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IT Strategy and Effectiveness

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For IT leaders, it’s often hard enough to determine whether the IT organization is prepared to take on the everyday challenges of doing business - much less anything beyond the normal call of duty. At the very least, it may feel like they’re walking a tightrope. A chronic sense of unease often comes with the job.

Likewise it is often difficult for technology leaders to scratch below the surface to find out whether their organization is prepared for the unexpected - such as: when the industry undergoes a fundamental shift, or when the company decides to expand into new geographies, or their biggest competitor makes a breakthrough. Or maybe the challenge comes by way of a change in leadership. No matter how you slice it, big change is inevitable.

There are lots of different variations on the same framework for improving an organization’s IT strategy. The real difference typically lies in the execution. That’s where Deloitte excels. We work to understand our clients’ overarching business strategy at a deep level, going far beyond the C-Suite to get the insights we need. We create solutions that are sharply focused while taking the full operating model into account, from people and intellectual capital to technology and processes. And when it comes time to put technology to work, we bring a demonstrated depth of knowledge to solution design, selection and implementation. Learn more about the offering.

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Ready for whatever's next
Whatever the challenge, having an effective IT strategy in place can make the difference between a resounding success and a near miss - not just for the IT organization, but for the whole company. That’s a big opportunity for technology leaders, who face a range of choices for preparing the IT organization for whatever’s next. Some wait for the business to take the lead, then roll with the punches. Others put new software solutions in place and hope for the best. For those who want to change with the business and help shape the course together, or for those revolutionaries who like to stay a step ahead of the business, a broad IT strategy can be a valuable tool.

How we can help

There are many different variations on the same framework for improving an organization’s IT strategy. The real difference typically lies in the execution. That’s where Deloitte excels. We work to understand your overarching business strategy at a deep level, going far beyond the C-Suite to get the insights we need. We create solutions that are sharply focused while taking the full operating model into account, from people and intellectual capital to technology and processes. And when it comes time to put technology to work, we bring a demonstrated depth of knowledge to solution design, selection and implementation.

Just as importantly, we are responsive and efficient. Often, in a matter of weeks, our clients are poised to make more effective decisions to support their business objectives. Here are some of the deliverables we offer to help clients align their business and IT strategy:

  • Future-state business capability recommendations
  • A snapshot of relevant industry and technology trends
  • Applications portfolio assessment and improvement opportunities
  • IT process, organization and sourcing assessment and improvement opportunities
  • IT funding recommendations
  • An IT roadmap that brings it all together

Bottom-line benefits

  • Synchronize business and technology strategies
  • Improve business value of IT investments
  • Drive competitive advantage through technology
  • Increase effectiveness and efficiency of the IT organization
  • Reduce risk with the right IT processes, skills and organization
  • Improve business value of IT investments
  • Develop a business-aligned application portfolio that drives shareholder value by balancing short-term needs with long-term business goals
  • Increase effectiveness and efficiency of the vendor selection process
  • Reduce application selection time and risk with a data-driven approach

Six ways to get more value now

An effective IT strategy should enable IT to operate like a business rather than a cost center. That means taking a fresh look at stakeholders, plans and outcomes, while keeping business strategy front and center. We’ve helped many of the world’s leading companies make their IT programs more effective. Here are a few things we’ve learned along the way:

Focus on what matters most. Take the time to understand explicitly the issues the organization faces, how they are related and how they affect performance. Determine how performance will trend if nothing changes and where the leverage points are for a high-impact IT strategy.

Identify well-defined required capabilities. Business capabilities are what the business needs to have in place to achieve its objectives, such as knowledge of something or the ability to do something. An effective IT strategy links to the business strategy by enabling these business capabilities.

Define what you do. Leading IT organizations do not passively wait for requests to come in the door. They proactively publish a list of the business services they provide - and they describe them in business terms.

Establish decision rights. Adopting and implementing an effective IT strategy requires making choices. What should be done first? Who pays for what? Successful organizations agree on a detailed IT governance mechanism before they face key decisions.

Win the hearts and minds. If the IT strategy is to enable improved performance, something must change: improving means changing. That implies that new behaviors will be needed both within and beyond the IT organization. Success requires understanding and influencing the drivers of those behaviors.

Define an actionable plan. An effective IT strategy formulation is not a vague statement of aspiration, but a pragmatic, step-by-step action plan with well-defined responsibilities and milestones.

IT Strategy and Effectiveness in action

  • When a leading sales and marketing organization needed to expand into new markets, we helped the company examine its core strategy in areas such as business capabilities, IT organizational structure and the desired future state of its applications portfolio in four weeks. As a result, the company was able to set clear goals for ongoing technology investments that would contribute to its most important business goals.
  • A leading wine and spirits producer needed an IT strategy that matched its aggressive business goals. Over an eight-week period, we assessed the company’s enterprise architecture and offered a solution for its future-state applications strategy. The strategy was built on the company’s business plans – and when presented to senior executives, it was approved.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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