IT strategy (information technology strategy) is a comprehensive plan that outlines how technology should be used to meet IT and business goals. An IT strategy, also called a technology strategy or IT/technology strategic plan, is a written document that details the multiple factors that affect the organization's investment in and use of technology.
It should cover all facets of technology management, including cost management, human capital management, hardware and software management, vendor management and risk management.
Executing an IT strategy requires strong IT leadership; the chief information officer (CIO) and chief technology officer (CTO) need to work closely with business, budget and legal departments as well as with other lines of business and user groups to achieve its success.
Organizations formalize their IT strategy in a written document or balanced scorecard strategy map. The plan and its documentation should be flexible enough to change in response to new organizational circumstances, market and industry conditions, business priorities and objectives, budgetary constraints, available skill sets and core competencies, technology advances, and user needs.
Basics of an IT strategy
A strong IT strategy provides a blueprint of how technology supports and shapes the organization's overall business strategy. Its strategic goals should mirror business projects (aka business alignment) and take into account the needs of key stakeholders including employees, customers and business partners.
The strategy should offer a look at the organization's current technology posture and provide an idea of where IT should head over the next three to five years.
There are different models that help executives construct an IT strategy, yet most contain certain key elements including:
A high-level overview of the IT department that covers its mission, core values, objectives and approaches to accomplishing its goals.
Current budgets and spending forecasts for a multiyear timeline.
An outline of current and future IT projects and initiatives with timelines and milestones.
A catalog of existing enterprise architecture; IT department capabilities and capacities; and future needs and requirements with details about infrastructure, staffing and other necessary resources.
An analysis of IT's strengths and weaknesses.
A list of the internal and external forces (such as market and industry trends) that shape current technology requirements and innovations as well as the future forces expected to shape IT.
A prediction of the potential opportunities and vulnerabilities that will necessitate technology responses to best position the organization for success.
Technology strategy (information technology strategy or IT strategy) is the overall plan which consist of objective(s), principles and tactics relating to use of the technologies within a particular organization. Such strategies primarily focus on the technologies themselves and in some cases the people who directly manage those technologies. The strategy can be implied from the organization's behaviors towards technology decisions, and may be written down in a document.
Other generations of technology-related strategies primarily focus on: the efficiency of the company's spending on technology; how people, for example the organization's customers and employees, exploit technologies in ways that create value for the organization; on the full integration of technology-related decisions with the company's strategies and operating plans, such that no separate technology strategy exists other than the de facto strategic principle that the organization does not need or have a discrete 'technology strategy'.
A technology strategy has traditionally been expressed in a document that explains how technology should be utilized as part of an organization's overall corporate strategy and each business strategy. In the case of IT, the strategy is usually formulated by a group of representatives from both the business and from IT. Often the Information Technology Strategy is led by an organization's Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or equivalent. Accountability varies for an organization's strategies for other classes of technology. Although many companies write an overall business plan each year, a technology strategy may cover developments somewhere between 3 and 5 years into the future.
The United States identified the need to implement a technology strategy in order to restore the country's competitive edge. In 1983 Project Socrates, a US Defense Intelligence Agency program, was established to develop a national technology strategy policy.
== Effective strategy == For a strategy to be effective, it should answer questions of how to create value, deliver value, and capture value:
• In order to create value one needs to trace back the technology and forecast on how the technology evolves, how the market penetration changes, and how to organize effectively.
• To capture value one should know how to compete to gain a competitive advantage and sustain it, and how to compete in case that standards of technology is important.
• The final step is delivering the value, where firms defines how to execute the strategy, make strategic decisions and take decisive actions. The Strategic Alignment Process is a step by step process that helps managers stay focused on specific task in order to execute the task and deliver
• 1 Business–technology alignment
• 2 Meta-model of (IT) technology strategy
• 3 Framework of (IT) technology strategy
• 4 Typical structure of a (IT) technology strategy
• 5 Audience
• 6 Relationship between strategy and enterprise technology architecture
• 7 See also
• 8 Notes
• 9 References
Primary objective of designing technology strategy is to make sure that the business strategy can be realized through technology and technology investments are aligned to business. There are frameworks (e.g. ASSIMPLER) to study current and future business strategy, assess business-IT alignment on various parameters, identify gaps, and define technology roadmaps and budgets. Technology strategy facilitates the attainment of a company's vision through alignment of its information technology strategy with its business strategy.
The important components of information tech-strategy is information technology and strategic planning working together.
The IT strategy alignment is the capability of IT functionality to both shape, and support business strategy (Henderson and Venkatraman, 1993).
