Technology Companies are Unique: Implications
Technology companies operate in very unique environments when compared to other market sectors. The key attributes defining the uniqueness of Technology Sector are:
global scope of markets and global competitors
extreme hyper-competition due to enourmous intellectual and financial resources available to the sector
ongoing diffusion of innovation resulting in a quick commodization of technologies, products and features
accelerated technology changes causing rapid obsolescence of once leading technologies
dynamic shifts in customer preferences and buying behaviours
rapid time-to-market with the right products forces very short product life cycles and no margin for errors
Therefore, these unique attributes of the Technology Sector put tremendous pressures on any global tech company. To be successful in global markets, technology companies are required to be innovative, foresightful, competitive, streamlined, flexible and responsive.
In other words, the companies in the technology sector need proper alignment and effective execution as two major pre-requisities to achieve success. It also means, that they also need to "design" themselves for sucess using effective new product development (NPD), streamlined business processes, optimized organizational structures and relevant performance measures. The competition will try to exploit any weaknesses in your "design."
Proper Alignment: Technology companies align themselves with their markets by gaining in-depth understanding of emerging trends, customer needs, competitors strategies, business models and key technologies. Since technology sector is so fast-paced and dynamic, proper alignment can be only assured by closely monitoring their markets on an ongoing basis. By understanding emerging trends and anticipating upcoming changes, companies are able to make timely and appropriate adjustments to strategies, programs, products, positioning messages and/or organizational structures, if necessary.
Effective Execution: For high-tech companies, rapid time-to-market with new products, is one of the most critical requirement to succeed in global markets. Those new products must also be the right products, since there is no margin for errors in fast paced markets. The right products need to be defined, developed, structured, priced, positioned and promoted effectively. In addition, the right products must be accompanied by carefully crafted go-to-market and sales strategies. To execute effectively, a company's personnel needs to be competent, motivated, focused and well-trained.
System Design Approach: To use a system design analogy, all successful technology companies are, in essense, well-designed and precisely-tuned integrated systems. Their core activities are structured and managed as scalable and dynamic business processes intended to define, develop, market and sell the right products faster than competitors. Those processes need to be evaluated, prioritized and optimized on an ongoing basis to keep up with very dynamic nature of global markets. But, the overall system will only perform as well as its weakest link or the slowest subsystem!
Cross-Links and Inter-Dependancies: The successful tech companies have also learned that product management, product development, strategic marketing and go-to-market strategies as well as overall business and technology strategies are all closely inter-related and cross-linked, thus creating interdependancies. Any significant change to one part of the system, could result in "ripple effects" throughtout the entire company ('the system"). Therefore, the challenge is two-fold:
(1) to improve performance of the entire integrated system, even when its specific system elements are evaluated, prioritized and optimized separately,
(2) to ensure that any local changes won't negatively affect other parts of the system.
AlignTro Group has developed both expertise and proven methodology called UpStream Alignment <> DownStream Execution (TM) to address this challenge. We understand very well all cross-links, interdependancies, and unique requirements for technology companies. We also understand where product shortcomings, blind spots, weak links, conflicting positioning messages, program redundancies and system inefficiencies could be potenially located in the overall design and how to eliminate them.