No matter what your business, the chances are that you’re facing rising pressure to deliver consistently high value but faster than ever before. End-to-end automation and standardization are key to mastering this challenge – and they call for enterprise-wide adoption of disruptive technologies. That’s why innovation is no longer confined to IT departments but is driven by a new enterprise-wide skillset: tech savviness. Read on to find out more about the implications of this radical shift for you and your company.
Today, we live in an age that’s shaped from A to Z by technological innovation. From artificial intelligence (AI) to machine learning and robotics, and from cloud computing and the Internet of Things to data analytics, high-tech touches every aspect of our day-to-day lives – whether in the workplace or in our leisure activities.
Faced with these developments, players in all industries have come to realize the need to engage with technology in new ways. They’ve seen how disruptive tech has fueled profound changes in customer expectations. And they know that harnessing next-gen technologies is imperative if they’re to meet these expectations. What’s more, the pandemic has greatly accelerated digital transformations, significantly increasing pressure on businesses to adopt new technologies.
While embracing tech can be challenging, the rewards are manifold. The valuable data, insights, and forecasts that cutting-edge solutions deliver not only enable companies to tweak, optimize, and go to market with innovative new products and services; they also drive down associated costs while driving up returns.
Every Business Is a Tech Business
Not all that long ago, IT departments had a virtual monopoly on high-tech and associated innovations. These days, however, every department – even those with more “traditional” roles – is packed with software and digital solutions. This technology isn’t merely nice-to-have; it plays a pivotal role in these departments’ day-to-day work. And that’s why we can say that, in a very real sense, every business is now a tech business.
Indeed, technology has made such inroads throughout organizations that the average corporate department now boasts more high-tech solutions and greater digital knowledge than traditional IT departments did until only very recently. Gone are the days when your IT team had sole responsibility for innovation. Today, advances of this kind are built on a new enterprise-wide mindset and skillset – tech savviness.
Tech Savviness: The Key to Future Success
The idea of technology as a must-have and a prerequisite for long-term competitiveness is not a new one. In the first year of the pandemic, Forbes, spotlighted the role of technology in gaining competitive advantage. And we’re now seeing just how important tech can be when it comes to staying ahead of the crowd. Analysis by IBM has revealed that tech-savvy organizations outperformed their peers across a range of industries during the pandemic.
So, what exactly is tech savviness, and how can it help you survive and thrive in today’s increasingly tough environment? When we say that a company is tech savvy, we generally mean that it has the ability to do the following:
Harness exceptional value from technology and innovation to shape its technology visions
Execute its digital transformation journeys
Reinvent its business to create exceptional, sustainable value, ensuring that its tech investments are part of tomorrow's competitive advantage
To develop these abilities, companies must put in place processes and competencies geared to fostering tech savviness across the entire workforce – from senior executives right through to the shop floor.
What’s more, they must develop the in-house capabilities needed to train their talent in the very latest technology and its application in a business context. By focusing on cultivating tech savviness, organizations can take technological expertise out of the conventional confines of the IT department and transform it into a generic, enterprise-wide skill.
Firm Focus on Tech and Learning
When viewed from this perspective, disruptive technologies are no longer a specialized niche. Instead, they represent the change that companies in all sectors will have to undergo if they’re to remain competitive. By putting technology at the very heart of their business, organizations stand to create transformational value and pivot to the new.
It’s vital not to overlook the central role that learning will play here. To nurture a tech-savvy workforce, businesses will need to develop robust captive-learning capabilities, ensuring that their staff are constantly kept up to speed with technological innovations.
Tech Leaders: Welcome to the Boardroom
The shift from IT as a capability to tech as a skillset has another very important implication: The tech leaders responsible must be closely involved in all relevant board decisions. Whether you’re a CIO, CTO, or CDO, now’s the time to demand your seat at the board table. In fact, there’s never been a better time to be a tech leader than today.
If you’d like to look into the opportunities that tech savviness can offer your organization and how you can develop this new enterprise-wide skillset, feel free to reach out to me. And if you have thoughts of your own on this topic, please share them in the comments section below.