Published on August 30th, 2020 📆 | 2422 Views ⚑0
Talking full advantage of technology
Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr
Over the years, technology has moved up the rung of the ladder to act as a catalyst for transformation in business strategy. The gap between technology and business has been bridged and much expectations is falling on the side of Information Technology, as a significant number of organisations are now thinking beyond the use of the conventional operating models, while trying to re-imagine the role technology plays in their business transformation.
The aim of infusing technology into business is to drive for more innovation, effectiveness in collaboration and the creation of value for long-term sustainability. With the impact of technological disruption on an unprecedented scale, technology has become a veritable tool in making choices on business strategy and value-creation models.
In today’s world, business leaders are faced with a difficult range of decisions. Decision making that would negate the traditional structure of organisations. For instance, with a load of data, an informed decision that enables adaptation and disruption can be taken. The convergence of the digital and physical world have bridged industry boundaries changing the shape of customer engagement and experience.
The availability of cloud technology has reduced entry barriers, a development that has led to the creation of new business models. Trying to infuse the factors mentioned above into the conventional business model that we are used to may come as incompatible as operational excellence may not be guaranteed. Going back in time, the functions of technology and business were parallel lines and this has led to delays in projects and inflexibility.
In modern times, businesses have to create strategic objectives, centred around technology. Fusing technology with business strategies, companies would be able to predict the market, make swift responses to customer needs and remain ahead of competition. This is a way in which companies can get to maximise the energy invested into adopting technological strategies.
This may just simply require an entirely different approach that would allow technology and business to collaborate, in order to create data, transparency and a whole new digital experience.
Some business owners do not, however, have a good understanding of the role technology can play in their business, let alone trying to harness the synergy between them.
Taking a look at this scenario, a company might see the need of taking initiatives, such as creating a new operational model, digital transformation and developing modern skills in the workforce. All these aforementioned are good strategies to infuse, however, if there is no definitiveness to a bigger picture, trying to deliver technology-driven initiatives would yield less of no result.
Some key factors can, however, determine changes that will come in. For example, a growth in the innovation ecosystem can offer companies with access to sufficient technological options that can help to fast track technological innovation. Both business strategy and disruption hold influential impact for driving an organisation forward. It would be wise enough, if both are infused as one entity, rather than utilising them as separate entities.
Both of them are needed for the required transformation agenda that would re-invent your business. What does a transformation agenda then have to offer?
First, it unleashes opportunities in the business and identifies technologies that are enabling. With this collaborative strategy, a developmental process is created between technology and business. Business opportunities can thus be assisted through investments and technological capabilities.
A transformation agenda, helps to spell out missions, visions and aspirations enabled by technology. This commences with aspirations that spells out the target audience of the company, creating value for them. You may have to also define where you can win, with your strategy, looking at different opportunities in business that technology can offer solutions to.
What can technology do for you? Can it create an entirely new customer experience? Can it reinvent your business supply chain? Putting this into consideration, then, you can identify technologies that are poised in helping you achieve your specific opportunities.
Transformation agenda may unlock a technology-business strategy with lots of potential opportunities, however, lack of sufficient resources to utilise the strategy might just be a challenge. In this case, opportunities can be prioritised.
Trusting in the depth of technology to unleash business insights is often times deeply rooted in the ability of the company to sustain its operational model. Putting together a technology-business strategy produces a road map that can achieve a specified business opportunity that is in alignment with the capabilities of technology.
A strong technology-business strategy requires a paradigm shift by leaders, a shift that will cut across four factors:
In producing the modern technology, work companies will need to inject fresh capabilities and skills. Presently leaders are utilising the open talent network to obtain and curate these required skills. At their disposal lies an array of talents ranging from full time, contract and even remote workers.
With the introduction of robotics, cloud, artificial intelligence, and other advanced technologies, the scope of work that was normally at the centre stage for IT personnel, is now upgraded and distributed over to machines. This opens a space for technology function to shift its scope from management to offering a strategic business result.
With advances in connectivity and mobility, collaboration tools have seen an increase in its use with Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality, leading the forefront. A conducive workplace is required for effective innovation and collaboration. It is necessary to factor in the design of the workplace as it may have a significant contribution to work culture that keeps the workforce motivated and engaged.
Operating model agility
In today’s business world, leaders require agility, speed and up to date skills to engage their customers. There may just be a need to move from the traditional IT model to more decentralised ones. As the role of technology changes with respect to its functions, so is the future of technology with the workforce, work and workplace.
The current market dynamics and advances are changing the dimensions of work. With technology as a driver, organisations have got the opportunity to go with technological disruption, or fall behind.
CFA is the founder of CFAmedia.ng, a business and innovation platform