Café Innovation – The Business of Technology Strategy (Part I) was posted on April 5, 2011
So how do we engage in the business of Technology strategy? Some of you have asked if this means we need to possess deep technology grounding, or if this is something that happens accidentally. Actually, the answer is, “sometimes both,” and, “sometimes neither.” What is required is a culture of innovation that encourages individuals to climb out of the proverbial box and look at core business models afresh. It is almost necessary to start the thought process around this by assuming that the technology to make anything happen does exist!
Now, having removed that possible constraint, we can ask for results and outcomes that previously we might have considered impossible or at the very least difficult to achieve. For example, in a business where IT has historically only played an enabler role, we might find that we have an opportunity to invent a whole new model because now a dynamic process is very doable addressing events in a whole new order, where in the past it would have not been considered possible. This is an example of moving to the upper, right-hand quadrant in the Figure* below, as opposed to staying complacently in the bottom, right-hand quadrant.
Is creative thinking sufficient for success? Although it is necessary to think creatively, this will not bring about that revolutionary change by itself. We must have the courage to identify the appropriate technology and act on it. The game-changing technology can be anything – a new way to consume enterprise services, or a mobility platform, or in-memory computing.
The key is that you must know how best to apply it. That knowledge will necessarily have to come from within the organization. A software vendor or a services partner can only help you uncover the truth and knowledge that the collective consciousness of the organization already possesses.
Seek out your most trusted partner – SAP and/or an SI partner and start the process of discovery…..but only after you have immersed yourself in the business of creative thinking that is dramatic enough to create new business models.
This discussion takes on added importance in the light of SAPPHIRE NOW which starts in just about a week in Orlando. If you have creative ideas around innovation in the context of your business model, it is more than likely that at this event you will find a technology solution or two that might, acting as a game-changer, reshape your strategy. This year the emphasis on enterprise mobility and in-memory computing (HANA) from SAP is obviously a significant one. In addition to these solutions, I encourage you to check out other solution options from SAP, such as those around usability and consumption of SAP. Taken individually or together, these solutions may prove transformational for your business.
*Note: The lower left hand quadrant in this figure is not terribly relevant in our discussion because high-tech companies easily accept technology as an enabler; they are naturally inclined to use technology as a game changer – there is little reason to assume that they need to be exhorted to do this.