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10 Things A Tech-Savvy Executive Should Know (Abstract)

10 things a tech-savvy executive should know by Isaac Cheiftz [StarTribune: Business]

Often the CIO is the most tech-savvy executive in any company, however, it is important to be familiar certain technical insights. This abstract will share Isaac Cheifetz's original strategies plus some commentary.

  1. (Process trumps technology) Technology implementation follows process optimization. Focus on understanding your process first, then implement new technology only where it improves your existing action. Work with change issues by working from what your people already know.
  2. (Bet on standardization) Use standard technologies as you interact with others. In order to share with those around you, embrace standard communications models, software products, and solutions. This reduces your management and training costs related to the implementation.
  3. (Information warehouse or junkyard) All data elements should be accessible from all users. Why have data in your company that can't be accessed by those who will use it? Gather knowledge in tools that facilitate communications.
  4. (Beware big answers to small questions) A small percent of the technology you implement produces the return. It isn't going to be the next big software product that revolutionizes your business, it will be a few products used well. Focus on improving the interactions between people in your organization.
  5. (Complete an enterprise resource marathon) Understand your supply chain and internal functions before enterprise software. Most technology roll-outs fail when companies don't understand what they are already doing successful. Many take an assumption that new software means new methods-- many implementations fail.
  6. (Share and share alike) Consolidate and automate back-office functions. Focus on reducing overhead by improving what goes on behind what your customers see. This could include training employees to improve their own performance. Focus on what produces the greatest return on investment.
  7. (No magic bullets) Not one solution will change everything about your company. No matter what other consultants and software companies tell you, nothing will "completely change the way you do business." Look for those few actions that produce the greatest measurable results, small improvements over short periods is the most stable.
  8. (Performance management) Focus on real measurable facts over technology. What you know about your business and your customer will make a greater difference than the technology you own. Look at quality measures, customer retention, employee loyalty, and soft relationship measures to measure your progress.
  9. (Embattled vendors) Know when to bring in an expert to do it for you. Today a company doesn't have to own all the solutions it needs to be successful in business. Hire knowledge when you need it. It reduces your costs, it focuses your people on core activities, and keeps your actions on solving your customers problems.
  10. (Commoditization of technology) Look at technology as a simple tool adapted for complex solutions. How much thought do you put into a hammer and nails? Simple tools can produce complex solutions, but you have to get past the tool and focus on the problem. Don't think about the technology you'll use as much as the desired outcome you hope to achieve.

Okay, I pretty much rewrote Cheifetz suggestions and took them into a whole new direction. You deserved more, and I wanted to give you a clearly picture in the prospective of business relationships. What would you add to this list?

/ business-strategy | management-strategy /

By Justin Hitt at August 10, 2003 10:16 PM  Subscribe in a reader


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