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IT Strategy & Digital Strategy

March 22, 2015

We have now published the Solihull Council IT Strategy, following the recent publication of our Digital Strategy,

To make the IT Strategy accessible, we have reduced it to a single page of A3. There is, of course, a more detailed document, as well.

The ICT of Innovation, Cost reduction and Transformation

We have also coined a new definition for the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) acronym. For us, ICT means Innovation, Cost reduction and Transformation. That’s why ICT exists in the enterprise.

Digital and ICT

There is, of course, a blurred distinction between “Digital” and “IT”. We have taken the view that we will define what we mean by Digital and develop our digital strategy accordingly. IT is then everything else. Everything else that is technologically enabled, but is not in the digital strategy, that is.

Which leaves quite a lot for the IT Strategy, of course. All the systems and interfaces that the enterprise depends on to deliver its objectives. Finance systems, business intelligence systems, supply chain systems, case management systems, order processing systems, asset management systems, commissioning systems, HR systems and the network infrastructure that these run over are all part of the IT scope.

There is some overlap between “Digital” and “IT” of course – life is like that. Stuff does not always fit into neat boxes. The important thing is to be confident that you have clarity, vision, goals and projects that deliver to both agendas.

Our ICT Strategy was approved by Elected Members in March 2015 and replaces the previous strategy.

Some commentators have suggested that either one of “Digital” or “IT” are more significant than the other. Or that they are in conflict in some way. I’d like to suggest that they are simply in need of each other. If you switch off all the IT, there is nothing left of Digital. Without networks, fileservers, devices, databases and people to support them, digital collapses. Similarly, if you switch off all the Digital, there is little purpose in the ICT. The organisation will still operationally function for a little while, but without online customer engagement, it will soon wither away.

So Digital and IT are mutually dependant. The “Yin and Yang” of a modern, efficient organisaiton harnessing technologies.

Digital and ICT Strategic harmonisation -GIF

To quote from Kaplan and Kaiser in the American Management Association (2013):

“There is no better single expression of ideal leadership than the ancient Chinese concept of yin and yang. The Chinese saw nature as the interplay of dualities that had both complementary and opposing characteristics—sky and earth, day and night, water and fire, active and passive, male and female. Neither element in the pair takes prominence or precedence, but each is useful and valid and reinforces the other in a positive dynamic. The familiar yin-yang symbol represents this perfectly, showing two black-and-white teardrop shapes, curled and flowing into each other, continually adapting to each other to form a continuous and complete circle. The elements are negative images of each other, yet they are interdependent and inextricable”

Digital food for thought?


  1. Jaye Cozens permalink

    Loving the arty Yin / Yang drawing, Steve. We spend hours debating where ICT ends and Digital begins and yet you sum it up so eloquently – thanks!

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  1. Do you need a digital strategy? Yes, no, well…maybe | Dave Briggs

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