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I have been remiss in not writing a piece in almost two months. So I am going to make up with a two-part post. This is the first on this topic.


Every company claims to have a strategy for greater growth and success. Inherent to this is the inclusion of technology strategy. Over the years we have experienced a variety of thoughts being pushed as technology strategy – ranging from “IT is a mere enabler” to “IT can change the game.”

Those of us who work in a tech-heavy environment may believe that all strategy needs to be about technology, and then there are those that insist that technology should not be a consideration until we know what it is we want to accomplish with our core business.

Now, this is where things get interesting… yes, technology is an enabler; yes, technology can change the game; yes, in some businesses strategy for the business is synonymous with technology strategy; and yes, in some businesses it is important to understand how the core business works before we do anything around technology.

Today in an age when your refrigerator is technology-heavy and your ability to get from Point A to Point B is technology-dependent, it behooves us to acknowledge that technology can be a game changer even in a business that has not been traditionally technology-dominated. This is where we must focus for this is where technology strategy can have an impactful bearing on overall strategy. If as a consumer or retail focused business your organization can leverage IT to get between a consumer and the cash register to influence a buying decision, this can be a game changer that alters the dynamics of existing business process flows. If the use of IT can help you figure out, dynamically and in an ongoing manner, what is top-of-mind in what segment(s) of the market, then that can have an impact on your go-to-market strategy. These are but just a couple of very simple illustrations of what technology can do to influence business strategy.

The challenge before many organizations today is, how can we do this in an organized and repeatable manner? How do we make this kind of thinking a habit? That is what I call addressing the business of technology strategy. More organizations need to get into this business.

I will continue in my next post with additional thoughts on this subject; in the meantime I welcome input/feedback.

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  1. Michelle Crapo
    I’m kind of worried I missed your point.  And will sound like an idiot.  But anyway:

    Here’s some of my answers:

    Is your organization seeking ways to grow and prosper on the strength of innovation around business process and revenue models? Yes, as I imagine most IT people would answer

    Are you seeking to enable new functionality for existing processes? Of course, we do this in many projects that are going on right now.  We are using DMS, EH&S – those both are new to us.

    Have you considered the impact of new technology that can simplify, or even eliminate complex processes, and/or establish newer processes? Yes, that would be one of the strongest arguments for new technology to be implemented.

    What, in your opinion, are some actions organizations should take? Always stay on top of the business needs.  Have a SAP Staff that will help show the different options out there.  Have people that read blogs, go to different events, just keep up with technology.  Have the people that understand the business, and can offer up better solutions.  Constantly look for a better way to do things. 

    Hopefully that answers your questions in a general manner.  I agree technology is an amazing thing.  Have you seen the commercial – the one where the guy just bought a 3D TV and then immediately there is a 4D TV available?   Only update to the 4D (or the latest technology) if there is a real business need.


    1. Puneet Suppal Post author
      Hi Michelle,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. Your points are well noted.

      The questions were designed to provoke conversation and comment – though not necessarily all from a single individual! 🙂

      The main thrust of this post is to get people to start thinking about the role technology strategy should and can play within overall strategy for the business. I appreciate your comment about the commercial featuring a 3D TV and 4D TV; however, when businesses must find ways to sustain and grow their revenue and market share they must consider the impact of technology, especially disruptive technology. It is my hope that more companies that are not technology-based will start to look at things this way. This also goes back to the role of BPXers who should be alert to the limitations of existing processes and the gaps in the process chain, and how these inadequacies might be addressed by transformational innovation activity.

      Please feel free to comment further or we can continue this multi-dimensional discussion offline.

      Thanks again, and regards,


      1. Michelle Crapo
        Gotcha!  Now it makes sense.

        It should be a good conversation.   Our BPX / BPA group here does exactly that.  They look for gaps in the process chain.  That’s usually how our projects are driven.  (Yes, we have smaller ones too!)

        However, we do not ever go bleeding edge.  We are much more conservative.  There are multiple reasons for that.   Probably the biggest one is support on the latest and greatest.  Beta versions are always the worse!   After that would be the fact that we are FDA regulated.  Testing inside out, upside down, right side, and left side.  

        The one time we stepped off the edge – we got burned.  Won’t go into that as it is an SAP product.  We are still trying to get it to work with our AS/400.  Not having a lot of luck.

        It’ll be interesting to hear from people who do resolve the issues by innovation.  We do “innovate” with our own custom solutions.  Just not by installing “newer” products. 

        We are trying to get the one working right now.  I’m not involved with that project.  But there is a lot of frustration going on.



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