Why have an information technology strategy?

IT Strategy.jpg

Why do organisations need to have an information technology strategy  ?

After all, they have a business strategy, right?

Perhaps a better starting question is why have a strategy?  Let's start by defining the key term (dry, I know but bear with me).  Dictionary.com defines strategy as being "A plan or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim".

As a business leader, your focus is on achieving the goals set down for you, which are ideally aligned with the goals of the organisation as a whole.  Goals tell us what an outcome looks like, but not how the goal will be achieved.  A goal is a destination.  Strategy is the roadmap or directions that tell us how to get there.

Information is a critical resource.  Information must be managed with other more traditional resources (such as labour, materials and money) in order to get the most from it. So an information (technology) strategy is about how to use technology to get the information outcomes the business needs.