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Implementing World Class IT Strategy by Peter A. High

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Chapter 1“Techtonic” Plates

How quickly do major changes and new disruptions come to pass in twenty-first-century information technology? I think of these changes like the tectonic plates of geology because they can be huge and obvious, like an earthquake, but they are often subtle. Suppose as a chief information officer (CIO) you are given the task of preparing the company for an event that will occur four years in the future. This may be difficult to imagine for most executives who have major deliverables on a week-to-week or month-to-month basis, but that’s what this book is about—the fact that massive shifts are taking place in your business IT landscape very quickly that have short- and long-term consequences for your company’s bottom line and the strategies that make or break it. More often than not, these changes are subtle, but it is important to pick up on this subtlety and to determine how these changes might have an impact on your company either as an opportunity or as a threat. Either you will recognize them, or perhaps a competitor will before you do, and seize an advantage.

Large companies, especially publicly traded ones and yours perhaps as well, are understandably sensitive to quarterly reporting, as they must share progress or lack thereof quarter-by-quarter with analysts and shareholders. Quarterly plans are almost by definition more tactical than strategic. Unfortunately, many companies myopically use these as their primary planning function. Others extend ...

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