CTO dilemma: Tech Strategy without a clear Business Strategy

  • First of all, if your teams don’t know where they’re supposed to go and what they’re supposed to focus on you will end up with chaos (best case scenario) or simply losing your job because ultimately that’s your responsibility (worst case scenario)
  • As a senior leader or an executive you need to practice strategic thinking. This exercise is one of the best way to train yourself and hone your skills in this area.
  • A good tech strategy has always components that are business agnostic: you don’t need to know exactly where the business is going to focus on DevOps practices, Test Automation, Clean Architecture, Build vs Buy considerations, convergence (or lack of) on programming languages and frameworks are all good examples
  • Working on a tech strategy will force you to ask questions around you to multiple representatives of the overall business. You will be surprised by the amount of useful information about the “unwritten” strategy that is actually governing day to day operations you’ll uncover. This will increase your awareness on what the business is really trying to achieve, even when it’s not formally called a strategy
  • And finally, the most underrated benefit. In many cases, the discussions and conversations that are initiated through this work will often lead to the executive team gaining better insights about the need for a clear business strategy, and the possibilities that technology can bring to the business. This will often lead to starting a more formal process to define the overall business strategy, and you’ll have a first row seat at that conversation.

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