IT Strategy: Does It Still Have Value? Part 2

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by William Dupley

The transformation to Hybrid IT must be led by business objectives.

In the last IT Strategy blog, we began to consider the question: “does IT strategy still have value?” This time, we’re digging deeper into the details of how to build a rapid Hybrid IT transformational plan, to learn how a robust IT strategy can help your business evolve to its full potential.


A helpful illustration of why a multifaceted approach is required for a robust, agile IT strategy is the analogy of constructing a new building. From this angle, there are four factors that should influence whether the construction of a new building is a smart business decision. These points of view are the business view, the technical view, the functional view, and the implementation view, whose relationship is depicted in the graphic below:


If each of these perspectives is not considered and addressed when you’re updating or transforming your IT strategy, it will not be congruent with the needs of your business. This concept has roots in agile software development theory, and it’s applied here to IT strategic planning. This approach focuses on developing a clear set of functional capabilities that a new technical architecture must deliver and is linked directly to the business outcomes that have to be accomplished.

Businesses are changing quickly, and without carefully re-examining goals and projects on a quarterly basis, it is quite possible that a company may continue to work on implementing IT projects and capabilities that are no longer necessary, or worse, miss new opportunities and the required IT projects to support them. This is why I have begun recommending that companies restrict their IT implementation view to four-month iterations, to align better with quarterly performance of a company. This four-month sprint approach has two advantages: it addresses the rapidly changing business demands that technology is putting on companies, and it forces a company to review their business goals and vision and the supporting functional IT requirements on a quarterly basis.

The new IT services you create must reflect what your business and its clients need.

Throughout the years, as I’ve consulted for companies and governments, I’ve witnessed countless companies succeed at transforming their IT operating models. When companies fail to productively transform their IT model, it’s because they haven’t started out on the right foot — they have failed to develop comprehensive business and functional views that the new technical architecture is being created to support. Having such a view should steer all decision-making within the delivery initiative.

The danger in building IT that’s focused solely on the technical view and operates under a “build it and they will come” mindset is that if the IT hasn’t been implemented to address specific business objectives and problems, you may find that no one comes. Your IT model must be driven by the needs of your business, and the new IT services you create must reflect what your business and its clients need.

When implementing new IT strategies and models, the business must also assess how new technologies will influence the current IT operating model from a process, people and technology perspective. As a result, the existing IT Operating model may not evolve into the IT Operating model that was required to support the new Hybrid IT delivery model. The ODCA Cloud Maturity Model was developed to help companies have the in-depth analysis tools needed to analyze the process, people, and technology outcomes required to improve the maturity of the IT operating model. This, in turn, will support the new functional requirements that the business requires.

Ultimately, the transformation to Hybrid IT must be led by business objectives. It must support the business needs, in the timeframe that the business requires. The ODCA cloud maturity model usage manual outlines an assessment methodology for determining the changes that are required to the IT operating model, so as to identify, construct, and support the new functional requirements it must be capable of supporting. It’s available for download below, at the bottom of this blog, and I recommend that you click the button at the end of this blog to download a copy and get started.

Business model changes are mostly driven by technology… and only by implementing a business view based IT strategy, will your company be able to survive.

Now, to come back to my original question, is there still value in IT strategic plan development? Absolutely; strategy is really a military term, that means “a science or art of combining and employing the means of war in planning and directing large military movements and operations.” Consider utilizing an aggressive approach when planning the use of new cloud compute service technology. With ample competition, and an ever-changing market, it is more critical than ever to ensure every aspect is delivered in a cohesive manner to ensure success. I read recently that the average life of a corporation is roughly 14 ½ years. The primary reason businesses are failing? Their inability to adapt to rapidly changing business models. These business model changes are mostly driven by technology… and only by implementing a business view based IT strategy, will your company be able to survive.


Ready to dive into cloud maturity? Read the next post in our series here.


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About the Author

Bill Dupley is a Digital Strategist at FoxNet. He has led IT transformation and strategic planning teams for over 50 companies and governments worldwide and bring extensive experience in IT & Business Strategic Planning, IT process design, and enterprise architecture. Bill has held several positions over his career including the Cloud Chief Technologist for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Canada and Director of Strategy and Business Development for HPE Canada Consulting.

He is a graduate of Ryerson University, a former member of the HPE IT Global SWAT Team, and a member of the Open Data Center Alliance Cloud Maturity Model authorship team. He is dedicated to helping customers equip themselves rapidly for our ever-changing technological world