Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Technology and Business Strategy

I just read an article that has lots of business implications.

Enterprise IT that gives front line workers access to information allows them to make better decisions while in the field. In this way, management can empower them more in what they can make decisions about.

On the other hand, when we give managers smart phones and facilitate 24/7 communication, frontline workers have the ability to ask their managers to decide various issues that come up. This allows us to empower front line workers less and tie them more closely to corporate policy.

So it is important for companies to decide on a strategic balance between command/control and empowerment based on the kind of work that is needed and their business strategy. Then they need to hire the appropriate kind of worker, train them in a way aligned with the strategy, and implement the appropriate technology(ies). More Enterprise IT enables front line empowerment. More mobile communications enables more control by the chain of command.

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