A simple piece of logic seems to recur in business-advice articles that always populate the Internet. Whatever the current hot trend, the writers dispense similar advice to the companies that want to capitalize on it. The basic idea is:
*“Companies that want to change the way they operate in some way need to actually change the way they operate.” *
Currently there are articles like this around DevOps. They were there when TDD, BDD, and DDD were emerging into the mainstream. The articles may be less than original, but I think the logic that underlies them is solid. Just saying that you’re going to be different from now on is not enough to make you different. You have to actually change things. You need to adopt new processes and a new culture. You need to bring everyone on board with the new thing and ensure they see it as a pathway to success. Once you have changed your culture, put in new processes (and perhaps new structures), then you can start to say you are changing.
Infusion is an innovation company. We like to understand how technology can change the way people do business. However, as any company grows, it needs to keep adapting to its new size. It needs processes to manage things that two people used to arrange over a coffee. It gets HR, an IT Help Desk, centralized management – all the good things people like about big companies.
Therefore, as small innovative companies grow into medium-size or large companies, they often lose their edge. They change a little, or a lot, from the agile little guys they once were. This is similar to what has happened at Infusion. We’ve grown in the last few years. We expanded our offices, hired more people and moved from one-off projects into real client relationships and enterprise-scale software delivery. Those changes have necessitated a difference in the way our company operates. We’ve solidified all the departments and created management structures and policies. Companies that don’t do this, don’t work. They can’t deliver projects, they can’t retain the best staff, and they aren’t functional.
However, as I said, we think of ourselves as an innovation company. Therefore, we had to put our money where our mouth is and start investing in a technology strategy. Now, as part of the sales team, we have technologists who are dedicated to speaking with customers and understanding their needs. They look at the technology landscape up to and past the horizon. Our ability to constantly pair technology to business needs across all business verticals is our key to innovation, to IT-induced disruption and to better serving our clients.
Technology strategy is becoming more central to businesses as time goes on. There is an ever-evolving landscape of technology through which to engage customers and do business. There is an increasing number of fronts on which to remain competitive. Mobile is evolving and expanding (wearables being the newest aspect of that technology). Cloud computing, the Internet of Things, Big Data, social … the list goes on. Whatever your business, it’s only a matter of time before these things start to affect how you operate. Either your competition will force you to keep up, or your customers will raise their expectations. Understanding these technologies, the opportunities they present and the stumbling blocks they will inevitably put in your way is key.
I am excited about my new team, reinvigorated in my passion for technology, and glad to work for a company willing to make this investment, and I look forward to seeing the value we can bring to our customers.
This post was originally posted on Linked In here https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/innovation-requires-technology-strategy-ciaran-o-donnell/