Technology strategy is about leveraging digital innovation to enable Business growth. Organizations now understand that it is essential to integrate Business and Technology strategies as more than 50% of world population is now connected to the internet.
Developing technology strategy is not only the responsibility of the IT leadership team but a Business initiative. Developing an effective technology strategy requires an understanding of the current market space, business acumen, agility, collaboration and innovation. Technology strategy is not just about developing efficient infrastructure, applications and services to support Business but about leveraging technology for competitive differentiation and enabling business.
Most organizations can develop an effective technology strategy, leveraging the following four-step process:
Step-1: Understand the current state (where are we now?)
Understand your current state:
- Evaluate your marketplace (competitors, customers, products and parameters that could impact your industry in the short- and long-term).
- Document Organizational strategy and Business unit goals.
- Understand Corporate culture with risk tolerance.
- Assess the current state of Information Technology (resources, services, costs and allocations).
- Measure how the stakeholders currently perceive the role and value of Information Technology to the Business.
Step-2: Discuss Business vision for the future (where do we want to be?)
The vision of how and where the leadership team expect the organization to be in the future with innovative new business models levering technology is critical input needed for developing effective information technology strategy.
- Visionary leaders across the enterprise need to collaborate to develop future state.
- Develop capabilities needed to achieve the desired future state while balancing benefits and risks.
- Technology leaders with broad understanding of current and emerging technologies to develop the “right technology” to achieve business goals.
- Develop technology strategy road-maps that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound).
The key to a successful technology strategy is “Value Innovation” – We need to develop differentiated technology solutions that provide significant value to Business.
Step-3: Execute Information Technology strategy (how do we get there?)
- Analyze gaps (people, process and technology) between current state and future state.
- Plan to remediate gaps and finalize the technology strategy and road-maps.
- Strategy is broken down into initiatives with priorities and resources allocated for execution.
- Develop Project Management Office (PMO) to execute initiatives.
- Continuously monitor and communicate status to all stakeholders.
Step-4: Validate if we are successfully executing technology strategy (did we get there?)
Expected benefits from investments must be monitored and compared with actual results to measure success. These results need to be analyzed to improve the strategy.
We also need to accept the reality that some of the investments will not achieve the desired outcome – The root cause of those gaps needs to be analyzed and lessons learned.
In conclusion, experts and research institutes have indicated about 40% of companies will experience significant impact if they don’t assess and reinvent their business models in the current digitized world. Therefore, all organizations need to integrate Business and Technology not just to grow but to survive in the current fast-paced digital market place.