Companies that aren’t traveling along a digital path will face significant challenges down the road.
As most leaders know, success is accomplished through people. Smart technology helps, but succeeding in today’s digital realm is a challenge that requires more than simply consuming more technology. Without smart, dedicated workers adopting a people-first strategy that serves as the main platform of an organization, all other attempts to create a thriving business—whether through raw technology, innovation or brute business force—will eventually hit a wall.
In order to allow consumers, workers and ecosystem partners to accomplish more with technology, business and IT leaders will have to create a culture that sees technology as the way to enable people to constantly adapt and learn, continually create new solutions, drive relentless change and disrupt the status quo. In an age where the focus is locked on technology, true leaders will put people first.
Once it’s recognized that all roads lead back to people, it’s just as important to understand that a parallel road leads to the wide open spaces of digital disruption. According to a study from Accenture, titled “2016 Technology Vision Report,” the global digital economy accounted for 22 percent of the world’s economy in 2015. And it’s growing—researchers expect this number to increase to 25 percent by 2020, up from 15 percent in 2005.
The report predicts four tenets will shape a successful digital culture:
*Data: Information is pervasive and readily available. It supports insight-driven decision-making everywhere.
*Disruption: A strong vision of how technology allows better processes and creates new ecosystems is essential.
*Digital Trust: With change comes risk, so ensuring digital offerings are secure, ethical and respectful of privacy will separate high performers from also-rans.
*Change: Digital inspires a new way of how people work and how services are offered. Accepting change is crucial throughout the business.
Winners in the new digital economy must create corporate cultures where technology empowers people to evolve, adapt and drive change. If your organization isn’t moving down this path, it might be time to sound the alarm—or hit the road.
Patrick K. Burke is senior editor of CIO Insight.