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Thought Leadership

Thought Leadership2021-04-09T05:00:27-06:00
31Mar, 2021

Not All Brainstorms are Created Equal

By |March 31st, 2021|Categories: Innovation, IT Leadership|

Wikipedia gives this summary and definition of brainstorming: Brainstorming is a group creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members. In other words, brainstorming is a situation where a group of people meet to generate new ideas and solutions around a specific domain of interest by removing inhibitions. People are able to think more freely and they suggest as many spontaneous new ideas as possible. All the ideas are noted down without criticism and after the brainstorming session the ideas are evaluated. It's a powerful concept, first articulated by Alex Faickney Osborn in his 1967 book Applied Imagination, which had multiple followup editions through the 1970's. As with many powerful concepts, though, the specifics of implementation matter. The traditional approach to Brainstorming can fall victim to human nature We love the power of brainstorming, but [...]

19Feb, 2021

Why the IT Bar is Usually Set Too Low

By |February 19th, 2021|Categories: Innovation, IT Leadership, Monetizing IT, Optimizing IT, Tech Disruption|

The IT bar is set too low by business leaders Most CEOs and COOs spend their days trying to increase revenue and market share, while most CFOs spend their time optimizing their company’s balance sheet and ensuring that accounting is handled correctly. None of these top executives have the time or the background to focus their efforts on IT, even though all of them need it in order to achieve their goals. Without the context and knowledge of what is possible and what the paths to innovation should be, it is difficult for business executives to set, or even to push for, a vision for the full impact of technology. The bar is also set too low by IT leaders There is a misconception within many corporations that IT is merely backup and tech support for other departments. CIOs are often disincentivized to go beyond operating their platforms reliably, securely, [...]

18Dec, 2020

Experienced IT Leadership CAN be Affordable · Virtual CIOs

By |December 18th, 2020|Categories: IT Leadership|

The importance – and the complexity – of Technology in modern business models have never been higher.  Because IT skills are so different from those possessed by many business leaders, most CEOs and Boards of Directors want an experienced leader at the top of their IT organization.  The right leader ensures the right choices are made on all strategic IT decisions, which is critical since so many will reverberate for their companies (and may make the difference between empowering them and limiting the entire organization): Casting a vision for where a company’s technology can and should evolve for maximum benefit Choosing cyber-security protections Ensuring sufficient capacity for system performance and growth Nurturing a culture of innovation and service in the IT department Collaborating with senior leadership to identify opportunities for IT-driven efficiencies & revenue Designing the Enterprise Architecture Choosing key technology vendors Negotiating services, software, and hardware contracts Deciding how [...]

15Nov, 2020

Change is Faster than Ever, but Will Never Again Be This Slow

By |November 15th, 2020|Categories: Digital Transformation, Innovation, IT Leadership, Tech Disruption|

This succinct summary of the challenge of modern life is a quote from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, from his keynote at the Davos World Economic Forum in 2018.  And although that organization tried to downplay the sentiment later that year, Trudeau's claim seems an accurate summary of our times. Change is hard for human beings; we are accustomed to a great deal of consistency from one day to another: in what is expected of us, in the tools we use to perform those duties, in how we're perceived by others and how we interact with others, in what constitutes the necessities of life, and in how we obtain those necessities.  Most of us feel we can "handle" change, but when we say that we usually mean one change at a time, and with a pause after each change before we're forced to confront the next one. The challenge today [...]

21Oct, 2020

Business Impact – the True North for Innovation

By |October 21st, 2020|Categories: Digital Transformation, Innovation, IT Leadership, Monetizing IT, Optimizing IT|

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 [...]

21Sep, 2020

Virtual CIO Case Study · Paying By the Drink for the Right Wine

By |September 21st, 2020|Categories: Digital Transformation, Enterprise Systems, Innovation, IT Leadership, Optimizing IT, Stabilizing IT|

Buying wine by the bottle (or case) may be the most economic option to acquire it at scale, but if a bottle is beyond your means or needs, and you find the particular vintage you want, paying by the drink is the right option. And so it is with Virtual CIOs (aka Fractional CIOs/Remote CIOs/Part-time CIOs)... This quote is actually from one of our recent clients, a mid-size company who engaged our Virtual CIO service to provide IT leadership to several IT groups who had previously reported separately to the CEO.   Why Our Case Studies are Anonymous Innovation Vista does not list our clients on our website or post a "logo page"; we do not issue press releases to announce client signings or project successes.  This policy is an important extension of our care and protection of our clients' strategies, in order to avoid letting their competitors know anything [...]

19Aug, 2020

Gold Nuggets of Data all over the Ground

By |August 19th, 2020|Categories: Artificial Intelligence, Data & Analytics, Digital Transformation, Innovation, Monetizing IT|

Increasingly, how an organization views and uses their data determines their level of success, and therefore the value of the enterprise. Data can be as valuable as gold nuggets for companies, but too often it’s ignored--“left on the ground” rather than mined, gathered, and inventoried as a strategic asset. Gartner research indicates that by 2021, the vast majority of stock analysts will include “data” components in their corporate valuation models for how much structured information each company possesses and how strategically they use it.  This fact will surprise few.  And yet despite this being a well-known fact, Forrester estimates that between 2/3 and 3/4 of corporate data still goes unused in any capacity for analytics.   Care Must be Taken to Protect Your Customers’ Privacy No doubt your organization has contractual obligations and has made promises (explicit or implied) to your customers to protect ALL data which, if released, could [...]

17Jul, 2020

Nurturing a Culture of Innovation

By |July 17th, 2020|Categories: Innovation, IT Leadership|

“Companies must innovate or die”.  “Record-setting innovation investments poised to disrupt many industries”.  Headlines like these proliferate business journals and have become calls to action for boards of directors. On the other hand, we are in the midst of a pandemic which already broadsided the economy once, and threatens more impact from heightened consumer and business caution, forced lockdowns, and high costs of preventative measures until a vaccine solution is available at scale. We’re in an unprecedented time of change and challenge; it’s easy for business leaders today to feel stuck between a proverbial rock and hard place.  And yet, in the midst of these strange days – and in some ways because of them – it is in fact possible for companies to innovate without decimating their P&L.   Innovation isn’t a Task to Check off - it’s the Outgrowth of a Culture of Collaboration and Teamwork   Innovation [...]

15Jun, 2020

The New Digital Normal of Customer Expectations

By |June 15th, 2020|Categories: Artificial Intelligence, Data & Analytics, Digital Transformation, Innovation, Monetizing IT, Optimizing IT|

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, [...]

18May, 2020

Escaping the Catch-22 of Post-COVID Digitalization

By |May 18th, 2020|Categories: Digital Transformation, Innovation, IT Leadership, Optimizing IT, Stabilizing IT|

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 [...]

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