IT Strategy Influencing Factors

Strategies are dynamic in the sense that they must be re-adjusted when major parameters have changed or are on the cusp of change, such as the economic outlook, new market entrants, more stringent legislation, etc.

Not keeping track of these influencing factors would soon render your strategy outdated and even inadequate to face new and unprecedented challenges. A quarterly overview and evaluation of these influencing factors avoids your strategy from becoming out-of-sync with reality and, consequently, missing targets that were set at the start. Different external sources can be consulted to keep track of these influences: trade publications, economic dashboards, technology radars, tech forums, and summits, to name just a few.

However, the most important influences often come from within: strategy changes, financial results, leading-edge products and services launches, R&D, marketing plans, and audit findings. It can be assumed that these can be more easily picked up on the condition that your antennae are set up and active with participation in executive board meetings and management communications.

  1. Identify the internal and external factors that can potentially have an impact on your IT strategy:
    o Economic outlook
    o New market opportunities
    o New market entrants 
    o Calamities
    o Political change
    o Ever-tighter legislation
    o Failure or success of a service or product
    o More in-depth data intelligence
    o Mergers and acquisitions
    o Expansion into other regions
    o New innovative technology
    o Talent availability
  2. Focus on those influences that are most likely to occur and assess the potential impact these can have on your IT organisation and strategy. 
  3. Take note of the those that are most likely to occur and simultaneously have a big impact. Ensure that these are covered during the strategy exercise.
  4. Keep these on your radar and revise during future strategy meetings, which should ideally be held every quarter.

Jan Verbruggen
Partner Xperian BV
Author IT Strategy Cards ©2020


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