Challenges and Opportunities for Technology Leaders (Part 2 of 2)

Reasons to be cheerful, one two three by Kevin Gallagher

 

There is no magic solution to dealing with the issues currently facing tech teams. There are, however, practical strategies that tech leaders can implement to move towards their goals, according to 4OC’s Digital and Technology Lead, Kevin Gallagher, formerly Digital Change Director at the Ministry of Justice and the CIO for Channel 4. Here he tells us more…

Introduction

What we have recently witnessed is that tech teams and the technologies themselves have proven themselves under extreme circumstances. Remote working, video conferencing and online collaboration were introduced over a matter of days and weeks in the spring of 2020. This has massively increased confidence in the team’s ability to deliver and enabled a better understanding of the ROI technology can secure for organisations.

To build on that confidence and move towards a consistently high-performing team, there are some key tools and methods that should be part of every technology leader’s approach.

Cloud

Most tech departments will be moving in the direction of increased use of AWS, Azure or Google. While moving fully to cloud services is not straightforward, it is a fundamental way to reduce the dependence on your data centre and the need for patching, back-ups, disaster recovery complexity, DBA teams and detailed hardware knowledge. All teams should have a plan in place to transition from legacy applications and there is a lot of experience out there that can help plot an achievable path.

Low-code, no-code and automation

  • Low-code and no-code solutions have been in the marketplace for a long-time and are now really starting to break through. They can help solve problems, particularly operational ones, quickly because they can be they can be used and tested by non-techies, reducing the draw on vital tech resource.

At 4OC we work on rapid process improvements to simplify tricky processes and use the tools to systemise and automate these. They should be part of every tech team’s tool kit. If your tech team isn’t using them, you can be guaranteed that your colleagues in operations will.

Diversity

Working in tech is an attractive career – it’s an expanding industry and a lot of exciting new companies are popping up. However, there is a real need to reverse the shocking lack of diversity that exists, particularly in senior roles. Addressing these issues and looking for ways to recruit differently, whether through targeting under-represented groups or offering apprenticeships, could be hugely advantageous in broadening the talent pool you are selecting from and strengthening the team that you have. This will bring more capacity, more diversity of ideas and better outcomes.

Sustainability and other ‘big business’ issues

There is a real opportunity to tap into tech to help tackle some big business and wider societal issues, like sustainability. Digital technology consumes power, lots of it. So, there is a twin track approach to addressing the impact.  Firstly, to reduce the power your own tech uses through better management of resources, we will say more about this in a future blog.  The other track is to use technology to save energy, through reduced travel, better management of carbon consumption in the industry and identifying energy waste.

Data

Customer and business data is one of the most valuable commodities for any business. While the volume of data now being captured offers huge benefits by providing us with the information we need to make better business decisions, many organisations are not capitalising on it.

There can be a long journey to be a fully data driven business.  Again, it’s important to draw on the right expertise to help build capability. Start with a long-term vision and build with some short-term examples, demonstrating the power of information in your organisation. Be clear on what will really make a difference in terms of impact and value.

Strategy

All this needs to be underpinned by a coherent and co-created technology strategy. This should be focused on the key priorities of customer service, products, efficiency and data.  But it must address the underlying legacy issues which are a drain on resource and bring a high level of risk.  By co-creating this with the rest of the organisation there is a better chance of ensuring the technology capability is focused on the right things and team is seen as a vital part of organisational success.

The Way Forward

While the scale of a digital transformation may seem overwhelming, it’s important to keep in mind that starting the process is the most important step.

Book your one-to-one digital session today

Gain expert advice on the optimal way to maximise the value from your digital investment

We are providing an opportunity to have a one-to-one digital session with our Digital and Technology Lead, Kevin Gallagher, formerly Digital Change Director at the Ministry of Justice and the CIO for Channel 4.

We will talk through the things that are most important to you and gain perspective on relevant opportunities that other organisations are taking.  This consultancy session will last around 1 hour and we will seek to:

  • identify your priorities, opportunities and challenges.
  • look at the latest sector and technology trends
  • help realise the potential benefit from your existing technology.
  • set a clearer sense of direction, with practical recommendations and next steps.

Contact us today to book this complementary one-to-one digital session.