Archive | Digital Leadership

Don’t make yourself an island

islandI fear that the pace of digital and social disruption is catching out a number of CIO’s who aren’t moving at the same pace as their organisations.
Couple this with the naturally accelerated rate of change that is currently rippling through many organisations, and the need for technology to be leveraged to support it is causing CIO’s many a sleepless night.

My advice to them is: don’t make yourself an island.

Don’t retreat in to the abyss of technology and speak only in forked tongues; learn the language of business, get out there and engage with your peers and organisation.
It’s easy to lose track of what the organisation needs and suppose that you have got everything covered including what you think they need.
This is such a dangerous way to think and act, as it shines like a beacon to the rest of the organisation that you aren’t open to communicate with them and understand their pain points.

You will find that if you communicate and work with your peers to understand the issues they face, they will be more open to discussing with you the best ways you can leverage technology to help them.
Better still, you can work together and start to pick these things up before they become issues and deliver real innovation and value across your organisation.

If you find that you are making yourself an island, nip it in the bud as quickly as you can as the truth of the matter is that others in the organisation will have noticed it long before you do.
This could mean that you have an increasing shadow IT problem as others in your organisation have gone out and gotten their own solutions rather than through your organisation or involving you.

Don’t continue to resist change as the current digital and social disruption means that change is inevitable.
Those that resist it will be left behind pretty quickly and as the CIO you really cannot afford that to happen as your organisation will quickly find someone else who will engage.
Better still, you may find that you really enjoy it and as they say, change really is as good as a rest.

This piece has also been posted here on the Samsung Business site

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Who will be your primary suppliers in 2017?

suppliers2017In recent months I have noticed a distinctive trend emerging whereby CIO’s are switching from larger, well-known suppliers to smaller vendors who are leaner and more agile.
This has been backed up by the feedback in the sessions and the CIO’s who I have spoken with here this week in Barcelona at the Gartner Symposium IT Expo.

This is an interesting and positive trend as it allows the market to thrive with more up and coming vendors allowed to pitch for and win contracts by showing real innovation and enthusiasm to get the job done where they may have previously been frozen out at the RFP stages.

Gartner themselves stated in their keynote session that their recent CIO survey showed that the majority of CIO’s will change their primary suppliers by 2017.
Could new entrants like Samsung muscle their way on to your list of primary suppliers? Their launch this week in to the B2B market makes them a credible player.

What does this mean for established suppliers? Basically it means they need to be less complacent and engage better with their clients and not just around the times of contract renewal.
It shouldn’t mean they try to shortcut this process and just go out and buy a crop of these bright young new vendors, far from it. They would be better served in studying why they are winning business away from them and looking to instil that hunger and innovation back in to their product offerings and services.
I know they will say that due their size and complexity of contracts etc. this will be difficult but innovation and enthusiasm are contagious and adding those to anything at any level will only give everyone a boost.

I have even heard of some companies looking in to gamification techniques and the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage people in solving problems.
This may be a bit bleeding edge for some but it really highlights what digital and its associated disruption is bringing to the market with the amount of new technology and value added services it offers.

With the introduction of digital and other disruptive technologies, CIO’s are now faced with more requests from the business to leverage technology than ever before, often wanting to do it themselves within their own business units.
The smaller, leaner and more agile vendors are able to seize upon this and bring to the market services and solutions which you can get up and running in less than half the time your previous vendors take to do something along with significantly faster versioning and the addition of new features.

It’s an interesting marketplace and never before have I seen such a seismic shift in the way that organisations are being disrupted.
The better-organised organisations that are more agile and quicker to adopt will thrive in this new world and so they should.

This piece has also been posted here on the Samsung Business site

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IT Leadership Roles in 2020

IT LeadershipThe keynote at the Gartner Symposium IT Expo here in Barcelona this morning raised a number of interesting points but something I wanted to lift out and explore in a bit more detail was the references to what IT leadership roles they see will be in play in 2020.

Interestingly and in a different twist to what others are saying, Gartner see the CIO role continuing and the CDO role coming to an end having played its significant part.
They see the CDO role as a transformation and change agent who will lead the digital transformation and implementation of a digital leadership culture within the organisation between now and 2020 before bowing out gracefully with a job well done.
If you think about this I believe it makes a lot of sense – it frees up both the CIO and CMO to concentrate on innovation, adding value, meeting their strategic objectives and engaging their client bases.

My only reservation was why wait until 2020 to get this done and instil a digital leadership culture across your organisation?
Surely those who jump on this now and instil a digital leadership ethos throughout their organisations will steal a march on those that postpone or delay the inevitable.

What is becoming more apparent is that by 2020 all leaders no matter what business unit they lead will be expected to have digital skills (and rightly so).
This is key and executives who don’t currently know what digital technologies can bring to their organisations really need to start finding out or risk being left behind.
CMO’s have been working with digital for a while and this has led to the CIO Vs. CMO debate but digital is and will be such an integral part of any organisations strategy, the whole leadership team needs to get involved and work together to enable it.

The rapid rate of improvements in technology means that it will only get easier to implement and manage the digital transformation within your organisations and instil the necessary digital leadership backbone.
Everyone is trying to get one step ahead of the competition and those who correctly identify, digitalise and engage with the right objectives now will quickly launch themselves ahead of the competition.

So, a slightly different angle on what the IT leadership roles may look like down the line but refreshing to see a different viewpoint.

What do you think?

This piece has also been posted on:
Here on the Samsung Business site
The Intel IT Peer Network in my position as IT Industry ‘Thought Leader’ and Featured Blogger

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