigel Fenwick on September 20, 2013
Here’s a riddle: What is it that almost every organization believes it needs, many organizations have, and few organizations use? The answer is an IT strategy.
CEOs and CFOs task new CIOs and old CIOs alike with developing an IT strategy. But despite the millions of dollars, pounds, euros, and yen spent on creating IT strategy every year, few of these strategies will be put to effective use. The IT strategy is the foundation upon which CIOs communicate the value of IT across the enterprise. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, only 18% of organizations have IT teams that communicate the value of IT effectively.
A good strategy is one that is widely understood and consistently applied toward achieving the goals of the enterprise. The “strategy document” represents a challenge for IT as it must serve as both a marketing document to be shared with non-IT leaders and also as a set of practical guidelines for IT professionals. For this reason, Forrester recommends creating at least two documents: First the BT strategic plan – think of this as the brand marketing brochure for IT – it clearly lays out how IT will bring value to the enterprise and how this value will be measured; second, the IT operational plan – this sets out the choices IT leaders must make in order to effectively implement the BT strategy.
In 2012 Forrester assembled the best components from the many strategies reviewed over the years and, in conjunction with Forrester Leadership Boards CIO members, identified the key contents for an effective BT and IT strategy.
Business Technology Strategy elements must walk the reader/listener through the strategy in logical steps beginning with business goals and ending with a flexible technology roadmap that lays out the timing of the strategy implementation. This strategic plan must continuously evolve with the changing needs of the business – as such it must be less of a fixed investment plan for the next X years and more a set of strategic guidelines to help shape future technology decisions. The essential elements of the business technology strategic plan include:
I encourage you to download the BT Strategic Planning template - it's a Microsoft PowerPoint doc (fee for non-clients). The template is a skeleton – pick what you like and discard the rest. Customize the template for your own business. And most important of all, develop several versions of your presentation to suit the different audiences for your material.
Do let me know what you think. Leave comments here or in the discussion forum. Let me know what you would add. And if you have artifacts you think would be helpful for others, feel free to send them to me. We'll potentially share your ideas in the next version of the template.
If you use the template, I'd love to see your final versions (under NDA as needed of course).
Next post: Chief Digital Officer: Fad or Future?
Previous post: 5 Steps to transform IT from order-taker to business partner
Save Money On Your Next Software Negotiation
Work with our software negotiation experts to save 10–20% on your next contract »
Lead BT Transformation
Develop customer-obsessed strategies to drive growth »
Forrester's CX Index
Predict how actions to improve CX will affect revenue performance.
Measure the customer experiences that matter most »