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“Do You Think Strategically about Technology?” – Jim Balsillie

I have been working with our Senior Consultants to work on providing Information Technology (IT) Strategic Plans for our clients. This is a challenge for two reasons:

1. Strategic plan sounds really grandiose, complex, time consuming and expensive.

2. IT is very broad so individuals gravitate to their area of expertise and the plan becomes narrow and tactical.

I was on a Global Conference call yesterday with guest speaker Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO of Research in Motion (RIM) the developer of the Blackberry and he reinforced this need and asked “Do you think strategically about technology?” Jim believes that it is rare that a CEO thinks strategically about technology and that absent a strategic mandate from senior leadership nothing really happens – the result is we go in and cut IT spending 5% or something like that!

So make the decision that you need an IT Strategic Plan, keep it broad without getting to deep into the weeds of what exact technology you will use and keep it short. The IT Plan may just be two or three pages. What do you want technology to do for your business and what will it look like when you are done in two or three years. Finally if the word strategic gives you too much hartburn just call it your IT Plan!

Here is the article I wrote on April 29 on writing an IT Strategic Plan:

http://andrewgrose.blogspot.com/2009_04_01_archive.html