COVID-19 Is Evolving Quick, So Should You Dear Technology Decision-Maker

Nobody wants to be slotted or be identified as a specific type of individual. But the fact is, we are all, a particular type. We all have our strengths, our quirks, and a lot more that allows those around us to kind of slot us to a type. Like it or not, that’s the harsh reality. Even the adventurer or a rebel is a type.

Tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) have sharpened this concept and given us a sense of how people can be categorised broadly.

The test’s publisher claims that more than 88 percent of Fortune 500 companies in 115 countries use it as a go-to framework for people development. But then, this and similar tests offer broad categorisation based on psychological parameters and do little justice to the world of Technology Decision-Makers and the types it has.

So, we at Greyhound Research took it upon us to offer a perspective on the types of Technology Decision-Makers that we see around us.

And to do justice to it, we did what we do the best – give it a matrix! Yes, we call it the Technology Decision-Maker Evolution Matrix. Before you get all jumpy about this, let me clarify. No, this isn’t meant to insult or demean anyone, but an attempt to offer a perspective on this critical matter of global importance. OK, those last five words were maybe a bit overdone. But you get the drift. So, please take this in the right spirit. And if you are unable to, pour yourself a stiff one and then get to reading this further.

Even before you see the matrix, some may ask (and rightfully so) that why we at Greyhound Research think we are in a position to give a perspective on this matter.

A fair question to which I would say, we are more than decently placed. Here’s why. As a company, we conduct (on an average) 15,000 interviews per year with Technology Decision-Makers from across the globe. Given we have been around since 2013, roughly we have done more than 100,000 such interviews alone. This number does not include the enquiry calls and advisory sessions we do with these honchos on an ongoing basis. And of course, worthy to point out that I personally have dealt with them since 2007. Hope that is sufficient ground to give you the comfort of our ability to deal with this critical matter of global importance. Pun intended.

Talking of the matrix, we took into consideration two key criteria – Organisational Structure and Technology Decision Maker Mindset. This is an important one and let’s just spend a few minutes (read lines) discussing this.

So, why have we considered the Organisational Structure and not a definition around organisation type by revenue and employee? Across every industry, both technology incumbents (read startups) and traditional organisations are using technology, new business models, and a lot more to capture market share. While in some industries startups have come out as leaders, in a few others it’s the traditional organisations who continue to retain leadership via a new entity or a team (with a more startup-like structure). In many cases, access to capital and resources is almost at par amongst startups and traditional organisations, and using better technology alone doesn’t guarantee success. Hence, our focus on organisational structure.

And separately, why do we term the second consideration as the Technology Decision-Maker Mindset and not use a definition based on metrics like age and experience? Well, this is the one we love the most, but the one that we believe doesn’t need more than one line to answer. Age and experience have little or no correlation to acumen and capability. Period.

Having explained our rationale, let’s finally get to the matrix! Please see the picture below that neatly buckets and defines the types.

CIO EVolution Matrix_2

While most of you will reason and/or debate the types from above, it’s important to consider that just cause you are a certain type today (or others may think you are) doesn’t mean you cannot evolve. Hence our decision to call it the Technology Decision-Maker Evolution Matrix.

If anything, the need to evolve couldn’t be better justified ever before. As I wrote a few days ago, COVID-19 is a rude reminder of the fragility in our systems of doing business but also a game-changer for government, organisations and leaders. While the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unravelling, what is given is the severe financial and economic losses for countries and organisations alike. Mind you, it will also translate to (already is) to personal losses in terms of job losses and/or salary cuts.

For those in the technology ecosystem, this pandemic has been no different, and it has ushered in a host of challenges. The need of the hour is to take the right lessons from this world event and invest in the right skills, people and technology assets to transform for a better future.

On a more personal note, it’s time Technology Decision-Makers are honest to themselves about their mindset and readiness to participate in this hockey stick moment of digital. Here are some questions ahead of us:

  • Do we find ourselves as a cynic in this new world of Digital?
  • Do we find it too complex to understand the new technology contracts and pricing?
  • Are we sort of stuck in the older times and justify it by calling them simpler times?
  • Are we hands-on enough with new technology and business needs, or are we still stuck with old habits and practices?
  • And most of all, as organisations recalibrate to the new world realities are we are as technology leaders equally ready to respond?

As you think through some of these questions and ponder, please remember that we have two choices ahead of us. We either fall prey to our old habits (and limitations) or transform for COVID-19 (and come out stronger).

Here’s hoping the best for you and your families. Keep safe, one and all.

Cheers,
SVG

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