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Guide for executives navigating the evolving corporate technology landscape

Thursday, March 20, 2014
Technology Matters

Keeping pace with the relentless march of technology is one of the top challenges for organisations. Few corporate leaders can deny that technology is increasingly setting the agenda when it comes to defining how business gets done. The spotlight is on technology executives to help organisations adapt to today's digital marketplaces.



From fire fighter to future-caster



Today’s IT executives have a tough job. They are constantly beleaguered wave after wave of new technology trends and options. From the cloud services and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) boom; to big data, social media and mobile. All this while having to also deal with peers and subordinates who often think they could do a better job.


It has always been a challenge to balance the demands of managing existing systems with the need to keep abreast of emerging tech opportunities, innovate and even future-cast. Add to the mix the real-world realities of uncaring, or outright recalcitrant, CEOs, resistant colleagues in the c-suite, or a culture resistant to change, and it is easy to understand with today’s tech executives are in the proverbial hot seat.


The challenge is to negotiate a dynamic balance between two unyielding forces, viz: the need to maintain smooth operation of current IT systems, infrastructure and services; and the need to continually innovate and evolve the organisation by creating or appropriating new technology.


Maintain this balance is no easy task. Many IT execs spend more time outing operational fires than they do plotting strategy or tracking technology trends. And with information now just an Internet search away corporate users, are seldom content to wait on IT to find the solution to line-of-business problems. 


In fact, it's increasingly common for individual non-technical employees, departments or divisions to usher companies into technology solutions for critical areas like customer-centric mobile apps, social engagement platforms, digital marketing and online advertising, Web-conferencing, and other high-value, high-visibility emerging business technologies. The consumerisation of IT is pushing corporate IT research and -making away from corporate IT-experts to corporate end users.


Bevil Wooding is the chief knowledge officer of Congress WBN (, a values-based, international charity and the executive director of BrightPath Foundation, a technology education non-profit organisation. Reach him on Twitter @bevilwooding or on or contact via e-mail at [email protected].


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