Chief Information Officers (CIOs) must assist the entire organization in comprehending how information and technology allow for business skills that drive success. This requires them to take lead in developing, articulating, and implementing an IT strategy that helps their organization stand out.
By visualizing the business model in a way that can be easily shared for collaboration throughout the company, storytelling assists CIOs and IT leaders in engaging business leaders in important business conversations.
In four easy steps, you can write your strategy story:
Step 1: Identify and define what success means
Successful businesses set themselves apart in one of three ways:
- Understanding the Customer: Get intimate insight into exactly what the customer wants and needs better than anyone else in the market.
- Adopting the Ideal Operations Model: Setup a streamlined process that delivers value seamlessly at affordable cost.
- Become a Leader in the Market: Enable your organization to become innovative and become a disruptor.
Learn how Managed Teams enables you to just that here.
Step 2: Recognize and prioritize your unique selling points
Knowing which strategy your organization employs might help you focus on the strategic decisions and investments you need to make, for example:
- Understanding the Customer: More resources would be devoted to enhancing your marketing technology stack to allow for omni-channel communication and account-based marketing tactics to help you understand your customers' needs in a bid to create superior products and services.
- Adopting the Ideal Operations Model: If you identify an operations model that allows your business to deliver software smarter and better; more resources should be allocated towards hiring the needed expertise and tools required to ensure the model's success is sustained.
- Become a Leader in the Market: Greater resources to innovation processes and plans to ensure your products are launched faster to market ahead of the competition.
Step 3: Develop an IT strategy narrative from specific perspectives
Choose a vantage point from which to tell the story of your strategy. Consider the following scenarios:
- Stakeholder perspective: Identify all players in the story, from the personnel who provide service to the customers who get goods and services. Tell the story from each of these stakeholders' points of view.
- Product perspective: Place an image of the client or product and discuss what you need to do as an organization to make your customer happy or your product successful.
- Process perspective: Identify up to top ten core business processes that, when optimized, will achieve business success. Identify the capabilities created by the process for that success to be delivered.
Step 4: Ongoing IT strategy optimization must be in mind
Keep in mind that this is an iterative process that should be revisited and tweaked as needed.
The image below highlights the 3 broad stroke objectives to always keep in mind when optimizing your IT strategy in a process-driven approach over 3 to 6 years:
- Years 1–2 (the foundation): Invest in IT, laying the groundwork for future expansion.
- Years 3–4: Eliminate redundancy and complexity from business operations.
- Years 5–6: Expand the company by providing clients with value-added services.
Convert the strategy narrative into a strategic plan
IT leaders can close the strategy-to-execution gap by developing a strategic plan that specifically defines the roadmap of initiatives and portfolio of investments required to execute on the strategy by capturing the strategy in a way that makes it easier to communicate and engage with business leaders.
The strategic plan can also be summarized, visualized, and communicated on a single page, giving IT leaders a useful tool to summarize, visualize, and express the relationship between the strategy and the strategic plan.
The one-page IT strategic plan highlights the important inputs and links them to the strategic plan output's key sections.
Any business strategic plan must have the following three elements:
- Objectives: Profitable growth, operational excellence, customer experience, and compliance excellence are the company's goals.
- Capabilities: Expected to influence business outcomes; in fact, a single skill is likely to influence several business goals.
- KPIs (Key Performance Indicators): It's used to see if you're meeting your objectives.
Then construct a deployment roadmap for each enabling capability and endeavour, as well as a cross-enterprise dependency and risk tracker.
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