How Growing Businesses Can Develop Effective Technology Strategies - Striven

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How Growing Businesses Can Develop Effective Technology Strategies

Amanda Clark
June 5, 2023
7 min read

At the risk of stating the obvious, technology has changed everything. It’s changed the way we communicate, the way we buy and sell, and the way we seek information. These changes are impossible to ignore, especially for businesses. As new advances continue to disrupt the workplace and reorder the consumer experience, the most successful businesses are able to adapt and evolve.

Of course, that requires the development of a robust and comprehensive technology strategy. Whether you are running a Florida LLC or a Partnership in California, it’s important to be intentional and visionary in your deployment of technology.

What is a Technology Strategy?

Maybe a good starting point is simply to define our terms. Technology strategy sounds like a perfectly good entrepreneurial buzzword, but does it actually mean anything?

To put it most succinctly, a technology strategy is a concrete, specific, and detailed set of documents that outline a company’s technological goals: What’s your vision for technological deployment? What do you hope to accomplish with your technology, and how will you measure your success?

A good technology strategy will articulate the budget you’ve set aside for IT, the kind of staffing and training you’ll need to deploy technology most effectively, and the operating models you have in place for technology compliance, governance, and security.

Why Does Having a Technology Strategy Matter?

This isn’t documentation for documentation’s sake. On the contrary, there are some specific benefits that growing businesses can gain from having a well-designed technology strategy in place. Those benefits include:

  • It provides a clear and consistent approach to information-sharing, which can boost efficiency, encourage collaboration, and minimize redundancy.
  • It provides a holistic approach to cybersecurity and to regulatory compliance.
  • It supplies you with clear metrics for assessing the success of your technology program.
  • It defines responsibilities for decision-makers, IT leaders, and other stakeholders within the company.
  • It provides direction and vision for how tech resources should be allocated.

How to Develop a Technology Strategy

With all of that said, then, what are some practical ways for growing businesses to put technology strategies into place?

1) Start with your business objectives

Technology, when rightly deployed, can have a positive effect on all aspects of your business, including every department and every employee. As such, your technology strategy should never be created in a vacuum, as though IT is simply its own little island.

Instead, your development of a technology strategy should always begin with key stakeholders taking stock of core business objectives: Sales targets, long-term growth plans, marketing goals, and more. Use these objectives to provide some shape and direction for your technology plan.

2) Gather information

It’s also important to bring key decision-makers and stakeholders into the planning process. That means seeking input and gathering information from everyone who will be most directly affected by your tech roll-out (including the IT leaders and department heads who will be spearheading the roll-out).

You might even consider surveys or town hall meetings to get insight from your employees, seeking their opinions about technology goals, hurdles, or pain points.

3) Set a timeline

A good strategy should include measurable goals, as well as a basic timeline. In other words, it’s important for your technology strategy to clearly articulate what you hope to achieve, and at what points you need to be hitting key benchmarks.

Something else to consider: When will you and your IT team pause to review the technology strategy, and to make any necessary additions, revisions, or improvements? The strategy itself should document a basic timeline for audits and reviews.

4) Audit your current technology infrastructure

Speaking of audits, as you develop a technology plan, it’s critical to take stock of the assets and resources you already have in place.

By identifying these assets, you can first determine the technological gaps that must be accounted for. From there, you can develop a strategy for filling those gaps as cost-effectively as possible, and with minimal disruption to your day-to-day operation.

As you conduct this audit, however, you need to be attuned to more than just hardware. Also think about the human factor. Which technologies do your personnel actually use, and which ones are underutilized? Which existing technologies feel essential to the big picture, and which are peripheral?

5) Define your metrics

How will you know whether your technology strategy is actually working? Simply put, you’ll need to define your metrics up front, along with the processes you’ll use for measuring and reporting.

There are a number of metrics to consider when establishing a business technology strategy, including project delivery time, employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, marketing and sales ROI, and more insights from Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). As you think about which metrics are most worth measuring, go back to those core business goals you established in step 1.

6) Obtain buy-in

Your technology strategy will only be successful if the stakeholders in your business agree to its value and importance. That means getting buy-in with leaders and managers, who can then promote the strategy to the other employees.

Here, clear communication is essential. Be prepared to convey the big picture, avoiding too much technical jargon and instead focusing on the reasons why your technology plan will benefit the company in its day-to-day operations.

7) Seek help as needed

Developing a whole new technology strategy is a major undertaking, and it’s sure to have implications for your entire business operation. It’s normal to feel like you need a little guidance from an external partner, so don’t hesitate to enlist an IT vendor or technology consultant as necessary. Invest in getting your technology plan right, and it should yield major dividends over time.

Take a Strategic Approach to Business Technology

The bottom line: Every growing business benefits from taking a proactive, long-term view of their technology needs. The right strategy can undergird your productivity and align all of your other business goals. Take a careful approach to your technology strategy, and be ready to revisit it regularly as your business grows and changes.

amanda clark guest author

Amanda Clark

Amanda E. Clark is a contributing writer to LLC University. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She became a professional writer in 2008 and has led marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies. She has appeared as a subject matter expert on panels about content and social media marketing. She regularly leads seminars and training sessions on trends and tactics in professional writing.