Introduction 

Technology innovation continues to disrupt how businesses engage with customers, employees, and partners. No longer relegated to an IT department, technology strategies and supporting initiatives are mission-critical to the overall business strategy success. Organizations are challenged to optimize their technology investments (legacy and other) and introducing new technology and digital transformations to compete and thrive in a significantly rapidly evolving digital-centric market.

The technology trend to date with the biggest influence to digital transformation has been the move to the cloud because it has totally democratized access to compute power!

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Advances in and the exponential pace of disruptive technologies are fundamentally changing the way we live, interact, and communicate, and do business in our workplace and social environments. In response, organizations are creating new business models and strategic initiatives to digital transformation as the key to innovation, growth, and the discovery and creation of new revenue-producing and profitability opportunities.

Today, it is well-recognized that ‘best-in-class’ organizational technology decision-making is tethered and aligned with the business decision-making that results in an integrated strategy that sets-out out the correct short and long-term paths for corporate success with technology as the key driver.

“Data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable as a result.”
 McKinsey Global Institute

The Digital Transformation Era

Positive digital transformation requires a vision of how to reinvent and change the organization for successfully operating in a highly-competitive digital-centric environment. In recent years, the disruptive transformation has focused on improving the quality of customer interactions, with many organizations extended their successfully transformational efforts into the core operational activities.

Companies that experienced positive digital transformation focus primarily on ERP and CRM structures and individual processes supported by standalone tools. These implementations represent a non-enterprise approach in silo business units.

Empowered by emerging technologies, businesses will continue to rapidly accept and undergo digital transformations to harmonize and synchronize customer-facing employees with corporate operational system activities, thus resulting in business silo destruction and construction of a genuinely holistic enterprise infrastructure with significantly improved governance.

The core drivers for successful digital transformation deployment include continually:

  • Engaging Customers.
  • Empowering Employees.
  • Optimizing and Leveraging Processing.
  • Reinventing Products & Services.
“It seems obvious that CIOs finding their
digital transformation plans hampered by
complex, legacy IT could turn to cloud
services for ready-made solutions.”
Logicalis Global CIO Survey 2017-2018

Digital Transformation – Systems of Intelligence 

Satya Nadella view on Microsoft’s Digital Transformation – Systems of Intelligence. 

“This transformation isn’t just about procuring a CRM, ERP, or office automation system. It requires building out what we refer to as systems of intelligence — digital feedback loops that help you better engage with your customers, empower your employees, optimize your operations, and reinvent products and business models. These systems of intelligence encompass your people, processes, and technology. And they will ultimately define your competitiveness and ability to change the landscape of the industries you participate in.”

Technology Strategic Planning Methodology 

Technology strategy development is concerned with gathering information, research, brainstorming, evaluation, collaboration, and consensus-building, and decision-making within a five-phase methodology approach as outlined below:

  1. Business Model – Current.
  2. Business Strategy & Process State – As-Is.
  3. Business Strategy & Process State – To-Be.
  4. Technology Strategy & Business Alignment.
  5. Technology Strategy Project.

“90% of CEOs believe the digital economy will impact their industry, but less than 15% are executing on a digital strategy.”
MIT Sloan & CapGemini 

Technology Strategy: Components

The successful technology strategy development encompasses:

  1. Strategy Statement: description of technology decisions supporting and incorporated into individual technology strategies. The statement includes details of the new or changed policies, goals and objectives, and business and support processes.
  2. Strategy Goals & Objectives: achieve realistic and pragmatic success measures.
  3. Strategy Alignment: description of enterprise alignment points with approved corporate business strategies.
  4. Timeline: planned start and end dates, duration, and sizes for the deployment of approved strategies, within a project or program approach.
  5. Prioritized Improvements/Changes: continual identification of value-add improvements.
  6. Financial Quantification & Justification: details supporting financial quantification and justification for approved strategies.
  7. Budget: details of the multi-year approved financial budget to support the use of necessary internal resources and external services to implement improvements and changes supporting recommended strategies.
  8. Owners & Supporting Stakeholders: employees with roles and responsibilities for governance and supervision of successful strategy implementation.

Analytical Tools and Techniques

An array of analytical tools and techniques used to conduct strategic planning exercises include:

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
Albert Einstein

Technology-Centric Questions

The key technology-centric questions that highlight the brainstorming within technology strategy development planning and formalization include:

  • How can disruptive technology enable the creation of new business models?
  • How can organizations commercialize and monetize innovations and scientific discoveries?
  • How will the introduction of technology-based innovation in products and services affect business strategy and competitive market positioning?
  • Is digital transformation a strategic priority for organizations to remain as a viable market success?
  • What is the value contribution of emerging technology to profitability and productivity improvement?
  • What are the fiscal drag and potential future organizational failures with continual reliance on legacy technology infrastructures?
  • Will business flexibility and agility be improved with leveraging and exploiting emerging technology?

Technology: Exploit & Leverage

Continual market sustainability, in the digital transformation environment, is directly impacted by the success of the organization’s strategy to exploit emerging technologies and leverage the current technological infrastructure. The critical business strategy success goals are directly related to the outcomes of the measures as listed below:

  • Attract new customers.
  • Improve cash flow.
  • Improve employee productivity.
  • Increase profitability.
  • Increase revenue growth.
  • Maintaining and growing current customers.
  • Reduce risk and exposure.

Modern Successful Business

Effective technology strategy supports the characteristics of successful modern businesses, as outlined below:

  • Rule ONE: Voice of Customer is the focus of all strategic decisions!
  • Support enterprise-wide digital transformation.
  • Fast and responsive to all customer requests and requirements.
  • Fully mobile to connect people, on the move, conduct with business at any time, at any location, on any equipment.
  • Continual analysis of emerging technologies for potential use within corporate processes and activities.
  • Support the digital ecosystem to leverage economies of scale and enhance operations through service supply chain integration.
“Information technology is at the core of how you do your business and how your business model itself evolves.”
Satya Nadella