Source – https://www.analyticsinsight.net/

Virtually all businesses today rely on digital technology to drive major operations, including upstream and downstream supply, sales and marketing, recruitment and onboarding, and internal communication. This is a partial list, but a telling one – symbolic of the reasoning behind the statement that “every company is now a technology company.”

The extent to which organizations use technology in the 21st century has a profound impact on growth, profitability, and overall success. As leaders and technologists increasingly work within the same domains, here are the five best practices that should be observed to leverage the skills of both and drive businesses forward:

1. Do not lead with technology in mind.

Technology’s starting point for driving ongoing business success is helping define the complex business problems in need of solutions and employing strategies that will most effectively support growth. The technology itself often plays a big part, but it should never be the primary focus.

Instead, leaders should always put stakeholders first. Customers, investors, and employees are the core building blocks of business, and fulfilling their needs (both stated and unstated) is the main driver of long-term growth and success.

2. Do not allow technology to remain siloed.

Technology has historically been viewed as a back-end function, receiving instructions and carrying them out independently. However, the divide between strategy and technology can be viewed as a fundamental misunderstanding of how to operate in the information age: Digital transformation is not only about implementing more and better technology but also about overlaying all traditional business processes with the power of those technologies offer.

This means it’s vital for executives to drive a genuine paradigm shift where data and software are concerned. Allowing technology to function as a disconnected department or entity limits its vast potential, along with that of the organization it is meant to serve.

3. Use data as the fulcrum for strategic advantage.

Seismic shifts in technology (artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the advent of microprocessing, to name a few) led to a tidal wave of data. Companies in many industries now access billions of unique data points on a daily basis. All of this information can provide insight regarding many important questions, including:

  • How are customers interacting with products and perceiving brands?
  • Which customer touchpoints are most valuable?
  • Which moments are most critical in the customer journey?
  • How well are products and services performing throughout their lifecycle?
  • What shifts in the market are happening or are imminent, and how might they affect operations?

Answers to questions like these are an integral part of an evolving business strategy. The value of information is compounded by the speed at which it can be processed, and leveraging fast data is now not only a possibility for most organizations but a necessity to stay competitive.

4. Make technology the center of innovation.

Companies that lead in innovation often lead in the marketplace as well. Digital platforms and tools not only allow companies to ask smarter questions but also facilitate fast and easy implementation of ad hoc solutions testing.

When technology was hardware-focused, research and development was an expensive, time-consuming investment. Today, largely due to a shift to cloud infrastructure, it is a quick and highly dynamic operation with the ability to set companies apart in their sector. Multiple solutions can be experimented with simultaneously, providing deep answer sets and generating additional data in the process.

5. Prioritize the problems that arise at the juncture of technology and business.

In many cases, technology alone can do little to alter the trajectory of an organization.

However, it exponentially increases the value of traditional business knowledge by giving leaders the ability to ask and answer more complex questions.

“Business as usual” in most industries today is technologically enhanced and massively empowered when compared to just two decades ago. And yet, much of technology’s potential remains latent. Leaders who wish to activate it should start by understanding that the bottleneck is still fundamentally human. Internal barriers need to be broken down, and clear communication lines must be established between historically siloed teams. When this takes place, the true power of technology’s ability to innovate when it comes to customer experience and drive business growth can be unleashed – and the organizations that implement it will lead us into the next era of business.

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