A decade is a long time in business technology. Shiny new tech investments become ageing legacy liabilities and the gains they once provided have long since plateaued.

That’s according to analysts from research firm Forrester, which are warning businesses need to reframe their technology strategies to be adaptive, resilient and creative for the decade ahead.

In a press briefing Tuesday ahead of its annual APAC event, Forrester analysts said businesses will increasingly compete on creativity and customer experience rather than proprietary technologies or products and services. 

The popular “People, Processes and Technology” – very much in that order, as executives are fond of saying – is fast becoming dated, according to Forrester. It’s being replaced by a new maxim: “Platform, Practices and Partners”. 

Platform, practice, partnerships

Ashutosh Sharma, Forrester VP and research director, India, said market uncertainty, including recessions, mean businesses need to be more resilient and more adaptable. In terms of technology strategy, he says, it means more reliance on platforms and partners.

“You’re operating more in ecosystems than ever before, you need more partners, you cannot do everything by yourself. And the practices that you adopted earlier such as agility [and] design thinking, you need to figure out some of the best practices from there and craft a practice which is right for your business.

“Likewise, you will be adopting platforms to reduce the time to market to accelerate your transformation as a company.”

Sharma argues the change is a fundamental shift from the traditional approach to IT and digital strategy where decisions were framed by what technology is needed and which people are required to leverage it. A more successful approach going forward, according to the Forrester analyst, is to focus more on outcomes and the practices required to achieve them, like design thinking, rather than people and skills per se.

In terms of the actual technology tools, Sharma says platforms have proved to be more resilient, adaptable and innovative than companies going alone and running technology solutions themselves.

“More importantly, they bundle lots of different capabilities in them,” Sharma told Which-50. “So you don’t have to basically invest in individual technologies, when platform is the way to accelerate the time to value.”

Finally, Sharma argued partnerships are more important than ever, and businesses will judge partners on the outcomes they deliver rather than the services they provide.

“Firms are starting to look at their partners more strategically, they will have to … Now we’re talking about outcome driven partnerships, where you will be looking at your partners [to see] who can drive the right outcomes, and you will be measuring them on outcomes more so than then the inputs that are going into that engagement with them.”

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