Executive Briefings

To Advance Business Strategy, Technology Must Be Embedded in 'Integrated Strategy Machine'

This is an age of techno-utopianism. Topics like big data, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence are at the forefront of the CEO agenda, a sign that companies see technology as a potential answer to many or even most of their challenges.

We have good reasons to be excited: an explosion of data and advances in analytics have enabled technology to perform well-defined but complex tasks like recommending movies and diagnosing cancer - not only independently of humans but in many cases better than people can. So it's not implausible to think that technology could also address broad, open-ended, and ambiguous problems like developing and executing a business strategy. In fact, we’ve spoken to business leaders who believe in such an outcome - and companies such as Amazon and Alibaba are already beginning to make it a reality.

But the use of technology, no matter how advanced, does not guarantee competitive advantage. For technology to advance business strategy, it must be embedded in what we call the “integrated strategy machine.”

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We have good reasons to be excited: an explosion of data and advances in analytics have enabled technology to perform well-defined but complex tasks like recommending movies and diagnosing cancer - not only independently of humans but in many cases better than people can. So it's not implausible to think that technology could also address broad, open-ended, and ambiguous problems like developing and executing a business strategy. In fact, we’ve spoken to business leaders who believe in such an outcome - and companies such as Amazon and Alibaba are already beginning to make it a reality.

But the use of technology, no matter how advanced, does not guarantee competitive advantage. For technology to advance business strategy, it must be embedded in what we call the “integrated strategy machine.”

Read Full Article