I have discussed IT strategy here based on the concept of aligning the IT Strategy with the Business Strategy. Steve discusses embedding IT into the business strategy discussion. This is a subtle yet a very important difference. When an IT Strategy is merely aligned with the business strategy it implies that the IT Strategy comes after the business strategy as support. While just creating an IT Strategy is a major step forward for your company, it is still only a partial solution. By embedding IT Strategy and thus the CIO in the Business Strategy process, you now are in the position to take advantage of advances and trends in information technology to influence your Business Strategy.
So how does that help you?
Well let’s look at some companies that have used Information Technology to change their industries.
- Amazon.com completely changed the book retail industry by making technology the business focus.
- Dell is another example of a company that embedded technology in their business strategy to completely change an industry. In fact it so changed the industry that many people don’t even realize how difficult it was to purchase computers before Dell. They leapfrogged over some of the biggest competition in the world, IBM and HP.
- To a lesser extent, Vistaprint has changed the printing industry. You no longer have to find a printer to create business cards and stationary. You go online create your look and the products are printed and shipped directly for a fraction of the cost.
All of these examples are focused on the internet but that is not the only way that technology can be a game changer. Other technology options might include:
- Mobile devices for customer facing applications, executive dashboards, and source data entry
- Document management to reduce paper and copies
- Electronic workflow to replace manual routing of paper forms, such as PO, expense reports, capital authorizations etc., for approval
- Electronic marketing
By including the CIO in the business strategy process, you open your business to experiencing significant leaps in productivity, profitability and customer loyalty! And just as importantly you reap tremendous value and success from your investment in Information Technology.
For more information on this topic read Steven Romero’s blog Read Steve’s blog
Prior posts on IT Strategy
How an IT Strategy helps control IT Spending http://www.hiddenprofitsblog.com/how-to-manage-it-spending
If you would like help with your IT Strategy, contact me at 818-709-6583 or email email@example.com