How are people applying scenario planning to technology services?

StevenForth Founding Partner | Expert ✭✭✭
edited February 2023 in Services Delivery & Operations

The events of the past few months have renewed my interest in formal scenario planning. I found myself and my business less well prepared for Covid 19 than I would have hoped. I have now begun the hard work of weaving critical uncertainties into our strategic planning. (The pandemic has also led us to rework our strategic plan). Are other people doing this? If so, can we share ideas about critical uncertainties we should be considering?

Technical note: Scenarios are built by combining two or sometimes three critical uncertainties. Things that can be reasonably forecast and the forecast agreed on (like demographics or certain technology trends) are not critical uncertainties but the ground on which the critical uncertainties will play out.


  • George Humphrey
    George Humphrey Member | Guru ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Steven, I'm anxious to see how the community responds to this question. You are not alone, most companies were completely unprepared for the impacts of COVID-19 on the industry. As a result, we see companies spending 20% more time on strategy and planning for the organization - strategy is always tough when it's reactive.

    We do know that as these scenarios continue to play out, we believe there will be an acceleration in several key areas such as the shift to recurring/subscription based revenue such as SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, Managed Services, etc. We also believe companies will double down on the digitization of their services such as leveraging AIOps and Automation in service delivery. Sales models have been ripe for disruption for some time - this is still one of the biggest "unknowns".

    If you haven't seen our Rapid Research initiative and research assets you may want to take a look here:

    You may even want to start with this particular asset:

    We'll keep monitoring the thread - hopefully other members will share their scenario planning insights as well!

  • StevenForth
    StevenForth Founding Partner | Expert ✭✭✭

    One of the roles of scenarios is to recognize what is happening as it is happening so you can respond quickly. This is the classic Shell example from the first oil shock in 1973. I am told that the Austin TX food company H-E-B recognized what was happening with Covid 19 and responded early. Would love to hear about other companies that also recognized what happening and were able to respond and even shape the situation as it emerged.