14 Innovative Ways To Be Successful As A Tech Executive Today
Originally Published in: Forbes
March 14th, 2018
With technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual reality top of mind for tech executives at companies around the world today, the next great technological advancement is very likely only moments away. But, are you ready for it?
While finding success as a technology executive requires being innovative and ready for the next big thing, as well as understanding how new technologies can positively enhance your company and its operations, those are not the only things you have to keep in mind. Leaders not only need to keep track of upcoming trends, they need to be strong communicators and effective leaders of their teams, making sure that the buzz of tech doesn’t pull them away from the moment when they’re speaking to a group.
Below, 14 members of Forbes Technology Council weigh in on the most important thing that technology executives need to be doing differently today to be successful. Here is what they had to say:
1. Watch Technology Trends
Technology is growing on an exponential curve these days. Personally, I think it is no longer enough to stay on top of trends – to be a truly effective leader, executives have a responsibility to stay ahead of the technology, and have a deep understanding of its capabilities, research in the field, and a sense of its future. In addition, good leaders must tie tech to tangible business outcomes. – Usman Shuja, SparkCognition
2. Identify Vaporware
In technology, there is a lot of hype. For practical real solutions, technology executives must be able to separate vapourware from real production software. They need to be laser focused on solutions that deliver value. – Ashish Bansal, Capital One
3. Get Unbiased insight
Unbiased insight from customers, channels and partners, and competitors is key to knowing current and future state for strategic planning purposes for emerging tech categories like AI, IoT or blockchain. Executives need a means of driving quarterly insight on these fast-moving markets, and so must stay current. – Michael Gurau, The Beacon Group
4. Don’t Get Distracted
Technology executives need to motivate their highly skilled teams. Adept technology leaders maintain an intense presence and focus when meeting with their teams. They aren’t distracted by devices or notifications: They give their entire focus to the people. This allows them to get to the heart of the matter while maintaining a personal connection. – Omar Tawakol, Voicera
5. Focus On Client Needs
Technology executives need to focus relentlessly on client needs and where the value is extracted from the solutions we provide. We need to understand the social and psychological aspects of technology use, alongside the application and the process aspects. – Doug Claffey, Energage, Inc.
6. Network With Peers
Today’s pace of innovation is so fast, and there are so many new business apps that it is hard for an executive on their own to keep up with new technology and processes to run a business. Therefore, it becomes even more important that an exec carves out time to network with peers in the industry and share best practices. – Tom Kemp,Centrify Corp.
7. Ensure Your Voice Is Heard
Today, technology is not only enabling, but driving experience at the most successful organizations. Enterprise CTOs and CIOs are fighting their way to a seat at the board table by demonstrating that they are no longer simply a “cost center.” Technology leaders need to push the threshold, not just executing what’s expected, but ensuring their perspective and voice is heard and valued. – Mario Ciabarra, Quantum Metric, Inc.
8. Be An Excellent Communicator
Modern technologists need to be able to distill the benefits of what they are building deep within the business rather than just within the technology itself. As such, more than ever, they need to be excellent communicators — often not an inherent trait in the genre. Like a marketer, the modern tech executive must have the ability to judge their audience and adjust communication accordingly. – Chris Dobson, The Exchange Lab
9. Understand The Needs Of Different Generations
We need to understand the different needs of other generations. We must focus on technology that is improving life quality and, at the same time, not “poisoning” the globe. The line between imagination and reality is getting blurrier every day, but it is highly important to create long-term values rather than money-making devices only. – Akos Balogh, Moscase, Inc
10. Embrace Safe Technologies And Growth
Technology executives need to be agile to the needs of the business and embrace safe technologies for growth. By safe, I mean ensuring that all checks are in place for data security and customer information, and to protect company information by utilizing best practices and deploying appropriate technologies. – Prem Thudia, Vitamin Packs
11. Focus On Innovation That Makes A Difference
Technology executives need to focus on innovation that leads to tangible business value and differentiation. They should also embrace a continuous learning curve around technologies that can fuel innovation. Insights on applying new technologies like AI, big data and robotic process automation for innovation will be key to success in a fast-changing world. – Vinod Vasudevan, Paladion
12. Teach Secure Code
Educate software engineers on how to write secure code. Software runs everything these days — enterprise web applications, consumer electronics, mobile and internet of things devices — but most software is insecure and creates major cybersecurity risks for data breach, safety and espionage. – Ed Adams, Security Innovation, Inc.
13. Build A Platform Business
Technology executives should think about transforming their business from product led to a platform business instead. When executives start thinking about their business as multi-sided platforms with shared economic value and risks for the various participants in the ecosystem, they unlock valuable new business models and opportunities to create/sustain an important position in the ecosystem. – Rohit Chatterjee, Keystone
14. Learn To Think Digitally
Technology executives need to quickly start learning to think digitally. Digital transformation is occurring globally, and companies need to be equipped with the tools to compete in the digital economy. Predictive analytics, cloud, mobile, social and IoT are a few of the technologies that need to be incorporated in the corporation, and technology leaders need to take the lead in evangelising. – Joe Logan, Graphic Controls