2.3. Technology Enabled Strategy

Managers are confused and with good reason. Management theorists, consultants, and practitioners often vehemently disagree on how firms should craft a tech-enabled strategy, and many widely read articles contradict one another. Headlines such as “Move First or Die” compete with “The First-Mover Disadvantage.” A leading former CEO advised, “destroy your business,” while others suggested firms focus on their “core competency” and “return to basics.” The pages of the Harvard Business Review declare, “IT Doesn’t Matter,” while a New York Times bestseller hails technology as the “steroids” of modern business.

Theorists claiming to have mastered the secrets of strategic management are contentious and confusing. As a manager, the ability to size up a company’s strategic position and understand its likelihood of sustainability is one of the most valuable yet difficult skills to master. Layer on thinking about technology—a key enabler to nearly every modern business strategy, but also a function often thought of as easily “outsourced”—and it’s no wonder so many companies struggle at the intersection where strategy and technology meet.

Developing strong strategic thinking skills is a career-long pursuit. While this chapter can’t address the breadth of strategic thought, it is meant as a primer on developing the skills for strategic thinking about technology. We will first start by understanding what competitive advantage is and how technology plays a role in it.

2.1 Introduction” from Information Systems Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.


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Information Systems for Business and Beyond Copyright © 2022 by Shauna Roch; James Fowler; Barbara Smith; and David Bourgeois is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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