Technology strategies often fail because of a breakdown in execution, but IT managers can correct this by applying the simple logic of risks and rewards.
Speaking at analyst Meta's Enterprise Architecture conference this week, Daniel Lange, IT strategist at BMW, said that if a strategy takes years to implement then it is of no value to the enterprise.
But there is also no way it can deliver in six months either, he warned.
A structured decision making process to minimise risk and avoid getting the blueprint wrong is essential, as is getting the overall IT strategy approved by the board and nailed down.
"Then it is law and everyone in the enterprise has to abide by it," stated Lange. "It also reduces the amount of discussion."
He cited BMW as an example, where with around 90,000 employees worldwide, it had to make decisions about running Windows and Linux.
"We need to run both because we need the functionality and applications offered by each," said Lange. "But you still need a firm strategy to realise this and where each operating system's place is in the enterprise."
With regard to Windows versus Linux, Lange suggested that it doesn't always come down to a matter of cost because you can play software prices off against each other.
"But we decided on Linux for the web and application server infrastructure because the overall cost of running it is lower and everybody supports Linux now," he said.
"Linux stability and price performance is very good and it moves between the low end, the mid-range and into the high-end Unix core very well."
But Lange claimed that around 40 per cent of IT departments do not have the power to run the network as is necessary because of bad communication with the business decision makers which leads to less investment in IT infrastructure.
Companies need a strategy written in a language everybody understands, according to Lange.
"Business people don't understand much about IT. It's seen as an IT problem, not a business problem, to run the network," he concluded.
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