The degree to which the IT mission, objectives, and plans support and are supported by the business mission, objective, and plans (Reich and Benbasat, 2000)
Meta-model of (IT) technology strategy
Aligned with Statement Of Applicability (SOA) approach, IT strategy is composed of IT Capability Model (ITCM) and IT Operating Model (IT-OM) as proposed by Haloedscape IT Strategy Model.
Framework of (IT) technology strategy
Process of IT Strategy is simplified with framework constituted of IT Service Management (ITIL), Enterprise Architecture Development (TOGAF) and Governance (COBIT). IT Strategy is modeled as vertical IT service applied to and supported by each horizontal layers of SOA architecture. For details, refer Haloedscape IT Strategy Framework.
Typical structure of a (IT) technology strategy
The following are typically sections of a technology strategy:
• Executive Summary – This is a summary of the IT strategy
o High level organizational benefits
o Project objective and scope
o Approach and methodology of the engagement
o Relationship to overall business strategy
o Resource summary
Summary of key projects
• Internal capabilities
o IT project portfolio management – An inventory of current projects being managed by the information technology department and their status. Note: It is not common to report current project status inside a future-looking strategy document. Show Return on Investment (ROI) and timeline for implementing each application.
o An catalog of existing applications supported and the level of resources required to support them
o Architectural directions and methods for implementation of IT solutions
o Current IT departmental
Includes a SWOT Analysis SWOT_analysis
o Current IT departments strengths
o Current IT department weaknesses
• External Forces
o Summary of changes driven from outside the organization
o Rising expectations of users
Example: Growth of high-quality web user interfaces driven by Ajax technology
Example: Availability of open-source learning management systems
o List of new IT projects requested by the organization
o Description of new cost reduction or efficiency increase opportunities
Example: List of available Professional Service contractors for short term projects
o Description of how Moore's law (faster processors, networks or storage at lower costs) will impact the organization's ROI for technology p
o Description of disruptive forces that could cause the organization to become less profitable or competitive
o Analysis IT usage by competition
• IT Organization structure and Governance
o IT organization roles and responsibilities
o IT role description
o IT governance
o List of monthly, quarterly or mid-year milestones and review dates to indicate if the strategy is on track
o List milestone name, deliverables and metrics
A technology strategy document is usually designed to be read by non-technical stakeholders involved in business planning within an organization. It should be free of technical jargon and information technology acronyms.
The IT strategy should also be presented or read by internal IT staff members. Many organizations will circulate prior year versions to internal IT department for feedback. The feedback is used to create new annual IT strategy plans.
One critical integration point is the interface with an organization's marketing plan. The marketing plan frequently requires the support of a web site to create an appropriate on-line presence. Large organizations frequently have complex web site requirements such as web content management.
Relationship between strategy and enterprise technology architecture
A technology strategy document typically refers to but does not duplicate an overall enterprise architecture. The technology strategy may refer to:
• High-level view of logical architecture of information technology systems
• High-level view of physical architecture of information technology systems
• Technology rationalization plan
• Business strategy
• Digital strategy
• Enterprise planning systems
• Project portfolio management
• Second half of the chessboard
1. Information Technology Strategy Projects
2. Bernd, Bernd. Strategy Execution.
4. Singh, Neeraj (2015). Essential strategy and enterprise architecture : strategy and enterprise architecture for business-aligned, SOA-based IT solution developed through different phases of preliminaries & foundation, business architecture, information system architecture, application & data architecture, platform & technology architecture. Middletown, DE: Haloedscape Haves. ISBN 978-1-5078-4014-6.
• Floyd, S.W. & Wolf, C. (2010) 'Technology Strategy' In: Narayanan, V.K. & O'Connor, G.C. (eds.) Encyclopedia of technology and innovation management. West Sussex: Wiley pp. 125–128. ISBN 1-4051-6049-7
• Lawson, J (2006) "Delivering on Strategy: Those That Can...Do!! Those Who Simply Talk... Make Another Fine Mess", "Spectra – Journal of the MCA, June 2006" See Article Here.
• Strassmann, Paul A. (1990), The Business Value of Computers: An Executive's Guide, The Information Economic Press ISBN 0-9620413-2-7.
• The Human Capital Impact on e-Business: The Case of Encyclopædia Britannica. This case study is widely quoted example how technology has large impacts an overall organization's overall business strategy.
• J. C., Henderson; , N. Venkatraman. "Strategic alignment: Leveraging information technology for transforming organizations". IBM research. Retrieved 7 November 2013
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Technology_strategy&oldid=806120454"
• This page was last edited on 19 October 2017, at 20:49.
