CIO 006 Beyond Technology Created by James on 6/13/2013 3:34:17 PM
The Boeing 747 transcontinental airliner first flew over thirty years ago.
The Concorde which was technologically far more advanced flew about four years earlier.
It has taken over thirty years for the airline industry to use the 747 to full potential and capacity to a point where larger passenger aircraft are now being tested.
The Concorde was an economic failure, its advanced technology was not required to meet the needs of the vast majority of travellers and its sonic boom (side effect on people) prevented widespread deployment.
The I.T. industry is today where the airline industry was about twenty five years ago. All the major technology innovations that are required to meet the needs of business have been around at least five to fifteen years but few businesses are using them to full economic effect let alone to full potential.
The challenge today is NOT to chase new and more elaborate and costly technologies ("Concorde") but to deploy the existing technologies ("747") effectively and efficiently.
The operational deployment of these technologies is becoming increasingly solid and stable although acquisition and deployment continues to be high risk -- the industry and business are, however, learning how to do this with increasing reliability.
As a consequence, the opportunity for significant strategic benefit from "first mover advantage" is steadily declining and organizations must look elsewhere for competitive advantage through information technology.
The challenge is to conceptualise, specify and implement solutions that build on the basic platform of core technologies and which are so strategically creative that they leave competitors standing.
These opportunities do NOT lie with what brand E.R.P. you use, whether big brand or in-house developed, they lie with what you may do on, above, around or in these behemoths of human endeavour to create new ways of seeing your business, your customer and your competitive environment.
Strategic capability, the ability to systematically define the competitive environment in a structured and quantified manner, define the desired future state and to get there reliably, is a major opportunity for most organizations today.
A key component of such capability lies with the ability of business executives to conceptualize new ways of conducting business that are innovative, intuitive and inspired and then to lead the process of converting these concepts into business solutions that MAY include the creative use of information technology.
Hallmarks of such solutions will be:
1) they innovate new ways of business using existing technology;
2) they will be intuitive such that once defined many will experience them as "blinding glimpses of the obvious" -- why did we never see this before? -- answer -- "we were obsessed with technology";
3) they will be inspired in the sense that they will push new paradigms of competitive measurement or performance and will be recognized as beacons of business thought leadership;
4) they will respond to the realities of the vastly different global competitive environment that exists today and will support businesses to accomplish dramatic gains on the playing field of the global village;
5) they will be lead by executives who are no longer afraid of technology and who no longer abdicate in response to I.T. mythology but rather who step up to the mark and decisively take custody of their information technology as solid components of their information factory to be used in developing capabilities that are competitively different and leading edge -- these executives will not look to technology but will look at the mirror in the corporate boardroom in order to find the next competitive opportunity.
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