The Networking Mind Shift - Keeping Pace in Today's Transformational Era

By: Jean Turgeon

We live in exciting times— thanks to IoT (Internet of Things), technology innovations are creating entirely new business models and delivering solutions that truly have the potential to change people’s lives. While we may just be at the beginning of this new transformational era, it’s hard not to be inspired by the wide world of possibilities it offers.

Imagine a visually impaired individual walking down the street, using wearables to get a live description of their surroundings, provided through analytics delivered by sensors in her shoes, in unison with a camera embedded in their clothes, tied to city video surveillance system, in addition to google maps. Then, imagine this individual getting into a self-driving car and being driven safely to her destination. This scenario is not as far in the future as you might think. Automation sophistication will soon reach new levels, and today we’re already seeing incredible advancements in health and remote patient monitoring, artificial intelligence, robotics, automotive, energy, and so much more.

But, how will all these new technologies come to fruition? How will businesses realize their true potential to change the world?  To me, the backbone of innovation is the presence of an automated and secure networking infrastructure. Put simply, businesses need to have the right infrastructure to ensure success and keep pace with the steady, torrid progress of this digital age.  Below I describe three processes your organization can employ in order to successfully shift its networking mindset. 

Create cross-organizational alignment and collaboration

Many of today’s leading businesses are evolving various executive roles such as their Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) to work more closely and collaboratively with the business owners. This is because automation, IoT, cloud services, social media impact and the need for mobile services continue to become a larger part of digital consumerism, and consumers, of course, expect their data to be completely secure.  So, while in the past, the role of IT was to provide "plumbing" or the latest technology to support your organization’s business applications; today’s CIOs have to take on new roles and responsibilities, while aligning with business priorities to help transform the experience of those they service (customers and citizens).

Business priorities alignment is now critical, so it’s essential for IT to involve leaders of every business unit in all governance and sourcing decisions. Your CIO has to focus on servicing the COO, CTO, and CEO more than ever; while the CMO has to adapt its go-to-market less on technology and more around customization of the customer and citizens experience in each of the industry verticals, which can vary greatly depending on where you are in the world. The reporting structure becomes almost irrelevant as the level of collaboration climbs to record new heights to achieve the new digital journey objectives.

Your technology leaders must invest more time in meeting with business leaders to ensure they have an in-depth understanding of their business challenges, business priorities, their competitive landscape and how IT can help provide differentiated services to its customers. This will require time spent evaluating new innovations and establishing architecture combined with various best of breed technology solutions. With the right foundation and new mindset, technology leaders can have a profound impact on the speed at which business transformation can actually be completed.

However, it is no longer sufficient to only focus on technology. Today’s leaders need to first start at the business level, and then transform IT to align with the desired business outcomes.  Achieving this kind of next-level alignment across your organization will not only help your business execute at the pace required to maintain a leadership position, it will ensure you’re providing the type of incredible experiences your customers expect.


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