It’s NOT the end of the world as we know it

Read how strategic portfolio management (SPM) can help make IT resilient and flexible and able to meet the challenges facing IT executives today.

Paula Ziehr Paula Ziehr

Hopefully 2022 started off well for you. In reading the Forrester report, “Predictions 2022: Tech Leadership and Innovation,”  it looks like we’re in for continued – and some new – challenges.

Of course, the pandemic persists in confusing and confounding the best-laid plans. But this doesn’t mean planning should stop. On the contrary, you need to keep planning – and planning and planning. As Eisenhower said: “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” Your planning structures need to be quickly adaptable and very responsive to external – and internal – influences.

This is what strategic portfolio management (SPM) can help with. I’m not saying SPM is the silver bullet, but it does have capabilities that help make IT resilient and flexible. Its purpose is to provide an ongoing process that focuses and aligns a company’s IT resources with its strategic business goals.

IT portfolio management upgrades to strategic IT portfolio management

SPM is a collection of capabilities and functionalities required for enterprise IT planning and management. These capabilities focus on business and IT planning alignment, IT investment planning and management, IT portfolio optimization, strategy execution, and cost and risk management.

Carrying out these tasks should be embedded in the daily work of all stakeholders involved in enterprise transformation. This ensures analysis, decision-making, IT road mapping, planning, execution, and monitoring are performed in a continuum and can quickly ingest any significant events that should cause a change in plans.

Challenges, trends and the SPM answer

In the report, Forrester states: “In 2022, 10% of tech execs will prioritize investments in strategic partnerships and innovation practices at three times the rate of their competitors to expand their organization’s creative and innovative capacity.”

To sustainably outperform with innovation, agility in decision-making and delivery are key – being able to make fast decisions on change and executing them efficiently. Only with the insights provided by strategic portfolio management – a culmination of business and IT disciplines across the enterprise – can a company be in perpetual innovation readiness and continuously outperform on the market.

The Forrester report talks about a shortage of advanced technical skills and how companies are compensating for this by moving a lot of their IT to the cloud. Strategic portfolio management is ideal for developing a smart cloud transformation strategy. It provides a framework for aligning cloud deployment to business priorities, a systematic way of assessing applications for cloud suitability, and an action plan for deployment.

Further, the report says: “The forced, rapid acceleration of technology will worsen technical debt for 60% of firms.”

Enterprise architecture (EA)-based portfolio management is a key practice in managing technical debt. Technical debt arises when you choose an easier, smaller solution – a temporary fix – instead of a solution that would be superior but would take more time. This type of choice often occurs due to not having enough information at hand to be able to make a bold decision with confidence – something the always-current, always-complete insights that IT portfolio management provide would alleviate.

So, read the Forrester report below and when you do, consider how you might use EA and ITPM to address some of those concerns.

Then take the necessary action so that hopefully in December 2022 you can look back and say: “It was a very good year.”