"The days of building a standalone technology strategy are over."This is the final line in a post on Outsource Magazine. The idea is some orgs have moved all of their tech to the cloud, so there are no systems in house requiring tech support. SO hey, we don't need no stinking standalone tech strategy. Let's just completely integrate our tech plan into other areas. It'll be great, THEY say. Everyone will help drive tech strategy and it will rock, THEY say.
I say get over it. The need for a standalone tech strategy still exists even if all of the systems are in the cloud.
If you have more than one system, who will think about integration?
If you have devices to access the cloud, who will think about those?
If you have staff using the technology, who will think about support and training?
If you want to re-engineer processes, who will do the mapping, solution planning, etc?
If you have new features released, who will think about how to use them?
I could go on and on. Not to mention, the need for someone to step back and have a vision for technology across the org.
Let's jump back to 1993. This model about Strategic Alignment from Venkatraman summarizes things for me. We will always need technology thinking to happen from four different perspectives.
You can read about the model, but in essence it shows a need for technology strategy to:
- Start with Business Strategy, drive process, end with tech implementation
- Start with Business Strategy, involves IT in definition, end with tech implementation
- Start with IT Strategy, suggest Business Strategy change, end with change process
- Start with IT Strategy, implement tech, end with change process
There are real needs for each of these types of strategy and without a standalone tech strategy to harness, drive and push these, how well do you think things will end? I picture a skyline consisting of a city of half built buildings without a tech strategy. As long as you are in the middle of the city with your eyes down, getting the daily work done, you never notice the buildings don't get finished. But someone stepping back to view the horizon can see it clearly.