If you're a CEO, CFO, COO or similar, you can be forgiven for thinking that today's massive technology upheaval means everything is new.
You're wrong though.
A while ago, I shared a most agreeable dinner and a bottle of red or two with a couple of old ICT friends. We all started our careers some 30 years ago or so, and as we’re prone to do from time to time, we reminisced about how it used to be. We remembered old colleagues, some of them madder than others, (And some of them were properly bonkers), and told funny (to IT guys, anyway) stories such as the apocryphal tale of the PC cup holder, or the lady I knew who used a hole punch on her 5.25" floppy disks so she could store them safely in a ring binder.
It didn't go well.
Anyway, at one point, the conversation turned to the enormous level of complexity of modern software applications, distributed systems, cloud solutions, SaaS, and how they are so different from those of yesteryear.
But the more we talked about the differences, the more we realised how similar they actually are. In fact, we concluded that in our combined nearly 100 years in the industry, we’d only ever made business software that does three things -
• It gets data from or writes it to a device of some kind
• It captures data and manipulates it in programs
• It presents data to the user on a screen or an alternative medium, e.g. printed on paper.
With sixty years of the modern IT industry reduced to an almost atomic level, we opened a bottle of scotch. Any further insights we may have had seem to have been permanently erased courtesy of Mr Macallan.
The point of this little tale is to highlight that while technology may keep changing, the purpose it serves remains largely unaffected. It's still there to enable and empower the people who use it.
And that's why I keep saying that if you're looking at the technology you're missing the point.
Human-centricity is key to success, and it should be the starting point when it comes to #DigitalLeadership.
LEAD WITH PURPOSE.