What CEOs and management teams should do about the “next normal” phase in digital transformation;
Today’s growing companies have one thing in common – they utilise technology to their advantage. Yet for every winning company, we see a struggling one, despite investing in technology. Where did they go wrong? What did they miss?
In this digital age, winning market requires chief executive officers (CEOs) and their management teams to go beyond using technology to drive business growth.
It requires CEOs and their teams to evolve into new businesses, approaches, products and services and using robust emerging technologies. It also requires breaking through mind-sets that infiltrate management groupthink in order to progress in this space.
Maintaining a mind-set and believing a myth may delay an organization’s prospects for growth and breakthrough thinking. Buying into multiple of these myths or groupthink can erase those opportunities altogether.
These are the myths that infiltrate management groupthink;
1: Believing in a mind-set that technology is the responsibility of Chief Technical Officers (CTOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs)
CEOs must own the technology vision.
All companies are tech companies; all CEOs are tech CEOs.
The chief information officer (CIO) and chief technical officer (CTO) play a role in crafting opportunities, however this responsibility cuts across the entire C-suite. Successfully entering new markets and deploying new business models requires deep customer understanding and operational know-how, domains that extend beyond the CIO and CTO.
Taking advantage of technology and driving disruption requires strong leadership from the CEO first, empowering the team and followed by support from all the executive team.
2: A groupthink that technology alone is a silver bullet to digital transformation
Technology alone is not a silver bullet when it comes to digital transformation.
Many businesses are trying to implement services which are not fit for purpose.
Businesses associate technologies such as cloud services, cyber security, artificial intelligence (AI), modern networks and infrastructure and data analytics with digital transformation. But, they’re not always relevant to the majority of organisations.
Not all technologies are equally valuable for all businesses
3: A myth in technology > strategy
Technology requires strategy – and strategy requires technology.
With more employees wanting to work remotely and flexibly, many organisations try to implement cloud-based solutions to gain, and retain, the best talent. But these solutions aren’t always a one-size-fits-all. Cloud-based systems work best when they are built specifically for the organisation it is servicing. So, choose one which meets your needs.
Digital solutions aren’t always a one-size-fits-all
4: Believing that all tech companies should act like mighty tech giants
Every company is a tech company, but not everyone needs to act like the mighty tech giants from Silicon Valley.
Not all companies should take the “scatter the seeds and see what grows” approach. Nor should all companies embrace technologies as they emerge from theory to practicality.
5: A mind-set that newcomers will disrupt incumbents
Incumbents can maintain a competitive edge over newcomers
Newcomers win because they are unburdened by historic processes aligned to improving.
Nevertheless, incumbent CEOs have the power to realign and free teams from being entrapped with “this is how things have always been done” approach to utilizing new technologies.
CEO keys to success
What does this mean for CEOs? And what should they and their teams do to utilize technologies?
Focus on technology’s business impact rather than the technology itself. Evaluate how technology changes and impacts your decisions about improving, market entry, monetization and evolving and business transformation.
Don’t mistake experimenting for strategy.
Investing in a wide range of technology pilots can be useful; however, you also need a comprehensive strategy for using technology in your business.
Develop strategy at digital speed.
Traditional strategy process cannot keep up with the pace of rapid strides in technology advancement. Be willing to rapidly change, evolve or even abandon strategic choices that are not working.
Favour sensing over forecasting.
Given the dynamic pace and complexity of digital technology advances, accurate forecasting is virtually impossible.
Innovate with your ecosystem.
Make the most of other companies’ innovation efforts by partnering with other players in your broader ecosystem rather than working alone.
Collaborate on technology activities across the C-suite.
Which technology projects to fund, where to aim them, how many to take on, which ones to abandon, and when to add capacity should be well defined visions.
Embracing technology disruption
The influence and impact of new technologies is the strategic issue of our time.
Waiting to see how things shake out – or delegating all technology issues to the CIO or CTO – is no longer a viable option for today’s CEOs and their executive teams.
C-suite leaders should embrace technology and proactively create new strategies and collaborate across the C-suite to ensure innovations are working for their company by moving quickly with these technologies to transform business.
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Patrick Adengo is the lead for the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) and financial services industry at Stalworth Consulting Group (www.scg.ug)
A seasoned expert of the telecommunications and technology industry, he has nearly 20+ years of experience helping clients in the telecom sector, including vendors, carriers, equipment and handset manufacturers, among others in the mobile and financial services ecosystem.