How to Elevate Your Practice’s Technology Strategy (Hint: It’s Only Partially About Tech!)
The tech landscape can be a torrent of new trends, but one constant amid all that chaos is that building an effective technology strategy is about remembering the basics. It’s also about building value into your people, organisation, products, and services.
To that end, whether you’re building a brand-new technology strategy or refining what’s already in place, here are five tech elements that will be relevant to your practice no matter where it’s at in this journey.
Element #1: Clarify Your Vision
This is the most important step in creating a solid technology approach. When you have a clear business strategy, it’s easier to cut through the buzzwords, marketing mystery, and initial excitement surrounding a particular technology or solution.
Whatever your goals—growing market share, reducing cost, increasing efficiency, or winning in client experience—your technology strategy must be tied directly to them. Articulating what you are trying to achieve will not ‘only’ help you establish your course, but also to filter out the digital noise.
Element #2: Identify the Challenges You’re Trying to Solve and Relate Them to Your Vision
Once you know where you want to go, it’s time to figure out how to get there. Detail the challenges you’re trying to solve, how they relate to your vision, and then incorporate the data. Include your knowledge of your business, but also dive deeper to analyse how you deliver solutions today. Identify any issues or opportunities as you go, and consider additional variables that may arise as you move toward your vision.
It’s important to stay open-minded during this exploration. Search widely to understand the challenges you’re facing—not ‘just’ within your own processes, but also within the challenges your competitors need to solve or have already solved. Of course, practises must execute on all of this with a laser focus on how to best meet their clients’ needs, and thus to achieve the results they envision.
Element #3: Make the Tech Work for You
Technology is ultimately a tool, and tools are at their apex when they’re applied correctly. The best technology strategy is the one that both solves the problems you’ve identified and that enables you to reach your business goals.
If you’ve clarified your vision and identified the challenges therein, the conversations you’ll have with your team and your vendors will be productive. This is because you will have set the criteria for success (and may now be searching for a better solution).
What follows are three fundamental steps to help your tech initiative be successful:
- Establish governance: Decide who gets to decide, but listen to your subject matter experts and lay out a process to manage change over time.
- Evaluate: Ensure that a technology you’re evaluating lives up to its promise and its place in your strategy.
- Integrate: Focus on your core value proposition and consider where you might integrate other tech.
Element #4: Evaluate Your Team and Partners
At day’s end, the vision you set forth will be fulfilled by your team and any pertinent vendors. Knowing the skills your team can bring to bear internally will provide a strong foundation to build upon while also allowing you to identify where to leverage additional expertise.
Bringing your team into the process early will alleviate any anxiety about “being replaced” by technology, and help team members see where they can (and will) continue to add value for clients. Finding trusted vendors or partners who can illuminate challenges and risks you might otherwise not be privy to is another must here.
Element #5: Iterate, Measure, Reiterate
Having a vision aligned to your strategy allows for maximal strength. But that isn’t quite enough. Businesses and opportunities constantly change; so too do the technology strategies needed to support them. Tech strategy is not a one-time phenomenon, but rather an ongoing iterative process that will help you achieve meaningful goals for yourself and for your clients.
Visit the Suralink website for a demo to learn more about leveraging this process and seeing results. In the meantime and beyond, good hunting!
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