When you invest in technology for your business, you inevitably have high expectations for its performance. You trust that technology will improve your business processes and make your organization more successful. But is that always the case?
There is often a startling disconnect between business strategy and technology. For example, research has shown companies pay for an average of 36% more cloud space than they actually need.
Some of our clients have hired us to help after they stumbled into technology pitfalls, like drastically overspending on custom development tools, data initiatives, and app dev projects.
Without a clear roadmap for aligning technology with business strategy, problems like these will quickly arise. Here are a few tips for better understanding the purpose behind any new technology your business plans to utilize, and steps to effectively use it to execute your business goals.
5 Tips for Aligning Technology with Business Strategy
1. Identify your goals first.
Before making any major technology purchases, solidify and clearly articulate your business goals. These should remain top-of-mind throughout the tech vetting process to avoid investing in technology for the sake of it.
This is a good practice at every level of your organization to ensure processes and workflows align with company goals as well. At Saxony Partners, we begin every project with a thorough review of people, processes, and existing technologies – and we work with you to develop a roadmap that aligns all three of those components with your goals.
2. Ask the right questions.
When the time comes to identify the right software solutions, applications, or data management options for your organization, ask questions that will naturally lead to aligning technology with business strategy.
What defines your organization? What competitive advantages do you know you have? These are the areas where you should invest the bulk of your technology budget.
How will any new technology fit into the framework of your established business processes? Are there features you will be paying for that you don’t really need? Identifying these problems before they arise will save your team money and headaches.
3. Adopt best practices.
When you have clarity surrounding your organizational goals and you’ve properly vetted technology tools for their effectiveness, you’ll have a greater chance of adhering to industry-established best practices.
Those aforementioned best practices vary depending on the nature of your business, but at Saxony we’ve identified two that are more-or-less universal. One, eliminating data silos by aggregating your critical data into a single source of truth. Two, employing automation where possible to eliminate tedious work and save money.
4. Consider custom software solutions.
You might be able to easily identify what sort of software or applications your company needs to in order to grow, but off-the-shelf options might not be rightsized for your specific business model. Adopting a software solution that is over- or under-built for your business needs is a waste of money and resources – and it could complicate workflows.
Custom software solutions can empower your business with features designed specifically for your needs, giving you the opportunity to innovate and to scale the solution in order to meet future growth.
5. Rely on objective third-party expertise.
As you consider how to invest your technology budget, it can be beneficial to seek guidance from an objective third party. Some vendors can convince you into believing you need the shiniest new toy, regardless of whether it meets your business needs (or whether you can afford it).
Having a trusted partner who can help you assess what tools you need in order to meet your business needs will save you money and accelerate speed-to-value.
Making Digital Practical
At Saxony Partners, we don’t build solutions for the sake of technology. We tailor solutions to your business goals in order to drive maximum value. We take pride in engineering solutions that realize speed-to-value and return-on-investment, while ensuring long-term supportability and minimizing technical debt.
We meet you where you are and help you get where you want to go. Our pragmatic approach helps you ensure early success. We enable your solution to evolve and scale with your business.
If your organization needs support in aligning technology with business strategy, reach out to us.