Best Tech Strategy Consulting

Innovation

JUST Keeping the IT Lights On = Awaiting Disruption

Is your IT just “keeping the lights on”? i.e. Are you just waiting to be disrupted? (Or did COVID already do that?) Don’t get me wrong – keeping the lights on, avoiding security breaches, even creating organizational/margin efficiency with IT – these are worthy goals. But they are TABLE STAKES in today’s pandemic economy; we go far beyond this in our proprietary Innovation framework: → STABILIZE your IT – yes “the lights need to stay on” reliably, securely, auditably → RATIONALIZE myriad strategic trade-offs – get what you pay for, pay to your point of maximum ROI → MONETIZE your IT – invest in tech capabilities to drive REVENUE & MARKET-SHARE Innovation Vista’s mission is to INNOVATE BEYOND EFFICIENCY for TOP-LINE IMPACT in midsize companies: → Taking market-share with tech capabilities your competitors can’t match → Enabling Digital connection not just in remote teams, but with your customers → Accelerating [...]

By |2020-07-31T13:49:04-06:00July 18th, 2020|Digital Transformation, Innovation|

The New Digital Normal of Customer Expectations

Digital disruption began well before we were all forced to practice social distancing, but recently it has advanced into sections of society that were previously slow to adopt. As more and more business is conducted online, especially from the palm of their hand, customers are beginning to distinguish between companies who provide an easy experience vs. those who have limited or no digital capabilities. This is really just a continuation of the evolution of customer preferences, and the rewarding of those who align with (or even drive) that evolution.  In the not so distant past, we witnessed what can happen to a brand that does not respond quickly to customer behaviors. Customer battles were everywhere: Blockbuster vs Netflix, and every box store vs Amazon. Now, in the tenuous aftermath of the nationwide COVID-19 economic shutdown, we are seeing other sectors being challenged to make digital the new normal, including service, [...]

By |2020-06-29T17:37:38-06:00June 15th, 2020|Digital Transformation, Innovation|

Escaping the Catch-22 of Post-COVID Digitalization

COVID-19 has escalated and turbo-charged digital transformation across the globe. Prior to COVID, many organizations planned to build out more options for their employees to be more productive by working remotely. They planned to create a way for customers to interact with them and buy from them online, and allow for their management teams to have dashboard views of their internal productivity and customer interactions. Most planned for these enhancements to be phased in over the next few years. Now digital transformation is a necessity for successful business in a post-COVID economy. Yet companies without those capabilities already integrated in will struggle to build them. With the onset of social distancing measures and state mandates for keeping business fronts closed, remote work has never been more essential. It's not just for the sake of productivity, but for safety--and ultimately, worker engagement. Success is now incumbent on a company's ability to [...]

By |2020-06-12T16:58:42-06:00May 18th, 2020|Digital Transformation, Innovation|

Successful Leadership in the New COVID Reality

Successful leadership in the new COVID reality will require a new approach to overcome the unforeseen challenges presented by the pandemic. So many plans for 2020 have been paused or fully abandoned in the wake of more pressing concerns. Organizations must learn to adapt, to continue finding innovative ways to carry on, to begin looking ahead. Here are a few potential traps and ways to overcome them as leaders begin rising to the challenge:   COVID changed the landscape of many aspects of our lives. The world will no longer operate like it did prior to the arrival of this virus.  Leaders should challenge their assumptions, existing plans, and business models to consider what must, or should, be different now.  The future still remains uncertain, but it is certain that many aspects of life will not return to what they were before.  Creative contingency plans will help ensure that whatever [...]

By |2020-07-14T13:04:22-06:00April 13th, 2020|Innovation, Transitional Leadership|

Turning CRM Data into Deep Customer Insights

The world is becoming increasingly personalized.  Frequent flier numbers and customer membership programs enable companies to track consumers' buying patterns; social media platforms and digital marketing channels enable them to know even more about our preferences and lives.  The door has been opened to inappropriate uses of this information, as evidenced by the "fake news" and Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandals from the 2016 election.  But far more commonly, companies are using customer data in legitimate to personalize their communications with customers, with significant results. Customers are happy for you to know about them According to Accenture, 83% of consumers are willing to share their data in order to enable a personalized B2C experience, and 91% say it actually impacts their buying habits.  For B2B purposes, companies have long known there is easy access to public data about them, so any gain in efficiency is welcomed from suppliers who make use of [...]

