From: Tim Cowland, Senior consultant, Sovereign Business Integration Group
Sir – For any organisation looking at their IT strategy, hoping for a supplier to wave a magic wand and deliver a ready-made solution without time and effort being spent by the organisation themselves may be a nice fantasy, but unfortunately that’s not reality. To develop and implement an effective IT strategy takes commitment, communication, expertise and collaboration between the IT supplier of choice and in-house staff with the knowledge of local issues. This partnership approach is more likely to deliver change which works effectively for the business.
The possibility of buying an ‘off the shelf’ strategy can be a common misconception. The key to developing a comprehensive strategy is found by taking a step back to identify what the organisational goals are, to check what gaps there are in IT services preventing the delivery of these goals and agree how to best fill them. Added to the mix will be a view of the market to assess what wider issues can influence your strategy. This work may be delivered through your IT partner, your in-house resource or, more likely, a combination of both. There will be some elements where those who know your business best can deliver and advise on exactly what is appropriate, and some instances where those with a wider view of the industry can bring a new perspective to the mix and promote alternative thinking.
In developing any IT strategy, a combination of the right set of skills is the key to success. An organisation’s dependence on IT services continues to grow and the responsibility for the development of those services is therefore increasingly unlikely to be planned by one single party alone. Choosing the right balance between local and industry-wide expertise will ensure you have an IT strategy with the right focus to deliver success.