Digital transformation was never meant to be a one-time thing. Just as the new year brings a time of reflection in our personal lives, it also ushers in an opportunity for reflection for our businesses—especially in the area of technology. If you’ve never made any IT business resolutions, now is the perfect time to start.
While on a personal level, our resolutions often deal with something measurable—losing a certain amount of weight or exercising a certain amount of time—my top IT business resolutions for 2019 are more about perspective. They’re about increasing partnership, collaboration, and cultural aptitude, while also ensuring that you’re using the right technology (rather than simply the most technology) throughout the coming year. The following are my top four IT business resolutions for 2019.
Unlock the Power of Data
You know data is here to stay. And you’re likely also drowning in it. But so many companies today are content to sit on a goldmine of insights simply because they believe AI is out of their reach. This year, it’s time to take advantage of machine learning and automation to help bring your data to life. It has never been easier to harness the power of AI through as-a-Service programs than it is right now. Do not make the mistake of assuming your company is too young or too small to benefit. In today’s market, every insight helps—and every quick insight helps even more. Stop relying on man-power to find value in the numbers. Access AI programs to manage your data now. That is why unlocking the power of data is one of the top IT business resolutions to keep an eye on.
Invest in Value—Not Technology
There is no one technology that will make your business a success. After all, technology is not a goal in and of itself. There may never be a reason for your company to invest in virtual reality or blockchain, no matter how cool they are. Rather than looking at which technologies everyone else is using, start looking at what you need your company to do—what your teams need to know—how you need to improve operationally—and the value an individual technology can bring to those issues. Then, find the technologies that can make those goals happen. Beginning with the end in mind is a huge benefit, especially when it comes to a crowded technology marketplace. ROI is an important part of every investment, and focusing on your tech ROI will help you stay away from the shiny objects that can distract you from your real business boals.
On that note, the same goes for people. The type of people you hire this year are far more important than the types of tech skillsets you hire for. Focus on bringing people onboard who embody curiosity, creativity, collaboration, and leadership. Skillsets change, but these traits will always be necessary.
Bridge the IT/Business Disconnect
Speaking of which people and business value: if you want to invest in value, you need to begin having a real dialog between your business and IT teams. This is one of the most important IT business resolutions you can make. It is simply no longer feasible to put technology in a silo if you want to be successful in 2019. IT needs to be involved from the start of every new product development, every marketing campaign, and every business goal your board is creating. The only way to make the most of technology today is to work together.
Make Cybersecurity a Cultural Thing
No, cybersecurity isn’t sexy. But it is necessary, especially with the amount of data your company is managing on a daily basis. This year, don’t fall prey to the cybersecurity disconnect. Do not risk your company’s reputation or your customers’ privacy because security is boring! Instead, make it interesting. Make it a part of your company’s everyday culture. Make it something your entire enterprise values from the ground up. Not only will it keep your data safer—your customers will appreciate it, as well.
It may surprise you, but your IT business resolutions in 2019 aren’t just about getting the most new technology first. It’s not about making sure you’re the next big disruptor. It’s about making sure your company is doing tech well. That means knocking down silos, making hard decisions, prioritizing well, and creating a culture that will breed success in digital transformation.
Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.