Maximize value of tech

From Our EA Community — Boiling Down Your BT Strategy To A Single Page

Brian Hopkins
Vice President, Principal Analyst
July 25, 2012

Last fall, a member of our enterprise architecture community asked a simple question — how do you represent IT strategy on a single page? What resulted was the most read and commented discussion to date. That got our attention! But what really piqued our interest was when another community participant challenged us to go beyond our usual publishing process to co-create a report with the community.

For those who have been following the discussion, it has been slow going, but I'm glad to say that we are done! What's more, we have decided to make this report available to everyone since much of the content came directly from the community. Please follow this link (www.forrester.com/btstrategyonapage) to request your copy if you are not a client (free site registration is required). Clients should go to our normal site to download the report.

In the research, we took the community contributions and created a toolkit in PowerPoint form containing seven examples of business technology (BT) strategy representation on a single "page." The lesson we learned is that there is no one right way to do it and you will probably need several one-pagers for different audiences.

Why title it BT and not IT? We started out with the notion of pure IT strategy, but quickly realized that the best one-pagers married business strategy with technology strategy. Ideally, these two should be co-created by business and technology leaders. Why? Because "aligned IT" can no longer keep up with the blinding pace of business change; it takes a business technology approach. Consider:

  • IT is having trouble adapting to rapidly changing business strategy. While 45% of IT execs rated their architecture's adaptability to business change positively, only 30% of non-IT executives said the same thing in our Forrsights Business Decision-Makers Survey, Q4 2011. This was the second largest difference between business and IT views, behind collaborating on business strategy and innovation.
  • Business are dissatisfied with the level of new technology IT is delivering. Only 9% of enterprise architects said their business was completely satisfied with the level of new technology being introduced, while 25% said their business was completely dissatisfied in our September 2011 Global State Of Enterprise Architecture Online Survey.

I could go on with many other data points, but the message is clear: 2012 is not the time for 2005 technology service delivery and management; we have to find a better way that brings business and IT together. Enterprise architecture is the CIO's secret weapon here, and a method for co-creating a one-page representation of BT strategy is a valuable tool to have.

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

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Follow me at @practicingea

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