2.9. Solutions Fast Track
126.96.36.199. Overview of Corporate Strategy in Today's Environment
- Due to economic changes in the past decade, IT departments and IT activities no longer provide a de facto competitive advantage.
- To be successful in today's business climate, you need to run your IT department more like a business. Your IT efforts must support or extend the corporate mission.
- CIOs today have a blend of business and IT experience, so it's desirable to improve your business skills.
188.8.131.52. Aligning IT with Corporate Strategy: Taking It One Step Further
- IT strategies and operations must, at minimum, support the direction the company is headed.
- Ideally, you should look for ways that IT can be leveraged to create new, innovative strategies that further your corporate strategies rather than simply align with them.
- Competitive advantage can come through the use of technology by driving efficiency in execution, by lowering costs, or by innovation.
- Competitive advantage through technology innovation is often short-lived in today's fast-paced IT environment.
184.108.40.206. Understanding Your Company's Strategy
- Most companies have a strategy, but not all have well-articulated strategies, and not all have well-communicated strategies.
- In order to align IT activities with corporate strategies, you have to have some understanding of your company's strategic direction.
- There are numerous tools you can use to reverse engineer your company's strategies, though your best bet is to sit down with your boss or senior management and simply ask.
220.127.116.11. Developing Your IT Strategy
- Before you can develop your IT strategy, you have to understand what's what. You can use various tools to analyze the current state of your IT department (and your company, if you so choose) to give you a solid starting point.
- Analyzing core competencies, performing a SWOT analysis or trend analysis will help you determine what your department is good at and what your strategic direction should be.
- Once you've analyzed where you are and where everything else is (customers, competitors, technology, threats, opportunities, etc.), you can finalize your strategic objectives.
- You can use the risk-reward grid as one way of categorizing your strategic objectives.
- Your objectives or strategies should be prioritized based on agreed upon priorities. If you're not sure what should be first, second, and third priorities, sit down with your manager and discuss this. Mismatched expectations about priorities cause lots of problems down the road.
18.104.22.168. Assessing Your Current IT Environment
- Once you have an idea of your strategic IT direction, you need to look at your current IT environment and match things up.
- There are many ways you can categorize your IT efforts including strategic versus operational efforts, long-term versus short-term, development versus deployment, and more. Categories simply help you see what's what.
22.214.171.124. Developing Your Operational Roadmap
- Your operational roadmap is the document or plan that tells you what activities you must undertake in order to reach your strategic objectives. It helps you choose the right activities based on limited time and resources.
- An operational roadmap (or ops plan) provides a day-to-day guide for managing IT functions in a manner that will keep them aligned with IT and corporate strategies.