Strategic Grid for IT

Knowledge Center

12manage is looking for students!

Description of Strategic Grid for IT. Explanation.


Strategic Grid (McFarlan)Definition Strategic Grid for IT. Description.

The Strategic Grid for IT from McFarlan, McKenney & Pyburn ('83) is a tool that can be used to assess the current operational dependence on information systems (low, high) versus the future potential strategic impact of information systems (low, high). Combining the 2 views in a matrix results in 4 possible combinations:

  1. Support (currently low, low in the future too). IT has little relevance and simply supports some processes. Firms or systems in this quadrant will place the least amount of emphasis on IT (planning) in terms of senior management concern and involvement.

  2. Turnaround (currently low, high in the future). IT will be a key feature of future strategic planning. Significant top management involvement in IT (planning) must be established.

  3. Factory (currently high, low in the future). It is important in terms of day-to-day operations but it is not felt that there are any major IT developments on the horizon that will fundamentally alter the nature of the business. The level of senior management involvement is decreasing.

  4. Strategic (high, high). IT Strategy is very important ands plays a critical role in the formulation of the overall business strategy. High level of involvement of top management in IT strategy.

One can use the McFarlan Grid to analyze the impact of information systems as a whole for an organization or for a division or department of an organization. But the strategic grid can also be used to analyze the dependence and impact of individual IT applications or systems.

Any organization would be wise to have an IT Strategy, even if it is in the support quadrant.

According to Professor Earl, there are nine reasons as to why any organization should have an IT strategy:

  1. IT involves high costs.
  2. IT is critical to the success of many organizations.
  3. IT is now used as part of the commercial strategy in the battle for competitive advantage.
  4. IT is required by the economic context (from a macro-economic point of view).
  5. IT affects all levels of management.
  6. IT has meant a revolution in the way information is created and presented to management.
  7. IT involves many stakeholders, not just management, and not just within the organization.
  8. The detailed technical issues in IT are important.
  9. IT requires effective management, as this can make a real difference to successful IT use.

Special Interest Group - Strategic Impact of IT

Special Interest Group (162 members)

Forum - Strategic Impact of IT  

Here you will find interesting and educational discussions.

  IT is a Value Enhancer for Any Organization (1 reactions)
Clear business objectives should drive the IT solutions nece...
  Where is the Value for the Customer in the Strategic Grid for IT?
This model seems a very internal (within the company) discus...
  Insufficient IT Knowledge at C Level
Lack of knowledge of the CEO (and the rest of the board) abo...
  Moving to the Cloud and Outsourcing Strategy
This is indeed an interesting model that can be aptly used i...
  Usage of the McFarlan Grid
The McFarlan Grid is a useful tool for IT planning. I...
  IT in Support Quadrant of McFarlan's Strategic Grid
Over four decades ago the IT/computing/data processing drive...
  Great Questions to Assess the Strategic Impact of IT
What are the right questions at a time when digital technolo...

Best Practices - Strategic Impact of IT

Here you will find the most valuable ideas.

  Assessing the Relationship Between Business and IT (27 reactions)
Key factors to assess the relation of IT with the Busines...

Expert Tips - Strategic Impact of IT

Here you will find high-quality advice from experts.


Characteristics of Organizations with an IT-driven Business Transformation Strategy

IT-driven Strategy, IT-led Strategy, Competitive Potential, Innovation Accelerators, Disruptive Innovation...

Resources - Strategic Impact of IT

Here you will find powerpoint presentations, micro-learning videos and further information sources.

How Businesses can Use Information Technology (IT) in Strategic Ways

Strategic Management, Information Technology...

Project Management of Information Technology Projects

Project Management, Information Technology, Three Sphere Model...

Information Systems in Today's Organizations

Information Technology, Objectives, Information Systems, Management Information...

Introduction to Cloud Computing

Initial Understanding of Cloud Computing...

Benefits and Risks of Cloud Computing

Initial Understanding of the Benefits and Risks of Cloud Computing...

News about Strategic Impact Of It


Videos about Strategic Impact Of It


Presentations about Strategic Impact Of It


Books about Strategic Impact Of It


More about Strategic Impact Of It


Compare with: Strategic Alignment  |  Impact/Value Framework  |  Strategic Thrusts  |  TDC Matrix  |  Chief Information Officer

Special Interest Group Leader

You here? Sign up for free


Return to Management Hub: Knowledge & Intangibles  |  Strategy

More on Management  |  Return to Management Dictionary  | 


This ends our Strategic Grid for IT summary and forum.

About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
2019 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V15.1 - Last updated: 18-9-2019. All names of their owners.