Why Every Company is a Tech Company
If you think you’re ‘just’ in finance, construction, fashion, marketing, or tourism, think again. Like it or not, every company must now consider itself a tech company. Here’s why - and what to do about it.
The COVID-induced acceleration of the digital economy has forced every firm in every sector to radically adapt to the realities of trading and competing in the digital age. Digital transformation is now the new normal, and only the smart companies – those that ‘get it’ – will survive.
The transformation process can be enormously challenging and complex for a lot of businesses – but here are a few reasons why it’s worth it:
- It’s the difference between success and failure
The successful start of a digital transformation journey requires a change in mindset, processes, and culture. The owners of a jewellery brand, for example, have to realise that they are no longer ‘just a jewellery brand’ – they are a tech company that happens to sell jewellery. Research from the MITSloan Management Review Research Report 2020 shows that a majority of firms globally are ill-prepared for successful digital transformation (DX), with over 70% of organisations failing to create value from their digital journeys and 62% citing culture as the number one hurdle.
Many companies face an existential crisis if they are unable (or unwilling) to make the mental leap to becoming a tech company, and subsequently, fail to harness the advantages of digitalisation. The MIT report shows that the scale of failure is plain to see – companies that adapt by harnessing digital talent, deploying solutions, and pivoting to digital are five times more likely to make financial gains than those that don’t.
- The rewards outweigh the risks
Those that are and have been culturally and psychologically prepared to make this crucial mental shift reap the rewards. Many companies – such as IKEA – have demonstrated the potential for success inherent within a successful DX. IKEA’s integration of augmented reality in its ‘IKEA Place’ app allows customers to virtually furnish their homes prior to making purchases. Thanks to its successful deployment of digital talent across the organisation, IKEA also had the skills and capacity to develop a third-party application, allowing its customers to find people or companies to help with the assembly of their furniture at home or in the workplace.
- It encourages innovation
Businesses are forced to open their minds to innovation and creativity to stay relevant. Examples include LEGO, which is exploring 3D printing solutions that will allow customers to purchase and download software, order materials and print out their own Lego at home. Within the banking sector, the concept of open banking has opened the doors to ‘banking as a service’ (BaaS), which allows third-party app developers to plug in non-banking services that add diversity to a bank’s services and enrich the customer experience.
Becoming a Tech Company Doesn’t Come Easy
Of course, the development and deployment of new digital solutions and services such as these costs money – which is why budgetary constraints are such a commonplace barrier. Indeed, they can limit the speed and scale of technological change. However, a successful DX does not have to happen overnight; for most companies, it is a marathon, not a sprint. It is a process that unfolds over time, which is why it is important for firms to create a DX strategy that takes place in phases over months and years.
For some organisations, this could mean investing in new back-end infrastructures such as cloud migration that delivers vast long-term efficiencies and benefits for better business outcomes and financial performance. For others, a first priority can be the integration of AI-led customer relationship management (CRM) platforms that enhance the customer experience and boost sales.
Whether an organisation’s budget is big or small, little can be achieved without overcoming what is arguably the greatest and most frustrating hurdle for many firms – talent, creativity and skills.
Agile Digital Talent Drives Digital Transformation
Research from Gartner points towards a significant global digital skills gap. The data shows that the demand for digital skills keeps expanding beyond just the IT function and into other areas of business. To overcome this, firms must prioritise digital talent either by upskilling existing employees or hiring new staff. Tech talent should be plugged into the organisational structure, informing strategy at the board level, consulting with business units on service development, and directing the procurement and deployment of technologies.
To fulfil such a broad role, tech talent needs to be digitally adept, with global-standard qualifications and a blend of soft and hard skills, an agile, digitally-trained problem-solving mindset and technical know-how. These attributes are critically important in those tackling the DX – not only in ‘doing the tech’ but in consulting management and developing strategy.
The skills shortfall means that for companies sourcing digital talent, the search can be daunting and time-consuming. But there are ways to secure digital talent that are suitably skilled and available for hire. One such route is The ROOM, which offers firms an innovative new ‘Talent as a Service’ solution with access to highly trained, fully qualified digital professionals that can be plugged into any company’s operations rapidly.
Bill Gates said, “If your culture doesn’t like geeks, you’re in real trouble.” He’s right. When leaders think about their future success, they have to embrace the geeks with open arms; they are the key to delivering successful digital transformation.
Ready to Hire World-Class Digital Talent?
If you’re ready to take the next step towards transforming your company into a tech company, visit The ROOM to access a diverse talent pool – including Software Engineers, Cloud Developers, Data Analysts, Web Developers, Business Intelligence Analysts, Financial Analysts, and Virtual Assistants.
The ROOM is home to a highly specialised community of agile digital talent, connecting individuals and companies across the globe with the skills and resources they need to future-proof their teams and thrive in the new world of work.