Industry Canada reports that, annually, the information and communications technology sector generates about $155billion, of which $67.2billion contributes to Canadian GDP. Eighty-five percent of this revenue is generated by small and medium-sized organizations. In addition to the SMEs, larger companies are also in the race to grab their share of this industry`s revenues.
All competitors need to be innovative to stay in the race. While innovation is a key factor of success in this industry, it is equally important to adopt those strategies necessary to remain competitive and grow profitably.
There are five essential questions that a balanced strategy must address:
1. What Services Am I Offering and to Whom?
To achieve long-term success, a company must develop a specific vision and a firm direction. Senior management must be able to articulate the vision, its unique aspects, the markets for its services and products, the value to be received by the firm`s clients, the differentiating characteristics of its offerings, the types of companies that will be its best clients and those products and services that are worthy of R&D expenditures.
2. Where am I, in relation to my competitors?
The Information Technology and Communications Industry is fast moving and vibrant. As a result, senior management, planners and decision-makers need to stay abreast of the dynamics of the industry, such as competitive trends, new entrants, new suppliers, and potential threats presented by substitute products. Those companies that effectively monitor these key indicators will seize the competitive advantage, capitalize on market opportunities and generate the funds necessary to reinvest in growth.
3. How can I best create demand for my services and products?
The industry is highly competitive with numerous companies in each of its sectors. Those companies that will survive need to:
4. What strategic alliances should I adopt?
The fast growth of the industry, its demand for financial resources, its competitive nature, and the complementary nature of its products open the possibilities of strategic alliances. Management needs to be continually searching for and open to the possibility of:
5. Is my team ready for the challenges?
The industry relies on the brain power of creative talent. This talent needs to be molded into a cohesive team, with each team member supporting each other. Management needs to focus on:
While a new, break-through technology might be the spark that creates the new IT company, it will be the vision and strategic thinking of senior management that grows the company, insures its profitability and guarantees its long-term survival.
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