As the CEO is responsible for everything his company does or fails to do, a good one knows exactly what’s going on at every level of the business. You hold the key to linking technology to business growth. Most IT projects lose track of the business purpose they are meant to serve. It is your responsibility as the CEO to make sure the business side of things is aligned with the technical side of things.
Here are five ways CEOs and owners can get business and technology on the same track quickly:
1. Get Involved.
It's easy to view technology as a discipline only IT professionals can understand and should be involved in, but the important high-level concepts are really not that complicated. More importantly, in the modern world, technology is the building blocks of your entire business operation. How can you pass on being involved in such a large part of your business?
Make sure you are briefed about upcoming IT projects and take note of the way the company is spending money. New initiatives must be directed at moving the business forward in your vision rather than just utilizing some new buzz-worthy technology that your IT person or salesmen is pushing for.
2. Challenge your IT team to think strategically.
IT professionals and salesmen tend to get lost in the technology. When talking with your CIO, IT Manager, or consultant, you may find yourself getting lost in tech jargon and inside baseball.
Make it a point to encourage a larger conversation when it comes to technology, communicate the higher purpose and remind everyone why we are looking to technology in the first place.
When your point of view - the business point of view - is understood and communicated, the direction technology takes will be aligned with your vision.
3. Find out what is working and what isn't.
When a solution, process or product is implemented the best intentions cannot change a poor match, user error, or a lack of communication.
When things don't work as was intended, a quick fix or workaround is implemented, and over time it compounds to the point of extreme inefficiency. Business as usual has become an archaic system of "we've always done it this way".
It's time to take a fresh look using the clean slate approach. Encourage managers to ask: If you were starting over, day one, how would you do it? What would this process look like? What would that concept be like?
What comes of this becomes the basis for which your technology can be chosen. Now the correct functions will be understood and a matching innovative IT solution can be designed to meet the newly defined near-term and long-term operational needs.
4. Create a Plan.
Technology should be thought about as part of the organization's overall strategic plan.
IT works best with a well thought out plan that directly tackles problems the organization is trying to address, along with the resources to ensure it can be fulfilled.
IT should be used in a greater capacity then just putting out fires and keeping the status quo.
A plan ensures new initiatives are sufficiently thought through and leads to easier communication with key personnel, board members, and the organization overall.
5. Keep Learning.
The top CEOs aren’t just delegating technology to the tech squad; they’re learning every day to become educated and surrounding themselves with people that will ensure business goals are being tackled with new, innovative technology.
Staying on top of tech trends may not be your thing, but at least have someone you trust in your circle keep you briefed on what could be valuable to your business.
When modern CEOs make technology strategy a top priority, they build stronger, brighter futures for their companies. Take an active role in your technology starting today.