Building trust and emerging technologies are the key challenges facing Leaders today

Several reports highlight two key challenges facing leaders and C-suite executives 1) Keeping up with current and emerging technology and 2) building relationships and trust with customers. Taking an active role in social media and seeking advice from specialists who can translate and help you navigate the asteroid field that is this Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous (VUCA) world of digital transformation, Roberts (2016). Regardless of whether the focus is business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C) it has been reported that social medial plays a huge role in the development of industry leadership, brand trust and brand reputation. 82% were more likely to trust a company whose leadership team engages with social medial and 81% believe that CEOs who engage in social medial are better equipped than their peers to lead companies in this digital world, BrandFog (2016).
Current and emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Business Intelligence and Analytics software coupled with machine learning, Block chain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Robotics and Drones all fall under ‘digital transformation’ and are fast becoming business as usual. It is no wonder this topic and all it entails is high on the agenda of many C-suite discussions and it isn’t just your typical high-tech businesses that are embracing these technologies. Adoption is widespread, key industries include manufacturing, energy, retail, financial services, property and facilities, media and healthcare – to name a few, but the same challenges filter down for small businesses as they look to streamline operation whilst larger organisations look to the future for a competitive edge.

With these emerging technologies comes challenges; for example ‘Big Data’, the sheer volume of data and how it is managed, stored and transformed. After all it is one thing to capture large amounts of data, but how do you ensure 1. Enough storage capacity, not just now but in 5-6 years’ time and 2. Efficient processes to organise, prioritise and interpret in a way that facilities useful insights and quickly, enabling you to stay ahead of constant change.

Another challenge is just getting your head around it all in a comprehensive way and understanding how these technologies can help you, because that is exactly what technologies should be doing, enabling your businesses not hindering it. A quote from Kevin Roberts, former CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi in his book ’64 shots: Leadership in a crazy world’ “…We live in a VUCA world. Volatile. Uncertain. Complex. Ambiguous…” how can we expect to know we have selected the right technology or even trust its outputs, how can I know with considerable certainty that investing in this technology will improve my bottom line?

Nothing is certain, however what we do know is that knowledge is power. Being able to see and understand all facets of an emerging technology, coupled with a critical business question or goal in mind will take you a long way to ensuring you have made the right decision. Identifying and measuring key KPI’s will then enable you to evidence the right decision, building trust and increasing confidence in your ability to make informed decisions.

So now to the how. Take an active interest in social media and seek advice from experts, IT or Business Intelligence consultants, specialist who have seen many implementations of technologies within businesses and have experienced those hurdles software companies do not broadcast. Gather multiple sources, the danger with emerging technologies is complexity and they lack the ability to translate how the software can be enabled within your business environment i.e. putting it into context to cater for your specific requirement.

Technologies are moving into an era of ‘Self-Service’ putting the power into the hands of their end users and to achieve this they are all highly configurable i.e. can be adapted to suit many business requirements, goals, questions. Do not go on reviews alone, every business case is different. The larger more commonly known software’s are generally very good allrounders but come at a cost, your business requirements, questions or goals may not need the entirety of that software and there could be cheaper, less well-known specialists that will serve you better. Finally ask those who will be using the systems on a day to day basis, involve them in the decision-making process. They are the backbone to your organisation, they known the challenges it takes to generate a report or issues you face to just answer a simple question either in your data or with old legacy systems. There are also those that are comfortable with the current process or software in place, by addressing these and seeking advice and input you are keeping your ear to the ground, building trust and relationships amongst your peers and can be confident in the decision you make about your digital transformation as part of your business strategy and operations.

If you are unsure where to start, would like to save time but want a more detailed state of your current digital transformation strategy or refine one that has already been created or just would like a chat. We here at Datore put value in providing informed decisions, clarity and building trust and a relationship with you.

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