Tactical vs. Strategic Technology Management: Which do you need?

A business man pointing at an idea lightbulb

A mistake too many businesses make is not balancing their technology initiatives with a proper mix of tactical and strategic team members.

If technology was football, the strategic technology people would be the players doing the blocking and tackling while the tactical ones would be the ones calling the plays from up above.

If a technology team is balanced too much towards the tactical side, then operations run smoothly for a while but problems set in after time. Troubleshooting isn’t a problem, and employees are happy for the most part because they always have someone there for to lend technical assistance. This can lead to a false sense of security.

The disadvantages to having to many field-level IT guys, however, is that no one is thinking about business objectives or long-term goals. As a result, problems inevitably start mounting over time, and opportunities are missed as well. The technology team may overlook the growing disparity between new and old systems. They won’t deeply delve into the root causes of problems or  advocate for change. Also, they will not champion projects that take workers out of their technological comfort zone, but will lead to significant increases in productivity in time.

Conversely, the technology team that includes too many strategic thinkers will know which way to they want to go, but won’t have the means to get there. This team will generate high-level concepts, create quality content such as reports, closely monitor tech trends, analyze the competition, and develop innovative strategies. However, without the tactical people to support the strategic leader, there will be no way to achieve these high-level goals. And although most strategic technology professional know how to do tactical stuff, their work won’t always be cost-effective since they usually charge more.

Most organizations understand the tactical part of technology, but fail on the strategic part of the equation. Executives of these organizations may be reliant on their own ability to set the direction for technology, or may be under the impression that their IT team will alert them as to anything important. This is hazardous, however, since technology is complex and always moving.

In a rapidly changing business landscape, technological capacity is essential to remain competitive. The efficacy of the technology team depends on a proper balance of both strategic “coaches” and the tactical “players.”

To learn more about technology strategies that can help your business, contact us for a free consultation.