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CIO Strategy Guide by IDC on Alignment of IT w/ Business Strategy

SITUATION OVERVIEW Aligning IT strategies with business strategies has been a mantra for CIOs for quite a few years. Yet, despite the apparent straightforward nature of the endeavor, many CIOs struggle to achieve that alignment. The rapid rise of digital technologies and transformation has significantly raised the bar — now, CIOs must find synergies and multiplier effects, not just business alignment, and that has a big impact on the creation of IT strategies.

IT strategy logically flows from the enterprise business vision, mission, goals, and strategies — especially digital business strategies. Collectively, they should anchor and guide IT strategy development. Yet IT strategy should also inform business strategy by presenting new and unexpected opportunities and capabilities. CIOs and strategy development stakeholders must cycle back and forth between business and IT strategies to maximize synergies.

CIOs need to find new process-driven approaches to formulating strategy in the new world where technology is found in every aspect of the business. An effective strategy development process is inclusive of all stakeholders, reliably identifies the most critical business needs and opportunities, objectively assesses the current state of IT and the enterprise, surfaces and vets all salient IT strategic initiatives and opportunities, explains how business and IT success will be measured, and engages and motivates all those who must embrace, support, and execute the strategy.

This study lays out a process for creating IT strategy (see Figure 2). It explains how CIOs can envision and develop new IT strategies, identifies key activities and actions for each step, and provides advice on ensuring effectiveness and adoption of an IT strategy. (Note that implementation and execution of the strategy are not discussed here — the study focuses on how to create an IT strategy.)

Full report by IDC here:

Download PDF • 1.22MB

Check out last week's panel in which M. Allen moderated with several financial service company executives participating on the trends in tech:

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