EXPLORE. ENCOURAGE. EVOLVE.
Information technology today is a critical function in the enterprise. IT is not only a supporting function, helping to automate routine tasks and promoting process efficiency: It has also become integrated into the products and services of many industries. Even organizations that do not consider themselves “high-tech” are increasingly leveraging IT for digital transformation and as a core element of their emerging business models.
Yet, in many companies, business leaders only manage IT as a technical function. The IT systems, IT organization, and IT processes may be designed well from a technical perspective but poorly aligned from a business perspective. This can be the result of changes in business direction, sudden or long-term growth, acquisitions, or competitive disruption that create dissonance between what the business needs and what IT is providing.
IT STRATEGY ROADMAPPING
With expertise in both business and technology, our IT strategy consultants can facilitate the development of an integrated IT strategy for the organization. Our approach to IT strategy is a focused engagement that includes the following activities:
We begin with a review of the mission, vision, goals, and strategy of the business, so that we can derive the implications for IT–what IT needs to be and do in order to support the business strategy and deliver business value. Conversely, what capabilities can IT implement that can form the basis for new business models?
Here we conduct an assessment of the current IT environment, including the organization’s data centers, networks, equipment, documentation, and use of cloud computing. We also assess the health of the current IT applications portfolio, with a combination of online user surveys and in-person interviews, ranking each major business system in terms of its importance to the organization, its actual management value, and its technical quality. This gives us an early indication concerning which systems are the highest priority candidates for nurturing, replacement, or upgrading. Using metrics provided by our sister IT research firm, Computer Economics, we also benchmark IT spending and staffing levels, the use of outsourcing and outside IT service providers, and the state of IT management best practices. We also look at what new IT initiatives are already planned for the future.
This is the visioning stage of IT strategy, envisioning a future state where IT systems, technology, people, and processes are fully aligned with the business strategy. This stage can also include “art of the possible” workshops, where our IT strategy consultants explore what new and innovative technologies have most relevance to your business, and which you should consider for adoption. After painting this picture, we then compare it to the current state and conduct a gap analysis.
This is the formulation stage, where we define the individual initiatives of the IT roadmap and weave them into a strategic narrative: a story of where you are going and how you’ll get there. The final deliverable is a strategic IT roadmap for the enterprise that defines the desired future state, the major initiatives, and the priorities for implementation. It also includes summary descriptions and budgetary estimates for each of the major initiatives of the IT roadmap. Strategic initiatives can include new business application systems and IT capabilities, upgrades, IT infrastructure improvements, IT organizational changes or restructuring, IT process improvements, IT governance structures, and risk management programs.
IT governance is about making good investment decisions that enable individuals and organizations to manage information effectively and efficiently. The widespread availability of IT has dramatically changed the way businesses and government agencies acquire, transmit, process, store, retrieve, communicate and use information, profoundly affecting how firms operate and compete.
From large corporations to small firms, the influence of information technology is pervasive, affecting even the smallest departments and managerial decision-making processes. It is a serious mistake to think of the challenges associated with IT as totally different from those found in other business areas.
IT governance comprises the decision framework and processes that businesses and government agencies use to make investment decisions and drive business value. However, successful implementation of governance is still elusive for many organizations.
Our approach to IT governance is to work with your leadership team to right-size a governance program that will enable you along with senior executives to make informed and risk-based decisions regarding technology use. Good IT governance is policy driven with appropriate controls in place.