The second feature in our Women in Tech series with Greater Manchester Business Week focuses on businesses who have undergone or are on a journey of digital transformation and the women who are leading their charge.
Laudale Managing Director Alec Laurie shares his view on digital transformation and its impact on the technology executive.
The majority of organisations we work with now view themselves as heavily digitally enabled. As ‘digital’ is such a broadly encompassing term, this enablement means different things to different businesses – improved customer channels, increased efficiencies through cloud infrastructure, a mobile-enabled workforce, etc.
Whatever the strategic objective, we frequently hear clients across all industries say something along the lines of “we aim to be a tech company first” or “we now resemble a platform business”. This ‘new’ reality impacts skills from entry to exec level.
Whilst the technology leader’s skill-set has always adapted with key trends, the sheer pace of modern business means there’s been a more stark shift in the demands of the role in recent times.
Traditional IT operating models are transforming, tech start-ups and corporates are creating innovative partnerships, ‘other’ functional leaders are more tech savvy than ever, and in many cases ‘digital’ is now revenue generating. Furthermore, data and security are firmly on the board’s agenda.
This means that relationship building, collaboration, influence, commercial skills, negotiation, and vendor management skills (for example), are now core for the CIO, CDO and CTO. Whilst these ingredients are hardly new, many have shifted from nice-to-have ‘soft’ skills to fundamental tools for the modern technology executive.
We greet this with optimism – against a back-drop of rising artificial intelligence and automation, the demand for ‘human’ skills is not going away.
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