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Leestijd, 8 min.
  1. What is Tech Intensity?
  2. What does a company with high Tech Intensity look like?
  3. Why is Microsoft partnering with the Harvard Business School and Keystone Strategy?
  4. How can Tech Intensity be applied to my organization?
  5. What are the benefits of participating in the Tech Intensity program?
  6. What am I committing to by participating?
  7. Who from my organization should participate?
  8. What type of output can I expect?
  9. Who will see our data and results?
  10. What is the cost to participate in this program?


What is Tech Intensity?

Tech Intensity is a framework that directly connects technology investments with business performance.  Tech Intensity accomplishes this by assessing an organization along the technology characteristics we have found to be differentiators of success (in this era that means a heavy focus on data, digital, and AI capabilities).

The first two elements of Tech Intensity are focused on Tech Adoption; how quickly you adopt the latest technology and integrate it into your own organization.

  1. Tech Deployed – What technologies has your organization deployed to enable AI and data-centric processes and decisions?
  2. Tech Architecture – Is your organization architected to form an accessible foundation of data and AI technology to generate insights across the business?

The third element of Tech Intensity is focused on Tech Capabilities; the ability for all people in your organization to be a part of learning, testing, and innovating.

  1. Tech Innovation Processes – Do you have an effective process to deliver business and customer value from your technology and data?

 While each element is important on its own, it is the combination of the three elements that fully enables technology to empower a business to achieve more.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella discussed this concept at Microsoft Ignite 2020, adding that Tech Intensity not only will determine whether organizations can weather the current crisis but also determine if they can navigate future tail events.


What are characteristics of companies with high Tech Intensity?

Companies with high Tech Intensity have the ability to take data from one system and use it to optimize outcomes across the entire organization.  The ability to do this requires an integrated tech foundation of software, data, and AI across the firm and the capabilities to understand and use the tech effectively (e.g., through citizen developers or advanced dev pros embedded in business unit teams).


Why is Microsoft partnering with the Harvard Business School and Keystone Strategy?

Microsoft is deeply invested in organizational success tied to digital transformation.  Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Harvard Business School professor Marco Iansiti and consulting firm Keystone Strategy[1] developed the Tech Intensity framework in partnership over the past two years while studying the impact of digital transformation on company performance.  This partnership allows Microsoft to offer organizations access to leading experts and tools to better provide actionable insights and recommendations.

Marco Iansiti is an expert on digital transformation, data sciences and artificial intelligence and brings over thirty years of experience researching these topics as a professor at the Harvard Business School. He recently launched a book on this topic called Competing in the Age of AI, which has received significant praise from business audiences.

Through this partnership, over 140 companies have been studied, from digital natives like Uber and Amazon, to more traditional companies like Johnson & Johnson and Proctor & Gamble.  The result is the Tech Intensity methodology, which assesses a company along the capabilities that correlate most with business performance.  Companies with high Tech Intensity are consistently more productive, more valuable, and grow faster than their industry counterparts.


How can Tech Intensity be applied to my organization?

A consulting team will administer a formal survey to measure your organization’s Tech Intensity on the variables that have been proven to be most correlated to positive business performance.

These results will be placed into your unique business context, provided by interviews with tech and business executives at your company.  Your results will further be compared to those of anonymized peer benchmarks that match your specific industry, geography and firm size.

We will deliver your results to you as part of a written results packet.  We are also offering you a one and a half hour facilitated conversation hosted by Marco Iansiti to discuss your organization’s specific results, with a focus on your organization’s technological areas of strengths and areas for improvement, with specific and actionable recommendations to increase your level of Tech Intensity.


What are the benefits of participating in the Tech Intensity program?

Several companies have already participated in the Tech Intensity studies offered by this program. These are some of the tangible benefits they have seen from participating.

  • Development of a roadmap to connect technology to business outcomes
    • “Knowing where we stand and having a roadmap to guide investment decisions is critical to driving business impact. It’s important to understand how the investments in technology will create new use cases and improve customer reach, marketing efforts, and overall financial performance.” – SVP and General Manager, Healthcare Firm
  • Internal alignment around priorities between technical and business decision makers
    • “Business will have a general problem and they’ll bring in IT… IT will take forever, over-engineer it, and come back.  That’s the biggest disconnect…  The business doesn’t know what it wants a lot of times and what you suggested would be helpful to align those priorities.” – Product Development Executive, Fortune 100 Company
  • Increased understanding of peer performance and increase ability to influence key stakeholders
    • “Our board of directors is always looking for data points to see where are in the market; a peer comparison [of how we answered vs. how our peers are answering] is one more data point that gives our board comfort that we’re investing in the right areas.” – Director of AI, Fortune 500 Company
  • Increased ability for citizen developers to influence senior leadership
    • “We need the foundational architecture in place to build ML models. Getting alignment on the overall roadmap and ensuring it starts with that foundation is what we need.  That’s where we’ve really stumbled in the past. We are actually quite aligned with our IT counterparts, but the challenge is getting buy-in from senior leadership as well.” – Non-Technical Product Development Executive

 What am I committing to by participating?

In order to receive the optimal benefit from this program, the following time and resource commitments are needed:

  • Context interview with the executive sponsor(s) of the program to better understand your technology, data and analytics priorities and digital transformation journey
  • Interviews with 2 senior technology leaders and 2 senior business leaders from your company to gather context around your current priorities and digital transformation journey and to participate in the formal Tech Intensity Each interview will be ~1 hour.
  • Live follow-up conversation on the results with participants of your choosing. This will be facilitated by Marco Iansiti over ~1.5 hours.

This program is a complimentary service from Microsoft, and there will be no required payment at any time for this program.  You are also not committing to purchasing anything from Microsoft.


Who from my organization should participate?

We recommend at least 4 technology and business leaders from your organization participate in our interviews.  We have found that this process is most effective if participants are senior enough at your organization to be influential and have some interest in leveraging data and AI tools.

We recommend that 2 senior IT leaders and 2 senior business leaders (typically C-suite or one level below) participate in the one hour long interviews that help us gather context around your current priorities and digital transformation journey and collect data for the formal Tech Intensity interviews.


What type of output can I expect?

You will receive actionable insights into how your digital maturity compares with that of your peers, as well as a detailed analysis of how your industry peers (anonymized) have engaged with data and AI.

Examples of output materials that will be shared with you are included in the enclosed packet. These materials will be specific to your organization.  We will provide benchmarks specific to your industry, geography and firm size.  This will allow us to provide important context on the Tech Intensity of firms in your industry (anonymized), as well as common industry-specific use cases.

We recommend that this material culminate in a one and a half hour live follow-on conversation hosted by the Harvard Business School professor Marco Iansiti.  This conversation will focus on your firm’s digital maturity relative to your peers, highlighting your organization’s technological areas of strengths and areas for improvement, with specific and actionable recommendations to increase your level of Tech Intensity.


Who will see our data and results?

Keystone Strategy, which will conduct the surveys and related analysis, will see your data and compile your results.  These results will not be shared outside of this team without your consent. Your Microsoft account team will incorporate findings into your joint strategy.

Similarly, you can decide how you want to share these results within your organization.  We will only make your results available to interview participants and will not share these results with others at your organization without your consent.

Under no circumstances will your results be shared publicly.


What is the cost to participate in this program?

This program is being offered to you for free, as you are one of Microsoft’s most valuable customers and Microsoft has a ves

[1] Keystone Strategy is a technology and strategy consulting firm started by Marco Iansiti; Keystone has supported 150+ projects at Microsoft over the past two decades.

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