What is Business Technology Management?
The success of a modern-day business depends increasingly on its ability to leverage technology to improve its core competency. Whether it is finding new customers, keeping employees happy, or improving intra-organization communication, technology can help businesses perform better in an ultra-competitive environment.
This is where Business Technology Management comes into the play. This relatively new field of study deals with the processes, issues and pitfalls involved in incorporating technology into an organization. As a cross-disciplinary field, an effective Business Technology Manager is expected to be well versed in both technology and management sciences.
Understanding Business Technology Management
Business Technology Management (BTM) is a new field of study that emerged from a need among businesses for dedicated talent to handle business technology processes. To meet this demand, a number of forward-thinking colleges started offering undergraduate courses in BTM, further cementing it as a legitimate field of study. Students enrolled in such courses learn a variety of skills in technological and business domains. To put it roughly, you can think of it as "IT meets business".
In the context of the end-user (i.e. businesses), BTM has come to stand for a group of services and tools that enable businesses to plan, manage and deploy their resources better. By its very definition, this is a very broad field that covers everything from Business Processes Management (BPM) tools to long-term technology planning. In other words, whenever a business needs to incorporate technology, it will turn to a BTM expert.
The Need for Business Technology Management
Technology is an indispensable part of modern day businesses. It is also deeply entrenched into the lives of modern-day consumers. Social media and email have almost completely replaced traditional modes of communication. The telephone itself has been transformed from a humble voice transfer machine to a powerful computer capable of sending messages, taking pictures, and running fully-functional productivity apps. With cloud-computing becoming the norm rather than the exception, technology has also never been cheaper and easier to incorporate into a business' workflow.
The ubiquity of technology has given rise to another problem: businesses don't know what technologies to deploy and how to deploy them. The technology field is extremely turbulent; what works today might be redundant two years later. Hence, businesses need to be very careful about the technology choices they make.
Companies must also comprehend the need for dedicated individuals who understand technology and business thoroughly. Effective business technology managers have a background in IT and experience in the management sciences. This enables them to bring together these disparate fields and create solutions that enable businesses to perform better.
The Full Scope of Business Technology Management
BTM is a vast field that combines both business and technology. Its scope and functional areas, as defined by think tanks such as Institute of Business Technologies and BTM Institute are:
- Organization Governance: This is a broad field that covers a host of processes such as strategic governance, tactical governance, compliance and risk management, organization design and change management. It also includes charting out a communication strategy and managing communication resources within an organization.
- Strategic Investment Management: This sector covers activities related to resource allocation and investments. The business technology manager will be expected to provide technological solutions for managing projects and portfolios, allocate and prioritize technological resources and manage demand for said resources.
- Strategy and Planning: This includes long-term planning and strategising to improve organizational performance. From charting out a long-term business technology strategy to creating resource budgets, all of it comes under 'strategy and planning'. It also includes areas such as strategic sourcing, standardization, consolidation, etc.
- Enterprise Architecture: This combines the fields of technology and business architecture. Essentially, BTM is expected to align an organization's technology architecture with its business goals. It also covers adopting standardized technological processes and allocating assets rationally.
Understand that these areas do not exist in isolation, i.e. BTM works with each of these areas in an integrated fashion. Thus, a business technology manager would actively work to improve technology standardization in an organization while also charting out a communication strategy that makes use of standardized technology.
Business Technology Management is a new field that exists solely to improve an organization's efficiency and effectiveness. It is crucial to improving a business' technological practices and streamlining its communication channels. BTM is also involved in creating and implementing strategies to improve productivity, create processes for better management of projects and portfolios, and align technology architecture with an organization's underlying business architecture.
Essentially, BTM affects every facet of the modern-day business, from the way it works to the way it communicates both within and outside the organization.