Unlocking business potential through technology enablement

By Max Ikaheimo

12th September, 2023

According to Deloitte’s Digital Maturity Index Survey 2023, 98% of the companies have started their digital transformation process compared to 78% in 2019. But what does it mean to integrate technology into your business? This is where the concept of "technology enablement" comes into play.

Think of Amazon. The retail giant has seamlessly integrated technology into every facet of its business, from inventory management and logistics to customer service and marketing. This has streamlined operations and created an unparalleled customer experience, setting a benchmark for every industry worldwide.

Granted, only some companies are Amazon, but being technologically proficient can help you achieve your goals and reach new audiences. So, to help you cut through the digital noise, let’s delve into the transformative power of technology enablement. We’ll explore how businesses can strategically adopt technology to improve efficiency, foster innovation, and gain a competitive edge in the market.

    Table of contents

    In this post:

What is technology enablement?

Technology enablement is the strategic adoption and integration of technology to improve and advance various aspects of a business. 

It goes beyond mere implementation, focusing on leveraging technology to meet business objectives, streamline operations, and foster innovation.

The three components of tech enablement

  • Software: Custom or off-the-shelf applications that automate tasks, manage data, or facilitate specific business functions like CRM, ERP, and analytics.

  • Hardware: Physical devices such as servers, computers, and other equipment that support the software and business operations.

  • Cloud: The infrastructure that connects hardware and software, enabling data flow and communication within the organization and with external entities.

Technology enablement and business strategy, a match made in heaven

Technology enablement is most effective when it aligns closely with the overall business strategy. This ensures that technology investments are not just tactical but strategic, aimed at achieving long-term goals. 

For instance, if a business strategy focuses on customer experience, technology enablement could involve implementing advanced digital tools to understand customer behavior and preferences, thereby informing product development or marketing strategies.

Here’s an example: Starbucks has long been a pioneer in using technology to improve customer experience. One of its most successful technology initiatives is its mobile app, which allows customers to order and pay for drinks and food items ahead of time, thereby skipping the line.

This aligns perfectly with Starbucks' business strategy of providing a convenient and efficient customer experience. But the app goes beyond just order-ahead features; it also incorporates a loyalty program that rewards customers with points for every purchase. These points can be redeemed for free items, encouraging repeat visits and increasing customer satisfaction. 

In this case, Starbucks' technology enablement—through the development and deployment of its mobile app—is not an isolated initiative but a strategic move. It serves multiple facets of the business strategy, from improving customer experience to optimizing operations and gathering data for future strategic decisions.

The importance of strategic alignment

Strategic alignment ensures that technology investments directly contribute to achieving business objectives. This involves identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) and setting measurable goals that technology initiatives should help attain. 

For example, if a business aims to improve customer satisfaction, technology investments might focus on customer relationship management (CRM) systems, chatbots, or other customer service tools.

Risks of misalignment

Misalignment between technology and business strategy can result in wasted resources and missed opportunities. 

For example, a company that invests heavily in cutting-edge technology without a clear strategic focus may find that the technology does not meet its business needs or contribute to its goals. 

  • Financial loss: Unnecessary or ineffective technology investments can be costly.

  • Operational inefficiency: If technology doesn't align with business processes, it can create bottlenecks or complications, reducing operational efficiency.

  • Reduced competitive advantage: Failure to align technology with business strategy can result in missed opportunities to outperform more strategically aligned competitors.

The benefits of technology enablement

Enhanced user experience

The importance of user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design must be balanced, especially regarding customer engagement and satisfaction. A well-designed user interface not only makes a product more accessible but also more enjoyable to use, leading to happier customers. The impact extends beyond customer satisfaction to also include employee productivity. 

When internal systems and tools are designed with the user in mind, employees can complete tasks more efficiently, contributing to a more productive work environment. Companies like Apple and Airbnb are prime examples of businesses that have successfully prioritized UX design. By focusing on the user experience, these companies have elevated customer satisfaction and gained a significant competitive advantage in the market.

Greater scalability and growth

Planning for business growth is essential to technology enablement. Companies must anticipate their future needs and choose technologies that can scale accordingly. This means investing in systems sufficient for current operations and capable of handling increased workloads, more users, or expanded functionalities as the business grows. 

Flexibility and adaptability are key attributes to look for when making technology choices. As market conditions change, technologies should be able to adapt without requiring a complete overhaul. This ensures a business can remain agile and responsive to evolving circumstances, maintaining a competitive edge.

Drive innovation

Technology plays a pivotal role in driving innovation, serving as a catalyst for the development of new business models and services. Innovative technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are reshaping industries and creating opportunities for businesses to differentiate themselves. 

Companies like Tesla and Square are case studies in how technology can be leveraged for groundbreaking innovation. Tesla has revolutionized the automotive industry with its electric vehicles and self-driving technology, while Square has transformed payment processing and financial services through innovative solutions. Both companies exemplify how strategic technology investments can lead to disruptive innovations that redefine markets.

Technology enablement vs digital enablement

The terms "digital enablement" and "technology enablement" are often used interchangeably, but they can have nuanced differences depending on the context. 

