Do you see yourself as a technologist? Probably not, unless you work in software development, digital production, UX, UI, hardware development or other true tech roles. But being a technologist should be for more than just coders and IT specialists. In some small way, we all have to be technologists.
We live in an age of technological wonders. Every days, it seems, a new product or service is launched that has the potential to change our lives. No one thought that a small university start-up would, back in 2004, but merely 13 years later, Facebook dominates the media world, the tech world and even to some degree the financial world (their turn to profitability has been nothing but astonishing). We’ve had “information at our fingertips” since at least 1994, some lucky few (or very interested) had access to the world wide web even a year or two before that. Computers have been ubiquitous in all of our lifetimes. our phones have more power than supercomputers did a few decades ago, so technology is central to everyday life – and almost impossible to live without.
Technology has gone from being a back-office tool the number one interaction channel with your customers. Customer Experience (CX) is completely powered by technology (but it still needs a human face). Thus technology is becoming the catalyst for better CX, the retention tool you’ve always wanted – and most importantly a way for you to reinvent your company, brand and industry in a way where technology makes lives better for you customers.
So being a “technologist” in that environment shouldn’t be so far fetched, it should be quite natural. But perhaps you need to think about your own personal relationship with technology. How much of it do you understand? How much of it do you need to understand? How much does technology impact your company? How much will it impact your industry in the future? Do you have the right strategy to deal with new technological development? Do you have the skills set? If not personally, in your company? These are all questions every leader should ask themselves. And act on.
Now, anyone who’s read the Acoustic blog or heard me talk, knows that I put technology itself on second tier to the cultural implications of implementing technology. Technology is the tool. The culture that uses and relies on the technology is what will (or will not) change the world. But understanding how technology works, not in detail, but enough to understand how computers work, how databases and other software works, what code does, how sensors can record data, what big data can offer, etc. No one is expecting you to build anything, but with some basic tech understanding, you will expose yourself to both interesting information – and be able to have more meaningful discussions with real technologist and IT professionals.
Understanding basic technology allow you to take the drivers seat in Digital Transformation, while you can still retain focus on the most important part of the the process – your strategy and becoming more customer centric. Start thinking like a technologist – how will your customers interact with technology and your product/services in the future. You can always say “that’s why i surround myself with IT people”, but nothing beats having a basic understanding of technology. I’m sure you have the same in all other areas of your business – you understand your customers, your products, your sales process, advertising, financials etc. So you have todo the same with technology,
So join me, and say it loud “I’m a technologist, and I’m proud!”
Erik Ingvoldstad is the Founder & CEO of Acoustic.
Follow Erik on Twitter @ingvoldSTAR, follow Acoustic at @AcousticGroupSG
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