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IT Leadership

Business Impact – the True North for Innovation

There is a lot of hype within the business sector around emerging technologies. Talk of finding new, creative ways to solve business challenges never fails to incite a buzz within organizations, for good reason. With the right compass heading, technology can sustain or change a company’s culture, and many new technologies are emerging that promise a significant impact on business over the next few years. At times the excitement is about the technology and not its business impact Innovation is important, and powerful, and impactful, but only if it creates real business results. Without the right compass heading, forward motion is NOT progress but only wasted effort and time.  Likewise, innovation for its own sake (outside of a pure research context) is often just a drain on time and money. Instead of seeking the latest technology for its own sake, an assessment of need & opportunity is incredibly important. Innovative [...]

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 → OPTIMIZE strategic trade-offs – get what you pay for, pay to your point of maximum ROIC → 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 your [...]

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 [...]

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 |2020-10-02T14:23:53-06:00April 13th, 2020|Innovation, IT Leadership|

CRM Adoption Needs Good Leadership as Much as Good IT

Over 90% of companies with dedicated sales teams have licensed a CRM system, and yet far fewer of these companies believe their CRMs are strategic in their impact to the top and bottom lines.  Quora got double-digits responses to the question "Why do salespeople hate CRM?"  "Why do salespeople love CRM?" had not been posted as a question as of the time of this writing. Why is it so challenging to get sales teams to use CRM systems? Contrary to some other commentators on this topic, I don't believe the problem of low CRM adoption is due mainly to the systems being overly complex, or salespeople having limited grasp of software generally.  Don't get me wrong; some CRMs are no doubt too complex, designed by techies without sufficient input from real sales teams, etc.   There are over 300 different CRM systems in the market today, and no doubt some are [...]

What CXOs should know about Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is a buzzword which has crept into the language of business in recent years, and the definition of the term varies greatly. At Innovation Vista, we define “digital transformation” as the effort to use technology to grow revenue. Digital Transformation - IT strategy insights for CXOs Digital transformation is driven by a broader view of Information Technology than its traditional goals of increasing efficiency and automation to help businesses save money and boost productivity. Today, technology has advanced in ways that allow businesses to do much more than what was possible in the past. Even in its traditional scope, IT has become a major component of most businesses' success. Most corporate executives and C-suites are comfortable with it in this shape and size, but when there’s talk of re-envisioning IT, even with the promise of greater impact, CXOs can become understandably nervous. Hesitations on Digital Transformation One of [...]

Should IT Leadership enter the Gig Economy?

With the recent growth of the gig economy in all kinds of sectors and roles, it bears asking whether this kind of structure might be a cheaper option for more companies searching for top-level IT leadership.  Answering this question will have some nuances, but it seems clear that going with a "gig CIO" is worth considering, and is likely better than at least one all-too-common mistake in choosing heads of IT. When you hear “gig economy,” likely you imagine transactions with Uber or Upwork—companies that operate under a “pay by the drink” approach.  It's part of a larger trend which also encompasses the Cloud revolution, where you pay per month for the specific amount of compute and storage you've utilized.  In general, participants in our economy are increasingly preferring to pay for only what they use, in many categories of goods and services.   Approximately 57 million people (36% of U.S. [...]

By |2020-10-02T15:11:57-06:00November 22nd, 2019|IT Leadership|

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 |2020-10-02T14:58:27-06:00October 11th, 2019|Digital Transformation, Innovation, IT Leadership|

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 |2020-10-02T14:57:39-06:00October 5th, 2019|Digital Transformation, Innovation, IT Leadership|

Not Every Company Needs Our Services – Only Those Which Have Data

A recent McKinsey study found that companies which invested in data quality and analytics increased their profit margin an average of 6%.  For context, the average profit margin across Fortune 500 companies was just 10.7%...!  Who isn't interested in pursuing an increase in their profits of 2/3?  And unlike traditional IT automation, Digital Transformation can not only reduce costs but also potentially increase revenue. Unless your company does not track or utilize data at all, you are missing an opportunity at these kinds of returns if you're not "weaponizing" your data.  GAAP Accounting does not currently allow companies to book their data as an asset on the balance sheet, per se, but it’s safe to say that between two companies with similar financials, the one with the highest quantity & quality of data is truly “worth more” (and will have tangibly better results!) than one with limited, low quality data.  [...]