Strategy – Strategy can be defined as simply, “the deliberate application of means to achieve business vision and goal-related ends ” and are used to coordinate the accomplishment of goals.
I have found the key to matching the expectation for technology within the company is to define our IT strategy into the following four areas – financial, business, customer and internal. These four areas drive the desired performance for the company into meeting its goals. These form a comprehensive view of the company’s performance. Used systematically, they can lead to a major power shift in how the company performs competitively.
Let’s take a closer look at these four areas, their meaning and application.
• Financial – what financial performance do we want to achieve; purchase applications for a set amount and ensure maintenance is locked in for the duration of the contract.
• Business – what business processes must we excel at to accomplish the company’s goals; how well can our systems scale to manage volume or how quickly are our systems learned by new users.
• Customer – what do internal and external customers expect from IT; tracking activities that provide useful feature sets to a web-based purchasing application.
• Internal – how does IT continually learn and improve on their goals; how well do we provide users with the tools they need to be successful.
The trick is to collect enough of these metrics, selecting 4 to 8 of the most important and relevant ones as your criteria. If you can move IT into delivering these capabilities then your strategy has accomplished its goal.