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    Strategic Choices for the Post Pandemic Playbook

    Blair, Garry ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0861-3429, Barratt, Stuart and Pagano, rosane (2021) Strategic Choices for the Post Pandemic Playbook. The Journal of Innovative Research In Social Sciences & Humanities, 4 (3). pp. 15-20. ISSN 2456-7728

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    This paper focusses on the use of technology to support business, with particular emphasis on the strategic choices to be made by organisations, during and after the pandemic. IT strategy embodies a vision of the organisation's future technology delivery. IT strategy formulation is a critical activity for the modern organisation. The strategic imperative is to complement and enhance the delivery of the prescribed business objectives. The ‘fit’ has to be considered in order to orient the organisation to survive, at minimum, and ideally thrive in the prevailing environment [1]. The consequences of an inappropriate strategy in this area could be catastrophic, leading to the termination or truncation of business, in the sphere. The rise of Microsoft, for example, in the 1980's was facilitated by IBM's miscalculated strategic decision to allow the personal computer operating system to be licensed to a third party, incorrectly assuming that their market dominance was unassailable [2]. Strategic profiling is enacted, namely utilising key characteristics to provide generic classifications for organisational analysis. Environmental and internal elements are considered in order to propose a set of strategic types, in respect of Information Technology utilisation. This facilitates analysis and appraisal of the strategy in the environmental context. The principal tenets are considered, to assist with the formulation of IT strategy in an organisation. These are: Human Resources; Organisational Structure; the Environment; Methodology; Contingency; Business and Technology focus. Options are considered in respect of the critical area of Human Resources, in terms of the main activities of selection, recruitment, appraisal and training. The nature of contractual decisions is outlined, embracing the range of strategic options from contracting work to other organisations to employing in house staff. The alignment of the organisational objectives and IT strategy is also examined. The critical elements of such alignment are identified and a framework for evaluation proposed. Alignment along the dimensions of structure; partnerships; objectives and philosophy are detailed regarding this aspect. The accommodation of different organisational products into an IT strategy is also described. Strategic decisions can be made that embrace a range of products at different stages of their lifecycle. The need for long term planning in this area, to optimise research and production effort, maximising potential revenue, is thus incorporated. This paper utilises an analysis of key themes from selected literature sources and an empirical study of UK public sector health organisations. The latter comprised a survey, conducted to discern trends and highlight differences in strategic approaches within a sample from this sphere. This research is used to verify the conclusions of the paper. The contrasting methods are characterised by the 'profiles' to assist in understanding IT/Business strategy formulation and appraisal. These are proposed as generic devices that could be applied generally to enhance knowledge acquisition in other sectors.

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