IT strategy is an extension of past activities

IT strategy is an extension of past activities

If an IT department has been doing the same things for a number of years, it is easy to think that the same formula will work in the future. The department confuses strategy (identifying the best future and mapping the route to achieve it) with long term planning (an extrapolation of the past). A good example of this is where a strategy is produced on the basis of a budget that has been handed down by finance. It may be a request to reduce costs by 10% for example. Crafting a strategy to meet this objective is dangerous in many ways. First of all, cost reductions may be only one of the high level (i.e. corporate) goals. Secondly, it may be possible to achieve much more than is requested, or conversely, it may potentially seriously damage the company, if for example, critical systems are neglected, or security compromised.

There is no structure or method.

This lowers the probability of success. Often the people who are responsible for strategy have used different methods in the past. This can cause a misalignment in how strategy should be developed, and that can be very time consuming. There needs to be a clear purpose and a structured process to follow. In the case of IT strategy, it is particularly important to align the activities of the IT department to the business and if each is following a different process, this can be very time consuming and frustrating.




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