A digital strategy is a form of strategic management and a business answer or response to a digital question, often best addressed as part of an overall business strategy. A digital strategy is often characterized by the application of new technologies to existing business activity and/or a focus on the enablement of new digital capabilities to their business (such as those created by the Information Age and often as a result of advancements in digital technologies such as computers, data, telecommunications, Internet, etc.). As is the case with its business strategy parent, a digital strategy can be formulated and implemented through a variety of different approaches. Formulation often includes the process of specifying an organization's vision, goals, opportunities and related activities in order to maximize the business benefits of digital initiatives to an organization. These can range from an enterprise focus, which considers the broader opportunities and risks digital can create and often includes customer intelligence, collaboration, new product/market exploration, sales and service optimization, enterprise technology architectures and processes, innovation and governance; to more marketing and customer-focused efforts such as web sites, mobile, eCommerce, social, site and search engine optimization, and advertising.
• 1 Overview
o 1.1 Identifying the key opportunities and/or challenges in a business
o 1.2 Identifying the unmet needs and goals of external stakeholders (consumers of online assets)
o 1.3 Developing a vision and prioritizing a set of online initiatives
• 2 Personas
• 3 Execution
• 4 Digital strategy vs. online strategy
• 5 References
• 6 External links
There, are numerous approaches to conducting digital strategy, but at their core, all go through four steps:
1. identifying the opportunities and/or challenges in a business where online assets can provide a solution;
2. identifying the unmet needs and goals of the external stakeholders that most closely align with those key business opportunities and/or challenges;
3. developing a vision around how the online assets will fulfill those business and external stakeholder needs, goals, opportunities and challenges, and
4. prioritizing a set of online initiatives which can deliver on this vision.
Within each of those stages, a number of techniques and analyses may be employed.
Identifying the key opportunities and/or challenges in a business
• Stakeholder interviews
Includes one-on-one interviews, group interviews and workshops with a company's senior management, marketing and sales, operations and service stakeholders with a goal of understanding the business strategy, challenges and opportunities, products, organization, processes, supply chain and vendors, distributors, customers, and competitive landscape, as well as the potential role of their online assets.
• Competitor analysis
Includes evaluations of a company's main competitors and potential substitutes with the goal of understanding a company's strengths and weaknesses relative to their competitors and potential substitutes. While this often includes steps found in traditional marketing competitor analysis, such as products, prices, etc. Competitor analysis includes two unique items:
1. Heuristic evaluation: An evaluation by an expert of the usability and user experience of a company's online assets compared and contrasted to those of its competitors and potential substitutes.
2. Features/functionality analysis: An evaluation of the features and functionality provided by a company's online assets, compared and contrasted to those of its competitors and potential substitutes.
• Financial analysis
An analysis of a company's financial data (which may include everything from public financial statements to private ERP data) with the goal of understanding the financial impact (positive and negative) that certain changes would have on a company.
• Bridge between business challenges and digital roadmap
ASSIMPLER Blueprinting - The Business Blueprinting of the organization is designed based on the ASSIMPLER framework. ASSIMPLER stands for Availability, Scalability, Security, Interoperability, Maintainability, Performance, Low cost of ownership, Extendability and Reliability - applied to business services and processes. The framework helps model the business expectations and challenges to be addressed through the Digital Strategy.
Identifying the unmet needs and goals of external stakeholders (consumers of online assets)
• External stakeholder interviews
Includes one-on-one interviews and focus groups with a company's external stakeholders, with a goal of understanding external stakeholders behaviours, needs, goals and perceptions of the company and their industry both in the broadest business context as well as specifically online. In addition to standard marketing strategy methodologies and questions (quantitative and qualitative), external stakeholder interviews for Digital Strategy may include usability testing, an analysis of how effectively external stakeholders can use the online assets developed by a company for their intended purposes. In digital strategy this is used to uncover usability barriers that may prevent the online vision being achieved.
• Ethnographic research
An analysis of external stakeholder behaviors in their environment, for example: field observations of shoppers in a store. In addition to standard ethnographic research, digital strategy research may include video recording of an external stakeholder using their computers or specific computer applications or web sites.
• Web analytics
An analysis of the usage patterns of a company's online assets with the goal of better understanding external stakeholder behavior as well as identifying strengths and weakness of the company's current online offerings. This may include understanding how many people are visiting a web site, what are the most popular pages, what are the most popular paths, where are people coming from, where do they drop off, how long do they stay, etc.
• Performance assessment: Review of effectiveness of current digital technologies.
