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Crossing the Sticky Wicket - Formulating IT Strategy

 

As businesses are disrupted due to the emergence of digital technologies and new ways of selling to the customer, formulating or re-designing IT strategy has become a core need. However, formulating an IT strategy for the future presents a sticky wicket requiring organizational collaboration, commitment and executive sponsorship. Here are a few key fundamental challenges that have to be addressed before deep-diving into the specifics


1.Alignment of IT Strategy with Business Strategy


Business and IT strategy may not be formulated in tandem making it difficult to align them towards a common enterprise vision.


2. Budgeting & Investment Planning


  • Business strategy can change constantly whereas the IT strategy may not undergo change as quickly resulting in a mutual gap.
  • Allocate fixed capex to IT projects in the annual budgeting exercise could make it complicated to make a trade-off between various types of IT projects.
  • Allocation of budget to certain business enabling opportunities other than those required to "keep the lights on" may not be clear may be challenging as the return on investment may not be clear.


3.Collaboration & Ownership


  • Investment for strategic PoCs or prototypes is not planned or budgeted.
  • There could be poor or inadequate culture of sharing of information or co-ordination between various business functions making it difficult to formulate an integrated IT strategy.
  • Business process ownership may not be established and hence the relevance of IT strategy to the daily operational activities may seem insignificant, thus discouraging participation or buy-in


4.Governance & Power Structures


  • Existing governance structure and incentive/reward framework may be designed for individual business functions, hence an integrated IT strategy exercise may encounter participation challenges.
  • The success of an IT strategy exercise can  be greatly influenced by the organization power structure and conflicts arising out of deemed priority of each business functions identified opportunities.


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