Think your business isn’t a tech company? Think again.
What 2020 reinforced for all of us is that making it easier for consumers to get what they want was a huge driver of business. And for many people, that came down to managing supply chain logistics, online ordering, and finding ways to increase convenience. A key component to those factors – as well as business operations in general – is that technology is a vital component to the success of most businesses. So let’s talk about business strategy and technology.
Technology Core Component of Business Operations
And no, we’re not talking about picking up the pace of product rollouts or helping people troubleshoot computer issues – though that certainly does play a role! In fact, we would go so far as to argue that technology should be a core component of your business operations, not just a cost center. Strategic integration of information technology can help business leaders innovate and pivot easily to changes in their environment.
For example, the pandemic meant people needed to be able to shop for groceries safely without ever setting foot in the grocery store. While many retail grocery chains already offered pick up and delivery options, the pandemic put those services into overdrive. It was no longer about who had the best prices or location. Now, it was about who made shopping for groceries easier, safer, and more convenient. The stores that stepped up their tech infrastructure sooner or already had one in place were able to pivot more easily to increase sales. Those were also likely the ones that already had strategic IT leadership working behind the scenes.
A similar case can be made for restaurants. Before the pandemic, one might have called a popular pizza place nearby to order ahead. Now, you can log onto its website, select your desired pizza, note any customizations, and schedule a time for pickup or delivery. And you can do it all from your phone, tablet, or computer. The common thread here? Technology. Eateries and bars that made their offerings easily accessible for online ordering with convenient options for pick up and delivery were more likely to ride the turbulent waves of openings and closings.
The Need for a Strategic IT Leadership Plan
The challenge many businesses face is knowing how to leverage technology and with which tools. That’s why technology and management must work hand-in-hand to drive creativity, innovation, and growth. A strategic leader who is experienced in the digital component of your industry can help develop long-term plans that will keep your business proactive, rather than reactive. And a successful marriage of strategic technology and business operations will have a positive impact on your client experience, your team member engagement, and ultimately, your bottom line. Remember: it takes two to tango. You need to get the steps just right to drive success. Having a strategic IT leadership plan in place can help.