• Funnel analysis
A specific methodology for web analytics where the company's online assets are modeled as a sales funnel, with a visit or impression representing a new lead, a certain page or action in the web site considered a conversion (such as a user hitting the purchase confirmation page) and specific pages in the web site representing specific stages of the sales funnel. The goal of the analysis is to provide insight into the overall conversion rate as well as the key weak points of the funnel (the stages in which the largest percentages of users drop out of the funnel). This may also involve analysis of a company's search engine optimization situation and changes in online traffic pathways.
• Analytical CRM
An analysis of a company's customer databases and information repositories with the goal of segmenting customers into homogeneous groups across one or more dimensions of behavior, demographics, value, product or marketing message affinity, etc. In digital strategy this often includes the online customer registration database which companies use to provide access to their customer specific, protected areas.
• Multichannel analysis
An analysis of a customer's behavior (such as their purchase or service behavior) that looks across all of the different channels, in which customers interact with a company's products or information. There are lots of different ways to do this; a representative example would be, a company focuses on the customer purchase process (how a customer becomes aware of a product, how a customer develops the intent to purchase a product, and how a customer actually purchases the product). The analysis would look at which channels (for example: phone, catalog, retail store, web site, 3rd party search engine, etc.) a customer uses at which stage of the purchase process, attempting to understand why each channel is used, each channel's relative attribution and evaluating the company's strengths or weaknesses in that particular channel for the particular stage of the process.
• Statistical surveys
An approach to the collection of external stakeholder feedback in a quantitative manner from a large population. In digital strategy, surveys may be used to validate or invalidate key questions raised in more qualitative exercises such as external stakeholder interviews and focus groups. Depending on the breadth of the survey population and the degree of variation within the population, survey results may be segmented to form homogeneous groups across one or more dimensions of behavior, demographics, value, product or marketing message affinity, etc. Surveys are often conducted online using web surveys, e-mail lists, or 3rd party panels, although phone surveys or other offline methods may sometimes be used when there are questions as to the online savviness of a particular target population.
Developing a vision and prioritizing a set of online initiatives
• Business plan or case
A spreadsheet with supporting documentation that quantifies the investments and returns over time, resulting from the execution of the online strategy. The Business plan also defines the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will be used to measure and evaluate the success of the online strategy.
• Technical assessment
A design of a technical architecture which will meet the needs of the business vision and conform to the business plan and roadmap. This is often done as a gap analysis where the current technical architecture is assessed. A future technical architecture, which meets the needs of the online vision, is designed. The gaps between the current state and future state are identified, and a series of initiatives or projects to fill those gaps are developed and sequenced.
• Organizational and process assessment
Similar to a technical assessment, organizational and process assessments look at the changes that need to be made to an organization and its processes in order to achieve the online vision. They may involve a series of business process reengineering projects focused on the areas of an organization most affected by the online initiatives.
• Portfolio management
A way of prioritizing various initiatives by comparing their cost of implementation with their expected business benefits. This is often done by creating a two by two matrix where cost of implementation runs along the x-axis (from high cost to low cost) and expected business benefit runs along the y-axis, from low benefit to high benefit. Individual initiatives or projects are then plotted on the matrix in terms of their calculated costs and benefits. Priorities are then determined according to which projects will provide the greatest benefit for the lowest cost.
• Online media plan
A plan detailing the allocation of media spending across online media (such as search engine marketing, banner advertising, and affiliate marketing) usually as part of the customer acquisition or retention elements of the digital strategy. Since the late 2000s, social media has become increasingly important in engaging with customers both for marketing and customer support purposes, especially benefiting smaller businesses.
• Proof of concept
Graphical representations or an outline of key ideas or processes of the digital strategy. These are often created in order to better communicate a key concept or to build excitement among stakeholders when building consensus or socializing a digital strategy.
A high-level project plan which details the durations and dependencies of all the initiatives in the digital strategy. The roadmap will often include checkpoints to assess the progress and success of the digital strategy, over time.
• Measurement plan
A description of the key performance indicators used to measure the effectiveness of the digital strategy as well as the process for collecting and sharing this information. The measurement plan usually covers the financial, operational, and e-business metrics and their relationships.
• Governance model
The organizational structure, roles, and process description of the operational entity that will manage the initiatives in a digital strategy. The governance model describes who is responsible for what, how decisions are made, how issues are escalated, and how information on the performance of the projects is communicated within the organization.
As of 2007, a trend in digital strategy is the use of personas as a framework for using customer information to prioritize online initiatives. Personas are character sketches which represent a typical member of one customer segment and highlights their needs, goals and behaviors. Because it is representative of a customer segment, it allows decision makers to prioritize various features based on the needs of the segment. Because it is a character sketch, it is sometimes easier for decision makers to internalize the key needs of the segment than it would be by reading large quantities of information. A typical approach is to create the segment based on customer analysis such as customer interviews, ethnographic research, and statistical surveys. Then assemble key decision makers or stakeholders, present the findings of the personas, and use them to kick start a brainstorming session around different online initiatives which can meet the personas needs and goals.
