Technology is a major strategic disruptor, which strategist can use as an enabler to make more, clear, timely and inspirational choices for future business possibility and disruptive threats when evolving the strategic direction of the financial institution or local business unit.  

Strategy should never have been something that once created then gathers dust on a shelf. More than ever, the strategy needs to be fluid to enable organisational nimbleness, scalability, stability and optionality. The last 9 months of lockdown and restrictions have taught us, amongst other things, the importance of fluidity.

Business and technology strategy is intertwined. Whilst this is not new, Execs are more awake than ever to how their past technology choices have now limiting future choices and business agility. For example, the systemic cost of running and maintaining the core engineer limits the investment pot and effort spent on experimentation and development of new customer propositions.  
Critical to many organisations is the ability to execute the corporate and business unit strategies, in an effective manner to unlock business value. Effective execution requires continually monitoring the underlying strategic choices and assumptions, adjusting as needed. Who wants to deliver a strategy that is obsolete before the initiative has completed and closed out? Yet 45% of respondents to Deloitte’s 2020 CSO Survey refresh their strategy less frequently than annually [2].

So how can you create a Tech-enabled business strategy, optimised for agility?

  • Empower your strategy function - Strategists should collaborate with tech leaders to confirm that the organization’s critical technologies support the organizational strategy—and that the organization’s technologists have the right framework and understanding of the corporate strategy to make their day-to-day technology decisions.
  • Educate the C-suite to be Tech savy and employee business- savvy tech leaders  –  There should be a broad understanding of critical technologies in which the company is, or should be, investing to gain competitive advantage and to build resilience against disruption.  Moreover, long held assumptions require challenge.  40% of CEOs said their CIO or tech leader will be the key driver of business strategy—more than the CFO, COO, and CMO combined [3].
  • Partner power -  Focus on understanding the long-term motives and agendas of ecosystem partners to guard against the worst case scenario that they use you to understand your niche and becoming the competition. Power of the group by joining forces with existing and new ecosystem partners to expand offering.
  • Agile funding  - Focus on addressing and smoothing the tension between ITs needs and the Finance function which continues to budget, fund and report in tried and tested ways. 

Next blog post we will explore how technology can help leaders think more expansively and precisely about future strategy possibilities by identification of driving forces, informing strategic decisions and monitoring outcomes.

2. Bernardo Silva et al., 2020 Chief Strategy Officer Survey: Evolving the corporate strategy function for a world of disruptive change, Deloitte Insights, April 16, 2020.

3.  Khalid Kark et al., “Survey: CIOs are CEOs’ top strategic partner,” Deloitte CIO Journal on the Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2020