Monthly Archive: December 2014

Technology Influence in Business Strategy

There is a spectrum of attitudes towards technology that is found in different organisations:

1 2 3 4 5
Technology as a tool for efficiency Technology as a tool for achieving business strategy Technology as a function alongside finance, marketing, HR, etc., typically called R&D (product technology) or operations (process technology) Technology strategy influences business strategy in a bottom-up manner Technology strategy leads the business, effectively determining business strategy

Table 1: Degrees of technological influence on business strategy (Source: Fowles, 2005)

Technologies mean different things to different people at different times in the sense of how they are interpreted. Rural customers of the Ford Model T used it for ploughing. Farm tractors evolved as a response. Lacking electricity, the same customers used the car as a source of power to drive farm machinery and even domestic tools such as a washing machine. Nor is it only customers who interpret a technology in various ways. The maker’s technology strategy decides on resource allocation. The decisions of one strategy are closely intertwined with those of the other. By asking to what they allocate resources it is possible to tell them apart.