Historically, execution of a business or digital strategy is done as a big bang, with large initiatives such as site redesigns and transactional systems taking 6–12 months to develop and often an additional 6–12 months before they deliver any results. As of 2007, a trend has emerged where companies adopt a more iterative approach to rolling out their strategies, one which leverages a series of smaller tests, which are carefully measured and analyzed and used to modify or optimize the digital strategy. An example of this test-measure-optimize-scale approach is that a company might take some key pages on their site and test a number of versions of those pages with different marketing messages, design approaches, user experience optimizations, navigation optimizations, and even new features and functions using a multivariate or A/B test. The company would then identify the page which had the best combination of changes in terms of some key business metric (such as conversion), analyzing the results to understand which changes were most instrumental in affecting the high conversion rate, and applying those learnings to future pages and future tests (conversion optimization). The advantage of this approach is that in the long run, it tends to be more successful in delivering business results, because each step is measured and adjusted for. In addition, it tends to favor smaller (less risky, less expensive) steps rather than larger (more risky, more expensive) initiatives before getting the payback. The disadvantage is that over time this approach tends to converge on a solution (local optimum), not necessarily the best solution (global optimum) that might have been reached if a company starts from scratch instead of building each step on the previous one. Another disadvantage is that although this solution tends to favor smaller, more incremental changes, there is often a larger up front cost to setting up all the measurement systems and staffing a company with the right analysts and change processes to react to these tests in a timely and effective manner. As a result, companies often adopt a mix of big bang efforts augmented by some smaller, more iterative efforts as part of their overall strategy. A person who is primarily focused on digital strategy may be referred to as a digital architect or digital strategist and a person who executes a digital strategy may be referred to as a digital marketing engineer.
Digital strategy vs. online strategy
The two terms, "digital strategy" and "online strategy", tend to be thrown out somewhat interchangeably. However, there is some consensus around the differences between digital strategy and online strategy. According to some, digital strategy refers to the strategy a company takes to become a digital company, where digital connotes deeper interactions with their customers, more customized and personalized offerings and interactions, data driven decision making, and organizational models and processes that are more reactive to changes in the company's environment. Online is a subset of digital, as there may be digital assets which are not online. In this context, a company may use the term online strategy to be limited to the development of plans to deploy their online assets to maximize business results and digital strategy to be the more transformative step of changing the organization, although the latter is also referred as a digital transformation strategy. 
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5. Wright, Macala. "How to Develop Your Digital Strategy". Mashable.com. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
6. Center for Digital Strategies (2003): Enabling a Customer-Focused Organization: Thought Leadership Summit on Digital Strategies, Center for Digital Strategies at the Tuck School of Business and Cisco Systems
7. Quinn (2006): Ready for the Digital Future?,pg. 30-31, Supply Chain Management Review.
8. Nielsen (2004): How Big is the Difference Between Websites?, Jakob Nielsens Alertbox.
9. Sibley, Dave; Johnson, Eric (2013). "Case Studies" (PDF). Vincent L. Lacorte Case Studies. Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
10. Anderson, Ken (March 2009). "Ethnographic Research: A Key to Strategy". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
11. Extra Paycheck Blog (2014): Online Business Training, Online Marketing.
12. Fong, Richard (27 March 2014). "The Evolution of SEO: How Digital Marketing Has Changed in the Last 5 Years". BlissDrive. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
13. Bean (2001): The Application of Technology to Marketing: A Twenty Year Perspective,pg. 5, Center for Digital Strategies at the Tuck School of Business.
14. Paul Jasper (2015): The Increasing Importance of Real-Time Marketing. Digitalmarketingmagazine.
15. Kim (2006): Reinventing The Marketing Organization: Customer Groups Should Trump Channels, Products, Or Geography. Forrester.
16. Burns (2006): Leaders Take A Strategic Approach To Web Analytics. Forrester.
17. Davenport (2006): Competing on Analytics, Harvard Business Review, January 2006.
18. Matt, Christian; Hess, Thomas; Benlian, Alexander (2015). Digital Transformation Strategies, Business and Information Systems Engineering, 57(5), 339–343.
• Egger Ph., Vacheron J. and Archer L., Digital Strategies in Genre-Defining Magazines, ECAL / Lausanne, 2015
• Sanjay Banka FCA FCS. CFO role in driving Digital Strategy 
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• This page was last edited on 25 December 2017, at 07:23.
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