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Technology team strategically absent?

Over the last four weeks, I have emerged from my self-imposed exile of book writing to engage with a range of clients. These engagements have been exciting and fruitful; however, they also make me wonder how the demands of digital will exacerbate current conditions in many organisations.

These conversations are all very similar across a range of clients;

  • At our executive all hands we were asked about what are we doing with digital? The response was we want to go paperless. A worthwhile activity, but it is not digital. Digital incorporates a market cycle, points of differentiation and technology facilitation of content, transactions and scale.

  • Our vendors who should be partners are absent. Are we mismanaging them? How can we unlock value? Do we bring everything back, in house? A common frustration and often contributed to a lack of focus on the relationship. They are missing the appropriate executive sponsorship from the vendor and subsequent executive interactions between both organisations. Involvement of the right people and a different conversation is the beginning of realising the potential.

  • Our business has a very clear strategy; there is an uncertainty of how the technology team is contributing to this; they have a backlog of demand that seems to be no longer relevant. We appear to be interacting and transacting for our traditional business, not our future business. There is a need to rise above the work, list the work and stop a lot of the work. At a minimum, a technology strategy is required; it would be beneficial to consider taking the time to develop a digital strategy. Then identify the initiatives to support both.

The above points were inspired by real conversations; how am I helping these people?

  • “Bridge-building” between the business and technology teams. Reviewing and refining strategy.

  • “Mentoring” all executives on what is digital, why their Digital IQ needs to be higher than the Technical IQ. Digital is everyone’s business.

  • “Energising” by coaching the technology team on how to communicate priorities and choices.

People literally stand taller after having a lot of their work cancelled. The clarity of priorities and certainty of what will be delivered immediately improves business relationships, and everyone just feels better.


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