Developing a Technology Strategy Part 4: Aligning Technology

If you missed the first three parts of this series, here is a quick synopsis: In part 1, I covered some myths and problems to consider before starting the planning process. There are some good points to remember if you haven’t done this before. In part 2, I discussed the need to understand the context of your audience by learning their language, and understanding areas they focus on and care about to do their job. In part 3, I focused on developing organizational goals independent of technology.

Here we are going to talk about technology in the context of your organizational goals. First, as we discussed in part 3, you need to know where you are going (vision and goals). Once you know where you want to go, then you can think about how you are going to get there.
Define Technology Goals:

Start by selecting which organizational goals are the highest priority. You’ll want to focus on those goals that offer the greatest impact for your organization and that you can accomplish. Next, define the technology goals. Here is where many folks get lost. Technology goals are not the same as a technology solution; the goals make up the solution and need to be defined before a solution can be formulated. An example of a technology goal might be, “maintain high up-time for case management applications.”

Define Technology Requirements:

Requirements are the specifics of what is needed in order to accomplish goals. Using our previous example, a technical requirement for that goal would be to have “no more than 20 minutes of downtime for the case management application.” Give that requirement to a technology consultant and you’ve given them something concrete to design around.

Research Solutions and Selection:

The landscape for technology is changing rapidly. You or the person responsible for the research will need time to identify what is available in the market place, complexity of implementation, and cost.

If you’re going to develop a technology plan, I hope that this four part series has been helpful. If you have any questions or need help with your plan, feel free to contact my team.