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Why Corporate Leaders Need to Become Technologist

Why Corporate Leaders Need to Become Technologist

Most traditional leaders rely on their Chief Information Officer (CIO) to brief them on new and important technological changes. Leaders want changes to be studied and justified. They want various departments to pay for said changes.

The problem with this model is it doesn’t consider how technology is changing their business. In years past, technology made things easier and saved the company money. Today, advancements are changing the way a business does business and if a leader resists change, they are likely to be out of a job or drive the organization toward obsolescence.

If you are part of your organization’s leadership team, here is the quickest path to the role of technologist.

9 Steps to Becoming a Technologist

  1. Subscribe to technology publications.
    While this may require 30-45 minutes of your time every day, it is important to skim and understand what innovations are on the horizon. I recommend you subscribe to the following pubs:

    1. CIO
    2. Mashable
    3. Fast Company and
    4. Wired

These online outlets have a leadership bent to them and can be delivered daily, twice a week or weekly to your inbox.

  1. Follow industry and innovative experts.
    You can either follow these leaders via LinkedIn and/or Google Alerts. I believe the following individuals forecast or implement technology wisely into their business models:

    1. Seth Godin, Owner of Seth Godin Productions
    2. Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix
    3. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
    4. Steve Wozniak, Influencer at Apple
    5. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
  2. Visit local university research and technology labs.
    Find out what engineering, computer science and mathematics students are working on and encourage an exchange of ideas between your organization and the student population.
  3. Create a company learning lounge.
    Rent new technology for a week or a month. Allow employees to try it out. Create an environment where they can anonymously give you feedback about the equipment.
  4. Host a hackathon.
    This is a 24- or 48-hour event where employees can collaborate and write programs and pitches that will benefit the organization. The event organizer can rent a computer in bulk, and the event is usually well staffed with food, beverages and comfortable seating. Implement the best ideas generated from this event.
  5. Explore reverse mentoring.
    Assign millennial employees to the senior management team. Allow one-on-one counseling and training about the latest technology innovations, whether they reside on mobile apps or are on desktops within the company.
  6. Expand your budget for change.
    It is estimated that breakthrough announcements in technology will start to occur every 6-8 months as machine learning and big data become the norm. You are seeing some of this with enhancements to digital assistants, driverless cars and insights to buying behavior. The technology budget will no longer be driven by cost containment, it will be driven by competitiveness and innovation.
  7. Constantly ask this question: “How will this new offering make our offerings obsolete?”

    Two good examples of this are Blackberry and Netflix.

    Blackberry, at one time, owned about 80% of the smartphone market share. However, they did not anticipate two things: the acceptance of touchscreen technology and the number of mobile apps developed on the iOS and Android platforms. You know the rest of the story; Blackberry is not a huge player in the smartphone arena and has had to focus on their strength; a secure hardware platform.

    Netflix started out at as a DVD movie provider with no late fees. As broadband became faster and Smart TVs were introduced, they shifted their focus to video streaming. They now also produce original shows and have completely abandoned their DVD business.

    Your business needs to be less like Blackberry and more like Netflix. Agility is the name of the game.

  8. Implement technology.
    It isn’t enough to study it and take it for a test drive. You need to take risks and implement technology. If your leadership team is conservative, conduct a pilot project and establish KPIs to measure success. And then, like the slogan states, “Just do it”.

In summary, technology is shaping our lives every day and will continue to do so more in the future. Becoming a technologist will be a catalyst for innovation, creativity and further professional development.

Hartford Technology Rental Supports Technologists

When you are ready to implement technology, contact us at 888-520-5667 or complete our quote request form. Don’t delay, contact us today!