As a technology solutions provider, I frequently interact with executives that are considering implementing a new technology in hopes of improving productivity or profitability. Most of the time, these executives can easily communicate the problems they would like to have solved or the gains that can be achieved by implementation. Often I simply ask them: “How does this investment in technology support the objectives identified in your strategic plan?”
More often than not, an immediate answer to this question cannot be provided. To be fair, if given enough time, a link can usually be established between the expected benefits of the new application and an objective in their strategic plan, but the inability to provide a quick response to this fairly straightforward question raises another interesting question:
How does technology factor into your strategic plan?
In the best case scenario, a company will prepare a separate and distinct IT plan that includes strategies to achieve the goals and objectives identified in the organization’s overall strategic plan. Unfortunately, this tends to be the exception as opposed to the rule. At a minimum, I would recommend that executives incorporate technology-related objectives into their overall strategic plan. It would be a waste of time to try and identify specific technologies as a part of this process, since the strategic plan is long-term in nature, and technology is ever-changing. However, there is a benefit to identifying the role that technology will play as a part of the company’s ongoing strategy. Some examples of technology objectives that can be incorporated into strategic plans include:
• Invest in technologies that provide us with a competitive edge;
• Invest in technologies that enable us to penetrate new markets;
• Invest in technologies that reduce our operational risk; or
• Invest in technologies that enable us to reduce our costs.
When laying out the long-term plan of your business, don’t forget to include technology! For more information on ways the Schneider Downs Technology Advisors can help you, click here.
Schneider Downs provides accounting, tax, wealth management and business advisory services through innovative thought leaders who deliver the expertise to meet the individual needs of each client. Our offices are located in Pittsburgh, PA and Columbus, OH.
This advice is not intended or written to be used for, and it cannot be used for, the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties that may be imposed, or for promoting, marketing or recommending to another person, any tax-related matter.