Strategic IT Baseline

Patrick McConnell

This chapter will discuss the concept of the strategic IT baseline based on a detailed description of the IT components (including data centres, networks, databases and business applications) and, importantly, the strategic risks in an IT model.

STRATEGIC TECHNOLOGY RISKS

Figure 13.1 (which is a copy of Figure 4.5) summarises the gaps between current and desired models that create strategic technology positioning risks.

In developing a new strategy, the starting point – here the strategic IT baseline – is often overlooked as being, if not unimportant, then less important than the desired IT model, or “strategic IT position”. Unfortunately, a failure to understand the starting point may well derail a strategy. A strategic plan based on a lack of understanding of current risks may well fail whenever new risks from the strategy itself are heaped upon unknown risks in the current IT model.

Figure 13.1

In terms of overall business strategy, McConnell (2016) states that the “current strategic baseline describes the firm’s current business model, and the risks in that model”. A baseline is therefore a description of a model, while a strategic IT baseline can be seen as a description of a

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