What is IT Strategy?

There are some terms that are used more than they are understood. IT Strategy is one of them.

On the one hand, people mystify the term and use it with reverence. "IT Strategy" gets a great deal more respect than say "programming". On average, IT Strategists are paid more than programmers. So the mystique is maintained and feeds its own success. On the other, the term is thrown around as if it were a commodity. From programmers to CIOs, everyone is doing "IT Strategy"! Everyone has an opinion on IT Strategy. Everyone has a definition of IT Strategy. With so many definitions of IT Strategy, it is not clear what people are "saying" and what listeners are "hearing"!

The good news is that the definition of IT Strategy is not any one person's purview. No one owns the term. However, the bad news is that one needs a clear definition of the term to get some work done.

So, what is IT Strategy?

IT Strategy is an iterative process to align IT capability with business requirements:

  • It is a process not a point in time event
  • It is iterative - success comes after multiple - do and learn - cycles
  • The key is the alignment of business and IT capability rather than designing IT to address business requirements
    • The former assumes that both capabilities drive each other
    • The latter assumes that business drives IT and not vice versa
  • IT Strategy sets direction for IT function in an organization
    • Ensures that maximum IT dollars are spent on value creation activities for the business
    • Ensures that these dollars create the maximum value 

IT Strategy helps create shareholder value. In other words, it helps maximize the return on IT investments.

Introduction to IT Strategy

This presentation provides an excellent introduction to IT strategic planning - what is IT strategy? why create an IT strategic plan? how to create a plan for IT? who should be on the strategic planning team? A great place for the CIO to start their ...

Business IT Alignment

This paper introduces business IT alignment, connects it to enterprise architecture planning, and discusses frameworks to measure, and assess it over time. Good Read!

Introduction to IT Strategy

This presentation will help you understand what IT strategy is, what it means to align business and IT, and the steps required to create business IT alignment. A good read for the CIO who is trying to get on introduction to IT strategy.

IT Strategy Framework

This presentation provides an excellent overview of IT Strategy with a focus on the need to develop one: create shareholder value by aligning IT investments with business needs. It introduces a framework for IT Strategy geared towards business IT ali...

What is IT Strategy?

This presentation introduces information technology strategic planning aka IT Strategy using an IT Strategy Framework. Good Read!

Introduction to IT Strategy

This set of presentations provides guidance for the CIO who wants to manage IT for strategic advantage. It provides a bird's eye view to IT Strategy or the strategic use of information technology - how to use IT to create business advantage? It devle...

Introduction to IT Strategy and Management

This in-depth (450+ pages) guide provides a foundation to IT Strategy and Management. At the core of a CIO's responsibilities lies the answer to the question: how will IT create value in my organization? Now, a CIO must be able to answer this questio...

Using IT to Create Competitive Advantage

This guide to IT Strategy provides an in-depth (125 pages) discussion on using IT for competitive advantage. CIOs can learn how to create an IT capability for business value - why is IT critical to business success, and how to create processes, organ...

CIO's Guide to IT Strategy 101

This in-depth guide (450+ pages; 10 chapters) discusses the foundations of IT management or IT Strategy 101.  It is assumed that CIOs are "technical" i.e. they have risen up the IT ranks and eat and breathe technology. There are two problems with th...

Introduction to IT Strategy

This in-depth guide (350+ pages; 10 chapters) discusses the strategic use of information technology to create competitive advantage for the organization. A CIO must have in-depth understanding of what IT can do to create business value - how to use I...
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