Why IT Strategy is a Misnomer
There is no such thing as IT Strategy. Or IT Innovation. Or IT Initiatives. There are only business strategies, business innovation and business initiatives, all of which have a key enabling component called Information Technology. Information technologies sole responsibility is to make the business cheaper, better, faster. To do this, IT must be an integral part of the up-front business strategic planning process. WHAT IT can enable, can radically change WHAT a business can effectively do to tackle opportunity, mitigate threats, enhance strengths, and reduce weaknesses. But NOT if they are not part of the up-front process.
Sidenote: Don’t confuse information technology with product engineering. The operational aspect of technology based business solutions is a different animal than an organization geared to produce product for consumption by users.
A Recipe for Disaster
Adding IT into the mix after the fact, adds the additional step of IT-business alignment, as reduces IT, to at best, a service delivery function, or worse, attempting to implement business enabling IT solutions that were fantasized by people that have no concept of the costs, complexity or management of a functioning IT delivery capability. Cost overruns, unmet expectations, security breaches, etc. all are possible outcomes, to deliver what may have not been the optimal solution in the first place, because the process was broken.
If you have to do IT strategy after the fact because you were excluded from the business strategic planning process (a bigger issue), then make sure that 100% of what is defined as IT’s efforts are intrinsically linked to one or more business strategies. Orphaned IT efforts will be a funding struggle, and may require their own defined business strategy to support them, so that they are funded parts of the business operation.