Gartner Research

IT Strategy; CIO Desk Reference Chapter 6, Updated Q2 2013

Published: 30 June 2013

ID: G00255740

Analyst(s): Ansgar Schulte, Mary Mesaglio , Andy Rowsell-Jones , Dave Aron , Colleen Young


Great IT strategies focus on helping the business win. This breaks down into IT guiding, and delivering on, the business strategy. There are four key components that form the core of IT strategy. The key is to be clear, brief and focused on business success.

Table Of Contents
  • Overview


  • Should the IT strategy be outsourced to a consultant?
  • IT Strategy Defines the Potential Business Value of IT
    • IT strategy is an integral component of business success
    • The Management Nexus is an Opportunity for the CIO
    • Creating a Management Nexus Framework
    • CASE STUDY: Swedish Rail—From turnaround to focused innovation
    • Clarify the purpose and scope of the IT strategy
    • Plan to build a complete set of strategy documents
    • Run an IT Strategy Kickoff Workshop
    • Create a short, complete, business-focused IT strategy
  • Clarify Demand: How Will IT Help Us Win?
    • Business context and business success
    • Business capabilities are the glue
    • IT contribution is the "elevator pitch"
  • Structure Control: Which Mechanisms Will Drive Strategic Behavior?
    • Define IT principles that will encourage strategic behavior
    • Design governance practices with the right participation and tools
    • Ensure that IT financial management rewards the right decisions
    • Document metrics that connect to business success
  • Define Supply: How Will IT Develop and Use its Assets to Create Business Success?
    • Define IT services and the approach to IT service management
    • Outline the enterprise architecture’s impact on winning
    • Summarize how sourcing will be a strategic tool
  • Complete and Assess the IT Strategy
    • Completing the IT Strategy
    • Ensure that your strategy is success-focused, complete and brief
  • Use Advanced Behaviors to Activate and Supercharge Strategy
    • Think beyond the current business activities
    • CASE STUDY: APM Terminals—Adding value using business model analogies
    • Use strategy moments to get everyone thinking strategically
    • Use unconventional communications to get unstuck
    • A little bit of strategy goes a long way
    • Where Does Innovation Fit In?
    • CASE STUDY: Royal Caribbean Cruises creates a unique guest experience via digital technologies
  • Use Scenario Planning to Make Business and IT Strategies More Resilient
  • Improve Your IT Strategy Using the 'Counterstrategy' Test
    • Applying the Counterstrategy Test
  • Conclusions
    • CIO Call to Action
    • Conclusions

Recommended Reading

©2020 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner’s prior written permission. It consists of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization, which should not be construed as statements of fact. While the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner research may address legal and financial issues, Gartner does not provide legal or investment advice and its research should not be construed or used as such. Your access and use of this publication are governed by Gartner’s Usage Policy. Gartner prides itself on its reputation for independence and objectivity. Its research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from any third party. For further information, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity.

Already have a Gartner Account?

Become a client

Learn how to access this content as a Gartner client.