Like a CEO that closes down or sells a profitable business unit because it no longer fits with where the organization is going, CTOs and CIOs must rapidly shut down or replace IT systems and processes that no longer support the reality of today, or the vision of the future based on the best information available today - not yesterday. Keeping an outdated IT system or business process for the purpose of achieving a positive return on the original investment is a strategy based on pride, not logic.
We can only make decisions and act on the best information available at a given point in time. When the future evolves in unexpected ways, we should not hold to our outdated plans and decisions based on an interpretation of the future that was not realized. Rather, we need to recognize that our best data about today identifies a different set of needs and strategies and then we must act. Trying to compete and win with strategies, processes and IT systems designed for a interpretation of the future that did not happen is never going to succeed.
Philosophically, we should never punish a leadership team that acted on the best information available at a point and time. We should only punish a leadership team that doesn't. We need to act on new data, and reward leadership willing to do so.
If we as leaders see our organization losing ground to faster and more nimbler competitors, and unable to keep up with the fast changing needs of digital customers, then we need to be taking inventory of our systems and processes and replacing all that restrain us.
Our human resources must also change to succeed in evolving markets. We must help our employees recognize how the labor market is changing, what skills will be more or less valuable, and help them make the transition. We have a leadership obligation to our employees (not just to our shareholders) to operate a company that can compete globally. We need to help our employees upgrade and become the valuable assets we need to compete. Pining for a past age and business environment doesn't prepare us to compete in the future, rather it guarantees we will not participate in it.
Read more from Kevin Benedict and the Center for Digital Intelligence™ here:
- The Center for Digital Intelligence Interview Series: Hitachi's Rob Tiffany on Industrial IoT Platforms
- Digital Transformation and the New Rules for Start-Ups
- Digital Transformation and Leadership Development
- Digital Transformation and Competitive Decision-Making
- Combinatorial Nature of Digital Technologies and Legos
- Digital Transformation from 40,000 feet
- Winning in Chaos - Digital Leaders
- 13 Recommended Actions for Digital Transformation in Retail
- Mistakes in Retail Digital Transformation
- Winning Strategies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
- Digital Transformation - Mindset Differences
- Analyzing Retail Through Digital Lenses
- Digital Thinking and Beyond!
- Measuring the Pace of Change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
- How Digital Thinking Separates Retail Leaders from Laggards
- To Bot, or Not to Bot
- Oils, Bots, AI and Clogged Arteries
- Artificial Intelligence Out of Doors in the Kingdom of Robots
- How Digital Leaders are Different
- The Three Tsunamis of Digital Transformation - Be Prepared!
- Bots, AI and the Next 40 Months
- You Only Have 40 Months to Digitally Transform
- Digital Technologies and the Greater Good
- Video Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
- Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
- Virtual Moves to Real in with Sensors and Digital Transformation
- Technology Must Disappear in 2017
- Merging Humans with AI and Machine Learning Systems
- In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World
- Profits that Kill in the Age of Digital Transformation
- Competing in Future Time and Digital Transformation
- Digital Hope and Redemption in the Digital Age
- Digital Transformation and the Role of Faster
- Digital Transformation and the Law of Thermodynamics
- Jettison the Heavy Baggage and Digitally Transform
- Digital Transformation - The Dark Side
- Business is Not as Usual in Digital Transformation
- 15 Rules for Winning in Digital Transformation
- The End Goal of Digital Transformation
- Digital Transformation and the Ignorance Penalty
- Surviving the Three Ages of Digital Transformation
- The Advantages of an Advantage in Digital Transformation
- From Digital to Hyper-Transformation
- Believers, Non-Believers and Digital Transformation
- Forces Driving the Digital Transformation Era
- Digital Transformation Requires Agility and Energy Measurement
- A Doctrine for Digital Transformation is Required
- Digital Transformation and Its Role in Mobility and Competition
- Digital Transformation - A Revolution in Precision Through IoT, Analytics and Mobility
- Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility
- Ambiguity and Digital Transformation
- Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing
- Mobile and IoT Technologies are Inside the Curve of Human Time
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.