Good morning, my name is Peter Cosgrove and I have 10 minutes to relay to you why CEOs and senior business professionals are struggling with the technology function.
I’m going to highlight 3 business technology trends and 3 solutions – number 1
Firstly – the relationship with the CEO
2 years ago 30% of CTOs reported into their CEO, now only 23% do,
compare that to the fact that practically every CFO reports into the CEO, why is this the case, especially with added importance of IT
Well the business is confused – there are no longer just IT Directors or CTOs, there are now CIOs, Chief Mobile Officers and many other acronyms. This can cause the CEO a challenge – they like one point of contact on this or more accurately one “throat to choke” and this does not give them one.
Secondly, the recent McKinsey survey highlighted that the business felt that the number one discussion in the boardroom is about reviewing large IT projects and cutting IT spend but ideally they feel discussions should be addressing forward looking assessments of technology trends.
Also IT professionals recently surveyed felt the most important skill for Directors in Technology was people/ soft skills, but they admitted they were doing little about it. This is critical, as CEOs want CTOs who are influencers, who can increase or create whole new revenue streams and who can help shape the business strategy
So the challenge? CEOS, the Board want opinionated, commercial, influencers as their head of IT, but they often don’t believe they are getting this – this is borne out by the relationship and the 23%
Number 2 - We know technology is everywhere, but the business is asking why things cant be the way they want
We know that 1 year olds accessing ipads and IT have school policies technology for 6 year oldsIt’s a brave new world out there.
However where this becomes a challenge is how IT is now in everybody’s homes in everyone’s pocket and .How can I be master of the universe Saturday and Sunday, and such a dweeb Monday to Friday?How is it I can find out who sat beside me in second class in school, but not know who my best customer is?What’s going on here!
the fact that everyone uses technology in almost everything they do means they feel they know what they need and they want it now.People expect to achieve very simple chores on mobile devices and it frustrates them when IT cannot do this in a business context. The importance of data security, IT audits, compliance, password security is lost on the business user
So there is this feeling in every business and from the CEO that technology should be giving them more of an advantage So how can the proliferation of technology in the business act as a positive not a challenge and improve the brand of IT?
And stop business people asking “why can’t I”
The third challenge - We know technology is everywhere, and we have Companies that SAY they focus on the best talent
but ask yourself what measure your organisations use to measure talent and effectiveness – probably very little, so don’t expect anyone to want to have the best team in place but you. It is now the key differentiator
Bill Gates always talked about others POSSIBLY having better technology but Microsoft having better talent, so they created something and we made it better and he did this with the spreadsheet, the database, the internet etc. One of his contentions was that while Microsoft had innovators, they made a lot more money neutralising the competitors – so they were always clear on the skills they needed – so you do to?
CONCLUSION _ You get the IT dept you deserve.If you dont know what drives the business how can you know who to hire in ITSo–do you really know the skill-sets that will help the business thirve not just IT thrive?
So those are three of the key challenges …
Let’s talk about solutions for each of them. Number 1…The research shows that CEOs want credible CTOs/ heads of tech with opinions, who can influence and sell – yes SELL technology. You need the CEO to value what the CTO says, if they don’t neither will the CFO, COO etc. remember their view is vital to the health of the technology division and CEOs want views, commercial skills – here is a thought
You have heard the phrase facts tell, stories sell, for those of you who never heard this story about the store Target I will recount it quicklyA father is irate when his 15 year old daughter receives info about pregnancy clothes, from Target, on a mail drop. He complains about the inappropriateness to the shop but subsequently apologises as he unfortunately find out his 15 y/o is pregnant. Target looked into their data and it highlighted that she had changed from scented to unscented shampoo and had bought a range of vitamins mainly bought by pregnant women – all of this had generated her profile as being pregnant, so the store knew before the father knew – that’s how data analytics are now tracking us
Tell the story first to the business then talk about the importance of data! You will capture the room betterThe business do not admire complexity they want a simple message and now more than ever that helps make speedier decisions.
We don’t just want technologists who understand the business we want products that do the work for us. Many failed IT solutions could besummarised as – the product worked, the business just did not use it correctly but what about products that work if you use it or not
We just partnered with Datahug who provide a crm tool around capturing email traffic – the beauty is there is no manual entries needed from the sales team so it works in the background because everyone uses email -perfect
So how do we use the fact that tech is everywhere to our advantage? And the fact the business people are frustrated with it
The business person wants To hear the language they know – information equals Google/wikicomms is facebook/SMSvideo is skype / youtube – they don’t really care about how the infrastructure works they just want it to work
You see this very simply with channels like Yammer and Chatter – simple Social communication tools that are understood by the business and are for the business – these are becoming really powerful not just for communication but for areas like crowdsourcing – something Dell are using effectively I have seen.
Secondly get your team to be visible – never before have the whole of the business been so ensconced in technology – use it to your advantage, The business wants to talk technology, the CEO is using more technology, this is a chance to break down barriers of the business and technology and speak to the business about the business – If you improve the IT brand – you will improve the IT influence.
Finally, continue to get your technologists out to customers – the rights ones, there is no point getting the genius out there if he creates the wrong image - but clients want sales people who know technology – if technology help with creating revenue streams this builds your influence and again IT’s influence
The DNA that you bring into the room is the most critical thing you do – so what can we do to stop hiring the wrong people and getting more great people?
Steve Ilop, Former CEO Nokia was quoted last year “How is it possible that Apple created the iPhone in 2007 and in 2011, Nokia has nothing remotely similar?”a damning sentence you can say – Nokia felt it had to out-differentiate Apple
it was too proud to copy; whereas Google had Android out incredibly quickly. So until you know what the critical business drivers are you may struggle to hire the best IT talent – are you hiring innovators, or are you hiring business savvy technologists where speed to market may sometimes be the more important driver than innovation.
Once you know what you want YOU need to start looking to tap into the vast amount of networks available to IT professionals (and they are vast) and spend time finding out who those people you want are. Simpl put - when you know what you want – it becomes a lot easier to find it or in this case them
Finally can there be an opportunity for you. While hiring is imperfect we see in other walks of life that performance is being measured by data – in the Premier League it’s Prozone,
in baseball there was a book written called Moneyball about the Oakland A’s on using data to measure the best talent
however with all that human capital data out there i.e. cv databases, social networking tools such as Linkedin, Facebook, referral engines etc – many are trying to create a scoring system around great talent using data.Well the recruitment market globally is worth over 50 billion – so it may be worth thinking about how to do this - as no one has cracked it!
I’m a business person - I hate to say it by my attention spend have gotten shorter, I do want to be sold to quickly and I want the wow effect –anyone who has read the book The Shallows:, knows that all our attention spans are lessening given the level of tech stimuli we are exposed to
On the screen behind is the Crystal Palace Space Station from the game Entropia – it is entirely virtual and was sold at auction for 330,000 real dollars.You want to tell someone about the explosion of gaming? Tell them the story of that auction. This will give your dry facts about gaming stats the wow effect!
So CEOs want technologists to be influencers – but it may mean you have to change how you think and how you act and you may have to sell
Thank Youpeter.firstname.lastname@example.org So CEOs want technologists to be influencers – but it may+353 87 6200836 mean you have to change how you think and how you@petercosgrove act and you may even have to sell