Strategic Technology Execution Risks

Patrick McConnell

This chapter will discuss the risks that arise in executing technology strategy, in particular the considerable risks in programme and project management in moving from one complex IT model to another. The importance of integrating IT planning within strategic planning will be emphasised.


McConnell (2016) notes that, no matter how elegant and potentially profitable a business strategy may appear to be, if it is not executed properly it will fail to achieve its strategic objectives – and may even cause the failure of the firm. The reverse is also true, no amount of good execution can save a business strategy that is fundamentally flawed. This is equally the case for an IT strategy that, if not executed properly, may cause the companion business strategy to fail (as we saw in Chapter 4). In their classic work on strategic execution, Kaplan and Norton (2008) summarised the dilemma:

A visionary strategy that is not linked to excellent operational and governance processes cannot be implemented. Conversely, operational excellence may lower costs, improve quality, and reduce process and lead times; but without a strategy’s vision and guidance, a company is not

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