Technology strategy (information technology strategy or IT strategy) is the overall plan which consist of objective(s), principles and tactics relating to use of the technologies within a particular organization. Such strategies primarily focus on the technologies themselves and in some cases the people who directly manage those technologies. The strategy can be implied from the organization’s behaviors towards technology decisions, and may be written down in a document.
Other generations of technology-related strategies primarily focus on: the efficiency of the company’s spending on technology; how people, for example the organization’s customers and employees, exploit technologies in ways that create value for the organization; on the full integration of technology-related decisions with the company’s strategies and operating plans, such that no separate technology strategy exists other than the de facto strategic principle that the organization does not need or have a discrete ‘technology strategy’.
A technology strategy has traditionally been expressed in a document that explains how technology should be utilized as part of an organization’s overall corporate strategy and each business strategy. In the case of IT, the strategy is usually formulated by a group of representatives from both the business and from IT. Often the Information Technology Strategy is led by an organization’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or equivalent. Accountability varies for an organization’s strategies for other classes of technology. Although many companies write an overall business plan each year, a technology strategy may cover developments somewhere between 3 and 5 years into the future.
For a strategy to be effective, it should answer questions of how to create value, deliver value, and capture value:
In order to create value one needs to trace back the technology and forecast on how the technology evolves, how the market penetration changes, and how to organize effectively.
To capture value one should know how to compete to gain a competitive advantage and sustain it, and how to compete in case that standards of technology is important.
The final step is delivering the value, where firms defines how to execute the strategy, make strategic decisions and take decisive actions. The Strategic Alignment Process is a step by step process that helps managers stay focused on specific task in order to execute the task and deliver.
A technology strategy document is usually designed to be read by non-technical stakeholders involved in business planning within an organization. It should be free of technical jargon and information technology acronyms.
The IT strategy should also be presented or read by internal IT staff members. Many organizations will circulate prior year versions to internal IT department for feedback. The feedback is used to create new annual IT strategy plans.
One critical integration point is the interface with an organization’s marketing plan. The marketing plan frequently requires the support of a web site to create an appropriate on-line presence. Large organizations frequently have complex web site requirements such as web content management.