Technology Enabling Strategy

The question needs to be asked, how does technology impact on strategy? Technology strategy is now a fundamental part of an organisation’s success so much so it can be considered that it is a basic function of business, along with the importance of finance strategy and human resource strategy. In my opinion  technology, unlike finance strategy and human resource strategy, can quickly become the enabler of an organizations competitive or strategic advantage.

  • help organisations design and deliver products and services cheaper, faster, more efficiently or more reliably, or help create superior products and services (eg, new production technologies)
  • help organisations identify and manage their costs more effectively in order to maintain cost leadership (eg, new management technologies)
  • facilitate more accessible, effective, efficient and valuable relationships with customers/clients and suppliers (eg, e-business tools)
  • actually become the products and services that the organisation provides to its customers – allowing the customers to work better and improve their quality of life (eg, electronic commerce interface software)
  • harness, capture and help organisations manage the capabilities and power of their productive assets like knowledge, processes, systems and information (eg, knowledge management systems)
  • provide and analyse information with higher levels of speed and accuracy, allowing managers to make better informed decisions;
  • information can be captured and analysed on all the strategically important environments using communications and information technology (eg, more powerful databases)
  • be used to eliminate barriers within organisations and achieve scale and scope efficiencies, even across disparate business units or divisions and geographically spread operations (eg, intranet facilities)

We can conclude from this that, except for scientific research institutions and technology producers, the technology itself isn’t the goal or mission of most organisations. This is an important distinction, in the same way that developing human resources and finances aren’t typically the goals of most organisations. But, all three (technology, people and money) are vital means to help almost every organisation to achieve its goals.  Having the best possible human resources capabilities or competencies, and the best possible financial capabilities or competencies, and the best possible technological capabilities or competencies offer strategic managers and their organisation the tools to achieve strategic or competitive advantage.

These strategic or competitive advantages enable or empower the strategic manager to more quickly and effectively achieve the organisation’s strategic vision, outcomes and goals. Consequently, technology has become one of the foundation strategies that organisational strategists must understand.

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