Innovation – The Great Equalizer

For small and midsize companies competing against large competitors, it can often feel like they are set up to fail. The competitors may have stronger purchasing power, economies of scale, and lower cost of capital, making it hard for the smaller companies to gain any sort of an edge. But the innovation of new technologies is giving many companies hope that they can indeed compete with large competitors several times their size. Innovation is the key to balancing the scale of power. Despite their significant advantages in economies of scale, larger companies also have a liability which can become significant in the emerging Digital Age. Because of their size, large companies have many more layers of bureaucracy and formality. Each of those layers in a larger organization is a delay in decision-making and innovation, particularly when the changes being contemplated are significant and impact a company's business model, pricing, supply [...]

By |2019-10-26T13:49:24-06:00October 26th, 2019|Innovation|

Transformation Needs the Top, Even if it Doesn’t Start There

No matter where the vision for innovation comes from, the board and CEO must support and evangelize transformation for it to succeed. If the board and CEO don't fully grasp why the transformation is needed, or how it should be achieved, it can bring about more harm than good. They would be better of pausing or canceling the project until everyone can get on the same wavelength. The worst whiplash an organization can receive is a "transformation" project being pushed by IT which doesn't have the support of top leadership. Why? Because the rest of the company will take their lead on how to respond—how seriously to take the change—from their top leadership. If they see shoulder shrugs, they may shrug too and won’t be fully committed to getting on board. Just as importantly, the support from top leadership will deeply impact the behavior of those pushing the change—in IT [...]

By |2019-10-13T11:10:20-06:00October 11th, 2019|Digital Transformation, Innovation|

Step 1 to Swimming in the Digital Pool – Get in the Water

Do you have a vision for the potential of technology to impact your company's future, but lack the details to make specific proposals? Part of leadership is seeing the need for change and taking steps to share and implement this vision with your team. The first step doesn’t have to be perfect or huge—you need not jump into the deep end of the pool right away, but it's critical at least to acknowledge that you need to learn how to swim. No matter how your organization uses data—processing, analyzing, or simply entering it and viewing it on a daily basis—there is a high likelihood that some kind of digital technology can take your efforts to the next level.  Initially, you may not have clarity on how automation, AI, or analytics will play a part, but neither is it a requirement for someone to know all the strokes before deciding they [...]

By |2019-10-05T12:54:16-06:00October 5th, 2019|Digital Transformation, Innovation|

Best IT Strategy for a Non-IT Startup? It Depends

Tech company startups are the darlings of the press and of venture capitalists.  It certainly seems that tech companies dominate the list of "Unicorns" and top IPOs from the last few decades.  Their pace of revenue acceleration (though not necessarily usually earnings) are breathtaking - at least for the few who make it "over the hump" to reach critical mass.  But these are far from the only startup businesses where key IT decisions are needed. In non-IT startup companies, the landscape of tech choices is different, although potentially just as impactful on the company's chances of success.  Tech isn't their product, but in many cases it may make up a significant part of their engine (there is a spectrum of IT impact, of course - that's one reason why "It Depends..")  Interestingly, from the myriad books on the topic of startups pumped out of publishing houses these days, very few [...]

By |2019-11-13T08:33:39-06:00September 12th, 2019|Innovation, Transitional Leadership|

Early AI Won’t Reach Professionals’ IQ. Build it Anyway

When you teach your children how to read, you don’t hand them a dictionary. You start with one letter, then move on to the next, hoping you know enough words that describe the letter “X” and can create a system from which they will learn on their own. No one expects a toddler to suddenly pick up the morning paper and process the symbols inked onto the page into useable information—but even knowing that, they begin the long, tedious, (painful?) steps to ensure that one day their child, years down the road, can read the morning paper if they so choose. The results are worth the pain in the end. Yet when people hear about the developments of AI in business, many of them assume the process is pointless if the technology has not reached a level of newspaper-reading, so to speak. What would be the point of investing money [...]

By |2019-09-19T04:54:21-06:00August 1st, 2019|Artificial Intelligence, Innovation|