Many organizations are to some extent dependent on using information technology to deliver products or services to its customers. This applies to organizations within the private as well within the public sector.
There is some form of hierarchy among strategies that relates to the enterprise information technology strategy (IT strategy) and there might be some need to divide the strategies in order to specialize them e.g. through different persons who have the responsibility for the strategies or ensuring that the relevant information is screened to the relevant stakeholders. I hereby assume that the chief executive officer wouldn’t be that interested in particular technological products e.g. which edition of JAVA should the company’s IT-department be using or which particular server platform would be preferable in order to keep track of smartphones and tablets?
The technology strategy deals with the “hard side” of the technology. Which products, programming languages, databases, hardware, operating systems, back end platforms, ERP systems should the organization make use of.
What is the Technology Strategy?
The technology strategy deals with articulation of plans, roadmaps and principles for which information technologies that the enterprise should make use of.
The technology strategy is all about giving the decision makers some guidance on how to ensure to get rid of systems that only adds risks to how the organization does its business.
Systems that potentially will not add any kind of value to the business and instead seems like a liability own and be a part of the application portfolio.
Relations to IT-strategy
The technology strategy is delimited to deal with information technology (abbreviated IT) and as such the technology strategy can be related to the usage of IT strategy.
The difference between the technology strategy and the IT strategy; is that the IT strategy usually makes use of a long term description of goals that ensures that the IT department will enable the “business” with achieving its goals and adding bits to the a platform that could be turned into competitive advantage if used correctly.
Who formulates the Technology Strategy?
In many medium and large sized organizations have usually two types of technically related chief executives. The first one is the Chief Information Officer. The second one is the Chief Technology Officer (abbreviated CTO) who is more focused on the application portfolio, platforms and hardware.
The two of them are responsible for different perspectives of the enterprise’s usage of information technology; however it is more likely that the CTO reports to the CIO than the other way around.
The two would have to collaborate on delivering plans that can improve the organization and its usage of information technology.
How do You Formulate a Technology Strategy?
There are many ways to formulate a technology strategy and the way I see it the most important thing is to deliver results through changes investments behavior. In this regard I assume that a technology strategy would have to be dealt with through the articulation of principles.
Greefhorst & Proper (2011) have written a rather interesting book named “Architecture Principles” and as such their approach to formulating principles can be made use of in order to formulate proper principles that can be incorporated in the technology strategy.
A technology strategy is usually used for ensuring the organization’s ability to gain a return of value of the investments it has committed to the applications, systems, platforms and development can be gained and turned into an advantage.
In order to do so the CTO has to collaborate with other profiles like the CIO in order to develop coherent strategies for the organization’s it-architecture. In order to make a sustainable and resilient strategy it has to be build upon principles.
The next blog post that I plan to publish will deal with principles and how a good principle is formulated.