Technology is not just a tool for business, it is a driver of change and innovation. Technology has the potential to enable companies to adopt novel operational approaches, reinforce their resilience, establish fresh efficiencies, and fulfill their distinctive value propositions.
But how do you craft a successful enterprise technology strategy that aligns with your business goals and leverages the latest trends and developments?
In this blog post, we will explore some of the key elements of a modern application strategy, and share some real-world examples of how companies use technology to transform their businesses.
What Is an Enterprise Technology Strategy?
An enterprise technology strategy is a plan that defines how a company will use technology to achieve its business objectives. It covers aspects such as:
- The vision and mission of the company, and how technology supports them.
- The current state of the company’s technology landscape, and the gaps and opportunities for improvement.
- The future state of the company’s technology landscape, and the roadmap and milestones to get there.
- The principles and guidelines govern technology solutions' selection, implementation, and management.
- The governance and organizational structure that enable effective decision-making and execution of the strategy.
An enterprise technology strategy should be aligned with the overall business strategy and flexible enough to adapt to changing market conditions and customer expectations.
Do You Need an Enterprise Technology Strategy?
An enterprise technology strategy can help you:
- Gain a competitive edge by leveraging the latest technologies and innovations.
- Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty by delivering better products and services.
- Increase operational efficiency and productivity by automating processes and optimizing resources.
- Reduce costs and risks by streamlining systems and enhancing security.
- Foster a culture of innovation and collaboration by empowering employees and partners.
Without an enterprise technology strategy, you may end up with:
- A fragmented and outdated technology landscape that hinders your performance and growth.
- A mismatch between your technology capabilities and your business needs and goals.
- A need for more visibility and control over your technology investments and outcomes.
- A loss of market share and customer trust to more agile and innovative competitors.
How To Craft an Enterprise Technology Strategy
Crafting an enterprise technology strategy is not a one-time exercise, but an ongoing process that involves:
- Assessing your current situation and identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Defining your vision and goals for the future, and how technology can help you achieve them.
- Evaluating the available technologies and solutions, and selecting the ones that best fit your needs and budget.
- Develop a roadmap and action plan that outlines the steps, resources, timelines, and metrics for implementing your chosen solutions.
- Executing your plan with agility and accountability, while monitoring progress and results.
- Reviewing and updating your strategy regularly to ensure alignment with changing business priorities and customer demands.
To craft an effective enterprise technology strategy, you need to involve all the relevant stakeholders from across the organization, such as business leaders, IT leaders, end users, customers, partners, vendors, etc.
You must also conduct thorough research and analysis of your industry trends, customer preferences, competitor actions, regulatory requirements, etc. You may also benefit from engaging external experts or consultants who provide unbiased insights and guidance.
Examples of Enterprise Technology Strategies
To inspire you with some ideas for your enterprise technology strategy, here are some examples of how some leading companies are using technology to transform their businesses:
Netflix: Cloud Computing
Netflix is one of the world’s largest online streaming platforms, with over 200 million subscribers in over 190 countries. Netflix relies on cloud computing to deliver its content to millions of devices simultaneously, ensuring high quality, reliability, scalability, security, and cost-effectiveness.
Netflix uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its primary cloud provider but also leverages other cloud platforms such as Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure for specific purposes. Netflix has adopted a microservices architecture, where each service runs independently on its cloud infrastructure.
This allows Netflix to deploy new features faster, test different versions easily, isolate failures quickly, scale up or down as needed, and optimize performance.
Netflix also uses cloud-based tools for data analytics, artificial intelligence, content delivery, security, etc. Netflix has developed its cloud-based software platform called Netflix Open Connect, which connects directly to internet service providers (ISPs) worldwide to deliver its content more efficiently.
Netflix also shares its cloud best practices and open sources some of its cloud tools to benefit the wider developer community.
Starbucks: Mobile Apps
Starbucks stands as one of the globe's largest coffeehouse chains, operating over 30,000 stores across more than 80 countries. Starbucks leverages mobile applications to enrich its customer experience, foster loyalty, and provide convenience.
Starbucks launched its mobile app in 2009 and has since added various features and functionalities, such as:
- Mobile order and pay allows customers to order and pay for their drinks and food ahead of time and pick them up at their preferred store without waiting in line.
- Starbucks Rewards is a loyalty program that rewards customers with stars for every purchase, which can be redeemed for free drinks and food, personalized offers, birthday treats, etc.
- Starbucks Card is a digital gift card that can be loaded with money and used to pay for purchases at any Starbucks store or online.
- Starbucks Voice is a voice assistant that allows customers to place orders using voice commands through the app or Amazon Alexa devices.
- Starbucks Games are interactive games that customers can play on the app to earn stars and prizes.
Starbucks also uses its mobile app to collect customer feedback, provide personalized recommendations, offer social media integration, and support social causes.
Walmart: Internet of Things
Walmart is one of the world’s largest retailers, with over 10,000 stores in 19 countries. Walmart uses the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve its supply chain efficiency, inventory management, customer service, and sustainability.
Walmart uses IoT devices such as sensors, RFID tags, cameras, drones, robots, etc. to monitor and optimize various aspects of its operations, such as:
- Temperature and humidity control ensures the freshness and quality of perishable goods, such as fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, etc.
- Shelf availability detects out-of-stock items and alerts store associates to replenish them.
- Inventory tracking tracks the location and movement of products throughout the supply chain, from suppliers to warehouses to stores to customers.
- Delivery optimization, which routes and schedules deliveries based on traffic conditions, weather forecasts, customer preferences, etc.
- Customer service, which provides self-checkout options, in-store navigation, product information, etc. to customers using their smartphones or wearable devices.
- Sustainability, which reduces energy consumption, carbon emissions, waste generation, etc. by using smart lighting, heating, cooling, refrigeration, etc.
Walmart also uses IoT data to generate insights and analytics that help it improve its business decisions and performance.
An enterprise technology strategy is a vital component of any modern business. It can help you leverage the power of technology to achieve your business goals and deliver value to your customers. To craft a successful enterprise technology strategy, you need to:
- Assess your current situation and identify your gaps and opportunities.
- Define your vision and goals for the future, and how technology can help you achieve them.
- Review and update your strategy regularly to ensure alignment with changing business priorities and customer demands.
You can also learn from the examples of other companies using technology to transform their businesses differently. Whether cloud computing, mobile apps, IoT, or any other technology trend, you can find inspiration and guidance from their successes and challenges.
If you're looking to improve your enterprise technology strategy, reach out to MSH for a technology consultation.