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Redefining Information Technology’s Role in Business Success

26/03/2018


​Today’s most successful organizations recognize that technology is not only a useful tool, but also a strategic driver, critical for achieving their larger business objectives. They understand that succeeding in today’s deeply interconnected world – and thriving in what will be an even more interconnected future – requires a fundamental shift in the way they apply technology in their business, the ways they leverage it across each and every touchpoint and how it supports their bottom line. To achieve this, creating and implementing a technology strategy is crucial.

Technology Strategy

New hardware, digital solutions and data analytics capabilities are constantly on the horizon waiting to disrupt not just how work gets done, but also whether that work is even relevant anymore and what has taken its place. That’s why having a comprehensive technology strategy is more important than ever. Increasingly, it is become an essential component of the broader business strategy to the point where one cannot succeed without the other.

Technology strategy is not only:

  • Deciding whether employees should be using notebooks or desktops
  • Choose between Windows or Mac as a preferred operating system
  • Weigh the benefits of a custom software solution versus an out of the box option

Technology strategy also includes:

  • Understanding and evaluate what the business requires to perform its function now
  • Visualizing where the business is headed over the foreseeable future and what technology is and will likely be available to facilitate those goals
  • Contingency planning for unexpected developments and sudden changes in direction – defining solutions that meet current needs, yet remaining agile enough to pivot when required

A Ground-up Approach

With a strong strategic foundation to work from, businesses can then look tactically to decide the most effective ways to translate their plans into action. This involves prioritizing needs and wants of the organization to understand the most effective cost-efficient path forward, then taking the necessary action. This could mean:

  • Improving marketing and sales enablement by developing and implementing a digital strategy
  • Sourcing or developing software and hardware solutions to improve workflow and operational efficiency
  • Implementing an organizational data and information analysis strategy to improve organizational decision making
  • Protecting intellectual property and secure information with a cyber security strategy

Each of these pillars offers potentially invaluable benefits. So, it can be tempting to pursue them all at once. But doing so often requires resources and manpower that is not immediately available. That’s where a knowledgeable technology advisor can help. They help you avoid taking a shotgun approach by identifying what areas will offer the greatest return on investment and then connect you with the right solution architect for the job. They help you gain value and achieve measurable results by ensuring every technology decision is at the same time a strong business decision.

Plan, Execute, Secure

Plan, execute, secure is a simple and effective process that every organization can leverage to ensure they’re getting the most out of their technology spend. It is most effective when paired with strategic business planning activities at annual or even informally at semi-annual intervals.

Plan – This involves integrating technology strategy with business planning, marketing and human resources strategy. It requires mapping out:

  • How different areas of the business need to function and work together to maximize revenue
  • Areas where technology can be leveraged to minimize costs
  • Ways technology can be used to most effectively deliver on the organization’s key value proposition.
  • What resources will and may likely be required to achieve key objectives and how to drive the most value out of those investments.

Execute – Once you know how your business strategy will influence technology infrastructure and expertise, the next step is to put those pieces into place. This includes:

  • Procuring out of the box hardware and software solutions, or building / contracting custom alternatives
  • Hiring staff or contractors to manage the business’ technology operations
  • Drawing insights and analyzing data from your activities and expenditures
  • Modifying your plans to optimize them for your current practical purposes

Secure – Finally, no technology strategy is complete without a cyber security strategy to ensure the safety of your network and systems. It includes:

  • Staff education and training
  • Firewalls and antivirus protection
  • Offensive and defensive measures to test the resistance of your cyber security posture
  • Crisis planning, legal and communications strategies to lean on in the event of a compromise

Tomorrow’s technology is shaping business today. To ensure your technology strategy is contributing its full potential to your organization, contact Tony Balasubramanian, National Leader, Technology Advisory Services, at 403.537.8421 or [email protected].