Creating and implementing a strategic plan are 2 very different things. Often an organisation will create what they believe to be a strategic plan, but in reality, its implementation is impractical thus invalidating the strategy. For example, a small business looking to establish a market presence and grow requires a number of very different skill sets:
- Executive - Leadership, Strategic Alliances and Partnerships.
- Operations - Establishment and execution of business processes and practices
- Finance and Planning - Keeping the business solvent and providing input to growth forecasts and managing cash flow
- Sales & Marketing - Ownership over the customers
- and of course ICT - as an enabler to all of the above.
There are certain functions that you just can't do without. In a large organisation, these functions are grouped together and serviced by entire business units, often with multiple experts sharing the fundamental responsibilities.
Smaller businesses rarely have the luxury of being able to employ people into the full time roles. Cost dictates that employees wear multiple hats and perform multiple roles. That's ok, as long as there is a recognition that, from time to time, bringing external skills in to augment the team can reduce risks and overall costs whilst also improving the productivity and decision making for all.
This is particularly true for ICT because to most businesses, ICT has under-delivered and is seen as a "dark art".
Check out this blog to get an understanding of the modern role of ICT and the Chief Information Officer.