University of Technology Sydney

420103 Digital Strategy: Aligning Business and Technology

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Information Technology: Computer Science
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject focuses on the major concepts, issues and practices involved in the strategic alignment of technologies and business objectives. Students interrogate the impacts of digitisation on businesses and explore to what extent different digital technologies affect strategy development. With those technological applications at the forefront, the structuring and planning of technology projects and investments and impacts on business areas such as customers, operations and business models are investigated. The unit looks at the alignment of technologies and strategy in the framework of efficiency, value creation, and continuous innovation.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate understanding of digital transformation and its impact on the business world. (B.1)
2. Assess alignment of business objectives and technological capabilities. (B.1)
3. Create a digital strategy. (C.1)

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

  • Socially Responsible: FEIT graduates identify, engage, and influence stakeholders, and apply expert judgment establishing and managing constraints, conflicts and uncertainties within a hazards and risk framework to define system requirements and interactivity. (B.1)
  • Design Oriented: FEIT graduates apply problem solving, design thinking and decision-making methodologies in new contexts or to novel problems, to explore, test, analyse and synthesise complex ideas, theories or concepts. (C.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject is made up of six modules delivered online over six weeks. Students work through each module at their own pace and momentum is maintained through weekly interactive activity attached to each theme and/or concept within the modules. Within each online module, content will be delivered through a mixture of short video presentations, interactive worksheets, animated learning materials, questions/activities, use cases and short summary/comprehension/annotation exercises for selected readings and concepts using CANVAS. Interactive activities throughout the modules will provide students with the opportunity to apply their understanding to practical use cases and engage with their peers. Over the six weeks, there will also be 3 synchronous one hour online interactive sessions, facilitated by teaching staff, that discuss the module, and provide opportunities for task-based group activity, discussion, feedback on learning progress and Q & A sessions. The assessment tasks build on each other in a way that feedback for earlier tasks can inform later tasks.

Content (topics)

Module 1: The second machine age is here

  • Welcome to technology in the digital era
  • The four industrial revolutions
  • Why digital is different
  • Key technologies and their impact
  • Learning from failures and successes

Module 2: Building digital capabilities to reinvent your business I

  • An introduction to (disruptive) innovation
  • Customers

Module 3: Building digital capabilities to reinvent your business II

  • R&D and operations
  • business models
  • Frameworks to assess technology impacts

Module 4: Technology solutions and its area of impact 2 - Use cases: Machines and Platforms

  • The shifting balance between mind and machine / product and platform in business
  • Success stories of AI implementation and platforms in business
  • What does it mean for me?
  • What else is there?

Module 5: Developing a digital strategy

  • Crafting a digital vision (sustainable, social responsibility)
  • Engaging the organisation
  • Focussing Investment and resources
  • Applying digital strategy frameworks

Module 6: Digital leadership and change

  • Fostering digital literacy
  • Communicating digital change
  • Governing and sustaining the transformation
  • Digital Entrepreneurship


Assessment task 1: Current state executive brief


Business and industries are in different stages of theirs journeys towards a digital future and are facing a variety of challenges along the way. In times where digital technologies supercharge life cycles and competitive environments, it is important for business to stay on top. This assessment item focusses on an initial assessment of an organisation with respect to its digital progress. This assessment task therefore provides you with an opportunity to apply your understanding of these considerations to a specific case.


This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):


This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):


Type: Reflection
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 15%

750 words (+/- 10%)

Assessment task 2: Capabilities assessment framework


Capabilities assessment framework


This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2 and 3

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

B.1 and C.1

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%

2500 words (+/- 10%)

Assessment task 3: Digital strategy pitch


Everyone knows by now that digital processes are essential. However, with the vast and growing array of digital capabilities available, it is paramount for a business to have a plan that matches digital initiatives with company goals – a digital strategy. The aim of this assessment task is to create and communicate a digital strategy for a specific business in order to avoid failure in implementation.


This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):


This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):


Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 45%

10-min long video

Minimum requirements

In order to pass the subject, a student must achieve an overall mark of 50% or more.

Recommended texts

Machine, platform, crowd : harnessing our digital future

McAfee, Andrew, author.; Brynjolfsson, Erik, author.

Driving digital strategy : a guide to reimagining your business

Gupta, Sunil,2018

Leading digital : turning technology into business transformation

Westerman, George, 1963-; Bonnet, Didier.; McAfee, Andrew.


The seven principles of digital business strategy

McKeown, Niall, author.; Durkin, Mark, author.