Up until a few years ago, when decision makers in organizations needed to select complex systems for managing the organization or interfacing with customers, they would debate between CRM and ERP systems, and for the most part the competition included 2-3 key players from which to choose.
The decision making models were simple and mostly based on defining the organization’s needs and comparing the alternative solutions against those needs. As a nice addition, they would perhaps also check and compare costs, time tables of implementation and service levels of those key players from which they needed to choose.
Only, the rules of the game have changed. In a world that is becoming more and more technological at any given moment, the variety of technologies is extensive and the number of possible solutions to choose from is much higher than 2-3 systems or key providers. However this is not the main complexity, since if the only issue was the increase in number of players, the implication would be less work…
Apparently, not so! Cloud technology, big data, artificial intelligence, voice recognition, virtual and augmented reality, and block chain, all these technologies are developing rapidly, linked to each other and affecting the way organizations think and act. Technology is shifting from being a platform to being the central issue. The digitalization of processes is influencing organizational efficiency, effectiveness and ability to perform almost any action – and even to exist. Investment in any technological direction has turned into a strategic decision, and such decision is becoming central in the organizational space. Investment decisions of today have become existential for tomorrow.
A wrong decision (if it is possible to define what is right and wrong in the present) will take the organization far from where it is expected to go and may prevent it (in the near future) from adjusting its direction to achieve its goals.
Understanding the developing trends in the market and what will impact our business model against these trends tomorrow, are capabilities that must be developed today in order to enable future flexibility. What will be needed tomorrow to exist and succeed – are strategical questions that no longer resemble the type of questions we needed to address in the past.
Until today we asked ourselves strategic questions related to commerce, production and distribution abilities, product line, customers and competitors. These are no longer the “questions”, these are just some more questions. Additional questions that need to be asked are: Who are the future consumers? What will their consumption habits be? What are the future business models? Where can a competitive edge be gained?
Please Meet the Chief Technologist – the CEO
How will a CEO that does not come from a technological background perform?
Will the CEO take the VP Information Systems and discuss the different topics? Will the CEO discuss these questions with the VP Strategy?
In the new world that has been created, it seems that the CEO, VP Information Systems and VP Strategy have no choice and they will be forced, together, to dive into the array of emerging technologies in order to understand each other’s field, and join forces to gain insights into these different fields to learn and adapt the organizational decisions to their current situation, in a harmonized and accurate manner.
New Strategical Thinking Process
The CEO, VP Strategy and VP Information Systems will be required to create a new thinking process, which has no hierarchy between strategy and technology, but rather combined processes and from this fresh combination new questions are raised and new answers are provided, which at least some of them cannot be verified in the present.
The process required of them is a process that begins, yet is unclear whether it will end. Such a process is intended to strategically track technological advancement, risk assessment, opportunity identification and decision making, which is based on reducing the cost of error and not necessarily on delivering the ultimate solution.