In today’s digital age, where more and more businesses are integrating technology into their business processes, any business focused on creating value and driving growth can’t afford to ignore the importance of incorporating technology into their overall strategy.
A technology strategy is not only central to responding quickly to digital disruptions but also remaining agile and competitive amidst changing market conditions.
But what exactly is a technology strategy?
According to Wharton, a technology strategy is a set of decisions related to the use and development of technologies intended to give businesses a competitive advantage as part of their overall competitive strategy.
A technology strategy helps you answer critical questions like whether to build a custom software or buy off the shelf, or if a high level of investment in technology infrastructure is worth it in the long run.
To create a technology strategy that works for your business, it should primarily be grounded on your overall business goals and not the other way around. While technology is a useful tool that enables businesses and corporates alike to bridge the gap between their existing capabilities and what they need to achieve their business goals, it should never take precedence over the core function and objectives of the business, but rather support them.
But Do You Need One?
A defined strategy rather than a casual approach to technology has immense benefits for any business. For one, it clearly outlines the objectives, plans and existing capacity of the business to support the acquisition and adoption of technology, ensuring operational suitability and sustainability. This avoids wasting resources as a result of a mismatch between acquired technology and organizational processes.
A technology strategy, will by default, usually lead to better, well informed decisions as the cost, value and duration of the implementation of a system, or even software, is considered well in advance. Business processes are not disrupted as they have already been factored into a technology strategy, facilitating the smooth integration of the technology into the business without affecting customers.
Strategies that are technology inclusive enable companies to take a proactive approach when it comes to innovation and technology adoption, giving them an edge over their reactive counterparts. This is especially true for capacity driven and customer driven industries.
Often, businesses assume that technology has been included in their overall strategy and that it’s a one time investment hence they see no need for a technology strategy. However, due to the speed with which the technology landscape is always changing, they’re left playing catch up compared to their strategic counterparts because technology advancements haven’t been factored into any strategic plans.
The changing nature of technology, by definition, requires constant review and assessment of its development and use to gain a competitive advantage, which can only be facilitated by a technology strategy. So whether a business has a robust IT department or a non-existent one, technology is a key component of any strategy that seeks long term growth and to remain ahead of its peers. But does your business have one?