Indications are strong that globalization is an irresistible force, fomented by, or at the very least, enabled by technology. This chapter refers to the technology driven aspects of globalization as “techno-globalization” and describes the role of strategic technology planning in the marketing of cities in this global economy. It describes strategic technology planning for information and communication technologies and its intersection with marketing planning. It is intended to guide managers through the technology planning aspects of ICTs and city marketing. In addition to providing practical guidelines for preparing a technology plan that supports the organization’s strategic and marketing objectives, the chapter explains many of the nuances of the preparation and alignment of organizational strategic plans using current information systems and organizational theory concepts.
Strategic technology planning is a specialized instance of strategic planning. Because of the particular nature of technology strategy, it embraces many elements of strategic planning, but necessarily includes technology planning considerations and technology evolution forecasting that are not normally part of standard strategic planning. Strategic technology planning can be thought of as a strategic view of the entity’s technology infrastructure and requirements that results in the identification of “best fit” technology initiatives in support of the entity’s overall strategic direction. In parallel, marketing planning takes the marketing perspective at both a strategic and tactical level. When viewed in relation to the marketing plan, the strategic technology plan moderates and supports the marketing plan at the tactical level and in its transition from a strategic perspective to a tactical focus. The chapter provides specific guidelines regarding the development and content of the strategic technology plan, but leaves the details of the actual plan preparation to each municipality’s information technology governance and planning process. The chapter describes strategic technology planning, what it is, and how it properly integrates with the organizational strategic plan and peer strategic planning components.
Naturally, municipal organizations have many active plans in a multitude of areas. Some of these plans are strategic, some are financial and some are operational. The following chart, Figure 1, depicts some of the elements of the overall strategic planning process. This diagram shows the segments of the overall system of planning that are addressed by this chapter. The shaded areas are directly addressed and the areas without shading are not addressed or are mentioned only tangentially. The organizational strategic plan and the strategic technology plan are discussed. The role of strategic planning in marketing, the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in marketing, and the potential interactions with ICT providers are addressed.
The overall system of planning
This chapter is intended to provide useful information to people who have oversight or direct responsibility for a municipality's marketing planning and/or technology planning activities. The purpose of this chapter is to describe strategic technology planning and its intersection with ICTs, and their joint intersection with marketing planning as it relates to municipal marketing. Strategic technology planning is oriented to the specific requirements of planning technology to support the planning entity’s overall strategic and tactical plans. Therefore, this chapter is a little less of a “what is” description and more of a “how to” explanation. The next sections will discuss strategic technology planning, the role of strategic technology planning in marketing planning, and, in parallel, the role of ICTs in marketing. This chapter also discusses the process of constructing the technology segment of your overall city marketing plan, and reviews certain tactical considerations related to successful implementation. It should be noted that, by their very nature, governmental entities are monopolies. However, when their considerations move beyond their geographic boundaries, they move from being the only one to being one of many. Planning, and specifically various types of strategic planning, is often couched in a “competitive” context. Within the monopoly, the competitive frame of reference has limited application. But outside the monopoly, in the “marketing as one of many” framework, the competitive frame of reference applies. It is from this perspective that commercial and quasi-governmental planning references are used in the following discussion.