Look at this table to understand the differences at a glance:

CriteriaDigital enablementTechnical enablement
DefinitionThe use of digital technologies to enhance business processes, customer experiences, and overall strategy.The broader use of technology to improve any aspect of a business or organization, not limited to digital technologies.
ScopePrimarily focuses on digital technologies like cloud computing, mobile apps, social media, and analytics.Covers a wider range of technologies, including hardware, software, networks, and even non-digital technologies like machinery.
ObjectiveTo digitize and optimize business processes for better customer engagement and operational efficiency.To improve overall performance, efficiency, and effectiveness through the use of various technologies.
Key ComponentsDigital platforms, mobile applications, data analytics, digital marketing, eCommerce.IT infrastructure, software applications, hardware devices, network systems, and automation machinery.
StakeholdersOften involves marketing, sales, customer service, and IT departments.Involves a broader range of stakeholders, including operations, HR, finance, and more.
Customer FocusHighly customer-centric, aiming to improve customer experience through digital channels.May or may not be customer-centric; could be focused on internal processes or operational efficiencies.
Implementation SpeedGenerally quicker to implement due to the nature of digital technologies.It may take longer, especially if it involves integrating complex systems or hardware.
Measuring SuccessMetrics often include customer engagement rates, digital conversion rates, and digital ROI.Metrics, including ROI, operational efficiency, and overall performance indicators, can be more varied.
ExamplesImplementing a mobile app for better customer service, and using analytics to personalize marketing.Implementing an ERP system, upgrading network hardware, automating a manufacturing line.
ChallengesKeeping up with rapidly changing digital trends and data security.Complexity of technology integration, higher initial costs, and ongoing maintenance.
CriteriaDefinition
Digital enablementThe use of digital technologies to enhance business processes, customer experiences, and overall strategy.
Technical enablementThe broader use of technology to improve any aspect of a business or organization, not limited to digital technologies.
CriteriaScope
Digital enablementPrimarily focuses on digital technologies like cloud computing, mobile apps, social media, and analytics.
Technical enablementCovers a wider range of technologies, including hardware, software, networks, and even non-digital technologies like machinery.
CriteriaObjective
Digital enablementTo digitize and optimize business processes for better customer engagement and operational efficiency.
Technical enablementTo improve overall performance, efficiency, and effectiveness through the use of various technologies.
CriteriaKey Components
Digital enablementDigital platforms, mobile applications, data analytics, digital marketing, eCommerce.
Technical enablementIT infrastructure, software applications, hardware devices, network systems, and automation machinery.
CriteriaStakeholders
Digital enablementOften involves marketing, sales, customer service, and IT departments.
Technical enablementInvolves a broader range of stakeholders, including operations, HR, finance, and more.
CriteriaCustomer Focus
Digital enablementHighly customer-centric, aiming to improve customer experience through digital channels.
Technical enablementMay or may not be customer-centric; could be focused on internal processes or operational efficiencies.
CriteriaImplementation Speed
Digital enablementGenerally quicker to implement due to the nature of digital technologies.
Technical enablementIt may take longer, especially if it involves integrating complex systems or hardware.
CriteriaMeasuring Success
Digital enablementMetrics often include customer engagement rates, digital conversion rates, and digital ROI.
Technical enablementMetrics, including ROI, operational efficiency, and overall performance indicators, can be more varied.
CriteriaExamples
Digital enablementImplementing a mobile app for better customer service, and using analytics to personalize marketing.
Technical enablementImplementing an ERP system, upgrading network hardware, automating a manufacturing line.
CriteriaChallenges
Digital enablementKeeping up with rapidly changing digital trends and data security.
Technical enablementComplexity of technology integration, higher initial costs, and ongoing maintenance.

⌨️ Read more: What is digital enablement?

Why choose a technology enablement partner?

Choosing a technology enablement partner can offer several advantages to businesses looking to integrate technology into their operations strategically. Here are some compelling reasons:

  • Expertise and experience: Technology enablement partners bring specialized knowledge and experience. They can guide businesses through the complexities of selecting, implementing, and managing technology solutions that align with strategic objectives.

  • Faster implementation: A skilled partner can accelerate the technology adoption process, helping businesses become more competitive quickly. This speed can be crucial in fast-moving markets.

  • Risk mitigation: Implementing new technology comes with risks, such as operational disruptions or security vulnerabilities. A technology enablement partner can help identify and manage these risks, ensuring a smoother transition.

  • Focus on core business: Outsourcing the complexities of technology enablement allows businesses to focus on their core competencies. This can be particularly beneficial for small to medium-sized enterprises that may not have extensive in-house tech expertise.

  • Competitive Advantage: A technology enablement partner can provide insights and solutions that give businesses a competitive edge. Whether through data analytics, customer experience enhancements, or operational efficiencies, a partner can help you outperform competitors.

Digital innovation professional services

Blue Nose

Together with Blue Nose, we built an optimized Next.js website with carefully crafted user journeys from page landing to cruise reservation. Simple but effective.

Read more: From legacy to headless with Sanity, Next.js, and Netlify

Brightway Careers

We developed a modern website for Brightway to help them manage multiple locales and to optimize their front-end performance. The multilingual site features a fully customizable page structure with modular components and content for each locale. The content is managed with Sanity - an excellent Headless CMS for Brightway's use case.

Read more: Website development for a staffing agency

Closing thoughts

From enhancing customer experience to driving operational efficiency and fostering innovation, technology enablement offers many benefits that can significantly impact a company's bottom line. However, the key to unlocking the full potential of technology lies in its strategic alignment with business objectives and a technology implementation partner. 

Companies must go beyond implementation and focus on how technology can serve their long-term goals, whether improving customer satisfaction, scaling operations, or breaking new ground with disruptive innovations. 

This involves a holistic approach considering software, hardware, and network infrastructure and a keen understanding of key performance indicators to measure success.

The risks of misalignment are real and can result in financial losses, operational inefficiencies, and a diminished competitive edge. Therefore, businesses must exercise due diligence in technology investments, ensuring they contribute directly to achieving strategic objectives.

In a world where almost every company is on a digital transformation journey, technology enablement is a differentiator that can set a business apart from its competitors. 

Contact us

Get in touch and let's discuss your business case

Email to sales@ikius.com or send us a message here.

Submitting this form will not sign you up for any marketing lists. Your information is strictly used and stored for contacting you. Privacy Policy