One perk of this new job is that you meet distinguished experts in their areas. For example, through the Gartner programmes.
Recently John Roberts delivered a thought (and discussion) provoking talk to a handful of managers around here.
John P. Roberts
Research VP and Distinguished Analyst
Gartner Australasia Pty. Limited
He suggested a model to assess strategic maturity within the organization. (To fix the current co-ordinates before undertaking the journey.) And he showed how to develop an IT strategy that supports the business one.
This brought to my mind thoughts I had upon joining this office a few days ago: the biggest challenge here would be to keep business, rather than technology focus.
However, John asked a rhetorical question that sent me down a path entirely different from where he was pointing. He asked if we ever stopped to think of the impact that email made to our business?
Do we need to do that? I don't think so.
In An Introduction to Mathematics (1948), Alfred North Whitehead wrote, "Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them."
We don't need to evaluate for ourselves what's in widespread use. We needn't examine (ab initio) the technology solutions that similar businesses have adopted and which seems to be working for them(called learning from business cases).
It's putting faith in the same Darwin's law of natural selection that created the most complex IT application that we know: the human genome!
Yes, the fittest would survive. And sure, we can increase our survival chances by adopting the sensible approach that Roberts advocated. Just that there are limits to what needs to be examined.
Now let me circulate a questionnaire among my colleagues to locate where we stand today (assess strategic maturity within the organisation).