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Fuqua Faculty Conversations

Jeremy Petranka

Jeremy Petranka on IT Strategy

June 20, 2017

Join us for our June 2017 Fuqua Faculty Conversation as Jeremy Petranka, Assistant Dean of the Master of Quantitative Management (MQM) and Master of Management Studies (MMS) programs and Associate Professor of the Practice in Economics, presents:

Jeremy PetrankaIT Strategy

It is no shock that IT projects fail, but why does this happen so often? We will discuss:

• How organizational strategy can guide IT strategy successfully
• How to avoid confusion between goals and tactics in IT
• How to connect business unit needs to IT goals

Join the conversation in the comments below or in the Fuqua alumni LinkedIn group.

Questions? Write to conversations@fuqua.duke.edu.

View Jeremy Petranka’s Bio


  1. Hi Jeremy,

    Very insightful video, thanks for sharing.

  2. Dear Jeremy
    Thank you for a very interesting presentation.
    Do you have a reference to the presented model in the video clip? (Author, book or other)

  3. Very insightful and informative. Thanks.

  4. Jeremy,

    Awesome presentation. You hit the nail right on the head. In all my consulting years, I have always found CIOs driving an IT strategy that is not tethered with the Business strategy. Everyone seems to reach out to the next shiny technology there is – without stopping and asking, what problem are they trying to solve or what business goal they are helping drive towards.


  5. Hi Jeremy,

    Very insightful video, thanks for sharing.

    Many years leading Strategy development at large banks… and your diagnostic applies enormously there. Moreover, the traditional low level of understanding and event interest at C-level of IT makes the communication near impossible, let alone the IT consideration/inclusion within Strategy formulation.

    Now, as the Digital Transformation imperative (pushed by FinTech) is catching up with incumbent banks, C-levels are waking up and trying desperately to reduce the gap. Unfortunately, that is relatively quicker to do for Top Management, much difficult to do across the organization when the prevalent culture followed what was predicated by the past leadership example.
    These cultural molasses united with the spaguetti of IT & Ops legacy, re-regulation, short-term performance pressure and overall cost-cutting/layoffs is making Digital Transformation in banking a very interesting indeed breeding ground for catastrophic Transformation failures in the years to come. Watch the space!



  6. Thanks Jeremy,
    As always, a very insightful talk and I agree to the approach proposed (business drives IT!
    Do you think there is a difference in regard to this approach between ‘general’ companies (banks, hospitals, manufacturers, transportation, etc..) and technology companies (Facebook, Apple, Google)?

    • Jeremy Petranka

      Adrian, that’s a great question and an important distinction. When the firm’s product IS technology, then the strategy behind that technology is the BU strategy. The questions that need to be addressed for general BU strategy need to be addressed here (Objective, Scope, & Advantage). That said, there still needs to be an IT strategy to support that BU strategy. To use Apple as an example, their BU strategy needs to dictate who their target customers are and how they will serve them. e.g. what technology needs to be in the new iPhone. However, there still needs to be an IT strategy within Apple to support that goal. For instance, a strategy to ensure Apple is able to ensure iPhone procurement/manufacturing/logistics occurs seamlessly and with minimal waste.

      Essentially, this is the difference between the role of the CTO and CIO, although we’ve seen those roles getting blurred in the past few years. In some ways this is a natural byproduct of customers requiring more technology as part of their total solution. For instance, if customers require online customer service when they purchase a physical product, this would lie somewhere between the two roles (philosophically, is the online service part of the product or does it support the sale of the product?). However, in other cases it can speak to a lack of deliberate IT strategy.

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