What’s More Import – Your Technology or Your Strategy?

Before you answer, ask yourself this question: Is it possible for a business that provides a good product or service but uses older technology to grow? I’d say yes. A business that provides good products or services has essentially achieved the following:

  • Existing technology meets the requirements
  • Additional financial resources are not presently required
  • Labor understands the existing technology
  • Production/Process issues are solved or manageable

New technology will not help a business that has not essentially achieved the above. The problems will remain. Add to that the learning curve and the proverbial “working out the bugs.” Enhanced technology misapplied is the placing the cart before the horse scenario. Before concluding “if our business has X we’d be ok”, take the time to determine the main obstacle(s) to growth. Chances are, it will be among the issues previously mentioned.

Do businesses with good products or services fail? If so, why? If they fail, I’d say it’s because they didn’t understand their environment. The business environment, like the natural environment, is dynamic and changing. Situational awareness is strategic. I consider it a must-have for owners and management. Some components of situational awareness are:

  • Competition (existing or emerging)
  • Game-changing technology (think online shopping)
  • Government regulations (anticipated or existing)
  • Customer base (growing, stable, eroding, disappearing)
  • Changing consumer preferences

A successful strategy takes into consideration the potential impact of these issues and plans accordingly. Owners and managers should also determine if the strategy can be implemented using the resources at hand. If not, what will it take to make it operational and is it practical, given the circumstance of the business? So, whether it is technology or strategy, look before you leap.

Written by Blog Contributor: Brad Lena