Gartner reveals benefits of long-term business planning

But survey shows that CIOs are often left out of strategic long-term planning conversations

Tags: Gartner Inc. (www.gartner.com/technology/home.jsp)
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Gartner reveals benefits of long-term business planning 95% of organisaitons that conduct long-term planning are more likely to outperform organisations that fail to plan ahead, Gartner said
By  Tom Paye Published  May 13, 2015

Ninety-five per cent of organisaitons that conduct long-term planning are more likely to outperform organisations that fail to plan ahead, according to a Gartner survey of CEOs and business leaders.

In its report on the survey, Gartner said that most organisations the plan five to 15 years ahead are more likely to succeed against organisations that think mostly in the short term.

"Long-term strategic planning can lead to benefits," said Steve Prentice, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

"More than 50% of organisations that underperformed did not engage in very long-term planning, and those that did, looked out on average 16 years. In the case of the outperforming companies, over 80% carried out planning that was very long term, and they looked even further ahead - a mean of 22 years."

Gartner said that long-term strategic planning is a collaborative exercise for organisations' senior management and directors, and the survey revealed that the CFO is the primary choice of partner by far for the CEO. Almost 40% of respondents named the CFO as either the first, second or third choice of partner for the CEO.

The next most popular choices were the chief strategy officer (27%) and the board of directors (26%). The CIO, in contrast, was named as first, second or third choice by just 17% of respondents, behind chief marketing officer (18%), chief operating officer (20%), chairman (20%) and president/owner (23%), Gartner said.

"For CIOs to be seen as key contributors and advisors regarding the changes and disruptions that technology brings, they must seriously assess their position internally," said Prentice.

"They should position themselves as informed and objective innovators who understand the disruptive role technology will play in business over the next 10 to 20 years, and who can make an essential contribution to long-term and very long-term planning activities within their organisation.

"They should look to the longer term, and identify, explore and experiment with potentially disruptive technologies and technology-enabled capabilities to understand, and be able to demonstrate and articulate, their likely business impact."

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