IT strategy – hmm, that sounds good! It suggests you know what you’re doing, and that those invoices from your IT suppliers correspond to something of value to the business.
However, IT strategy and the plans that go with them sometimes don’t achieve the results you wanted. Here are 10 reasons why failure happens and 10 suggestions for avoiding it.
- Too in love with the “strategy” word. Having an IT strategy just so that you can say you have one does not work. Design your strategy, document your strategy, execute your strategy.
- No proper focus on results. Your IT strategy is what allows your IT to give your business what it needs to support its business strategy. Ergo, start with what your business needs. Then strategize from there.
- Lukewarm commitment. Without senior management backing, your IT strategy may already be doomed. Get the backing by showing the benefits senior managers want and need.
- Missing in action. If you don’t involve the people who must execute the strategy, at the time of the creation of the strategy, you’re asking for trouble.
- Frozen in time. Strategies that are unchangeable will never match IT and business environments, both of which are eminently changeable. Strategies too need regular review and adjustment.
- Change is for the others. Strategies can’t work, if those concerned by it ignore it. Your IT team must adapt to the strategy, and the IT and business context.
- Faulty leadership. The head honcho (whoever that is) for getting the IT strategy defined and enacted must have the enthusiasm, the competence, and the clout. Re-empower or replace as required.
- Just too virtual. Strategies, even for virtual computing, must be grounded in reality. Common sense and business awareness are your allies here.
- No accountability. The IT strategy failed, but nobody was to blame – how can that be? A clearly identified person must be accountable and consequences for failure must be known upfront.
- Silly goals. Keep it focused on realistic, manageable requirements that meet the needs of the enterprise. It’s your best chance of getting the results you need.