When strategists sharpen their analysis, they often build plans of specialization, diversification, internationalization, or vertical integration regarding a company. For products, decisions are wiath respect of development, retention or divestment.
All of these impacts Lines of Business and IT division .
Specialization means developing certain products and giving up others. Diversification is about investing in new products. Internationalization could occur along with specialization or diversification. And vertical integration impacts more supply chain than products.
In any case, plans execution must be prepared and carried out jointly by Business Directions and IT Division.
Consequently, projects are natural ways of working for companies.
Besides delivering the service with existing systems, companies ask IT divisions to extend or to reconfigure IT functions according to strategic plans. It makes investment in information technology never end.
CIO must demonstrate his capability of monitoring changes at no extra cost or, needing more resources, they should be linked with good indicators. Should it be turnover ? profit ? employees number ? Although each choice has its pros and cons, the market retains mainly budget / turnover.ratio
In this context, time is frequently used as adjustment variable, either on the Company Request which caps his annual effort, or imposed by the projects slippage. Improving project performance with the increase of project management skills or by selecting partners carefully, are actions well identified by large IT Divisions.
Another adjustment variables are project extent and roadmap for infrastructure acquisition. In this case, business is eager of system availability for being able to implement strategic decision as soon as possible, even if integration is at risk or if automation is partially postponed.
Regarding speed, outsourcing is an attractive option. Software as Service (SaaS), in addition to speed, brings ability to stagger investment, and more to link it with activity volume. Yet, insourcing remains good for understanding impacts of technology on a business and being in a position to make innovations.
Finally, sourcing method is an adjustment variable of budget with strategic developments.
More than ever, question of strategy is asked to CIO, and he has to grasp it. In fact, the Gartner recently published a warning on the IT Divisions lack of involvement in helping Business Division to choose SaaS, .
Indeed, CIO ability to address strategic issues, identifying clearly critical IT factors or having a clear vision of priorities, is essential to select sourcing options.
He must find next to him, the Enterprise Architect which should help to structure strategic IS contribution, in order to decide on the optimal sourcing, and to prepare internal resources and externally
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