Lost without an ICT strategy? – Don’t fall down the cracks!
Why is having an up-to-date and relevant ICT strategy so important?
The purpose of a digital strategy is being questioned more and more as agile delivery practices become more and more popular, but we believe a strategy is still incredibly important for a number of different reasons. In the following blog post, we discuss why we believe it is still so important and how this can enable company agility in organisations rather than hinder it.
Just having a strategy and putting the right framework in place to follow it, in itself can be a game-changer. We see strategies of all shapes and sizes in the work that we do but it’s those organisations that have thought about, written down, and have buy-in from all types of stakeholders where effective change is happening. However having a strong strategy that has:
- Been aligned to the needs, aims, and objectives of the organisation
- Has a buy-in from both technical and business stakeholders at all levels of the organisation
- Is discussed and updated by the right people at the right time
- Focusses delivery teams to achieve what they are aiming for and striving towards
- Saves time, stress, and money from delivering something that isn’t providing value to the organisation
- Can help act as a baseline for continual effective delivery to take place
Against the backdrop of combining complex ICT change with keeping the lights on, it’s easy to see why projects get lost in the day-to-day and transformations fail. One of the reasons why transformations do struggle is when strategies are seen as a one-time event. Often, we hear, “we have a 3-year strategy, and we will revisit it in 3 years”. Something that is a tick in the box, done that, got a strategy!
However, we believe that if a strategy is to be used properly, it should be something that you continually return to, reference and check. Just like a business has a business plan that is continually checked against KPI’s, market changes, etc – an ICT strategy also needs to be continually assessed against aims, objectives, and technology trends. Each month or each quarter we believe the strategy and the strategic plan for ICT should be checked and the following questions posed:
- Have business priorities changed and if so how is this currently impacting upon the services we deliver or need to deliver in the future?
- Has the business strategy changed and if so, what is this going to mean for the current strategic initiatives we had in the plan?
- What is missing from our ICT strategy to ensure desired business outcomes are achieved?
We believe these questions should be continually asked, challenging your ICT strategy is fit for the purpose. Historically we believe organisations have been scared to change an ICT strategy as it was deemed as something that is set in stone but it’s really about how it is positioned within your organisation. At CoStratify we are recommending that adaptive ICT strategies should be the approach, set within a framework to continually drive value from the strategy and flex to the business needs, aims and objectives. Clearly, there are limits to the flexibility before continually changing the strategy becomes a burden but we recommend strategies are used as an overall direction or intent to aid in continually adapting the performance of ICT to meet the desired outcomes of the business.
It would be interesting to understand how many organisations have revisited their ICT strategy after the impact of the last 12 months? If your ICT strategy hasn’t been reviewed since the start of the pandemic, we would seriously recommend this is revisited and re-mapped against the priorities of the business in the wake of the pandemic.
We’re seeing more and companies seeking help from CoStratify to provide independent guidance to realign strategies post-pandemic. We’d welcome your thoughts and if you too would like an independent review, then of course get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.
CoStratify 100% Independent and Ethical consulting – creating strategic direction, forming strong evidence for change with no hidden agendas.