Adopting new business technology gives organisations an advantage. More leaders are looking for ways to meet evolving customer expectations, enhance business resilience, mitigate risks, adapt to the changing workforce, and accelerate business results. The UK government recently introduced a road map for digital transformation titled “Transforming for a digital future” to underscore the importance of digital efforts in leadership and other business executives are following suit. Despite pressures to modernise, 30 per cent of UK workers believe they lack the skills required for the modern workplace and leaders are hastening to keep up. This is because adopting new technology for business appears simple on paper and becomes increasingly complex when leaders try to scale new technologies, beyond one or two use cases.
Many professionals are choosing to pursue an MSc in Business and Management programme to learn practical technology skills that help them become an influencer with the ability to make data-driven decisions. Furthering your education and exploring the impact of new technology in business is worthwhile; discover ten tangible ways leaders can prepare for new technologies to support sustainable organisational change.
1. Read about new business technologies
In today’s fast-changing tech-driven workforce, leaders must consistently educate themselves on the latest and greatest new business technology. Talal Rafi, Founder & CEO of Sesame Associates, a Management Consultant specialising in corporate innovation, digital transformation, and brand management, shares that he subscribes to and reads tech-focused newsletters every morning. “Outlets with a focus on technology can give you key updates from around the world regarding major players in the industry. You can also follow these types of resources on your social media to stay up to date,” says Rafi.
Technology resources like WIRED, TechCrunch, or Bits: The Business of Technology from the New York Times are all excellent tech sites leaders can use to stay up-to-date on the latest tech-related news. These popular websites share new business technology trends, thought leadership, shifts in the global business landscape, and strategies to improve the implementation of new tools.
2. Research new platforms
After reading up on the latest business technologies, leaders must test and trial new platforms to determine which tools best serve their business. Many tech platforms and software offer free trials which include pre-loaded data, dashboards, how-to guides, and online training with guidance from onboarding webinars. Trialling a piece of technology allows leaders to experiment with new features before investing upfront. New business technologies range from computers, software, networking, and accounting platforms to customer relationship management (CRM), Cloud computing, and IT infrastructure applications. Researching available technologies before building a strategy will help leaders explore “the art of the possible” and inspire new ways of working.
3. Bring in the experts
Many tech-first companies and entrepreneurs have a deeper understanding of new business technology and can partner with leaders to recommend the best platforms, software, and tools to accelerate their business. An incubator is a professional who helps entrepreneurs come up with business ideas, and an accelerator is a professional who enhances growth for existing companies with a minimum viable product (MVP); both are helpful to business leaders preparing for new technologies. If you’re a business leader, connecting with either an incubator or accelerator may help you build a business model plan, technology strategy, and mentorship to support implementation and operations long-term. IT and consulting companies also work with business leaders to design a personalised approach to tech adoption, from advisory through implementation and operations.
4. Build a technology strategy
After investigating business technology options and consulting with tech experts, it’s time to craft a technology strategy for the organisation. A technology strategy is a game plan for leaders to determine what types of technology they will use, which products and vendors will be involved, how teams must adapt to embrace new technologies and more. There are several critical steps leaders must take to develop an effective technology strategy.
First, leaders must get specific about technology goals and determine the top priorities for their business. Next, they must identify associated business drivers and tie each to a tangible key performance indicator (KPI). For example, do they want to enhance efficiency, drive revenue, improve agility, or position their organisation as digital-first? Although every goal is desirable, the objectives must be prioritised. Another critical step is to select technology principles by determining which types of business technology will influence their goals. For example, a cloud-first development plan may best support becoming an agile company. Next, leaders must structure this plan into a technology roadmap that includes key milestones. Finally, leaders must partner with relevant, trusted vendors to test new products and roll out new technologies across teams.
5. Understand your data
One of the greatest methods to fuel technologies and drive business results is harnessing data. Leaders often understand the importance of data but are unsure how to liberate and monetise data in practical business applications. Programmes such as an MSc in Business and Management, teach students critical data skills, including predictive analytics for marketing, research methods, and how to enact organisational change by encouraging teams to make use of data.
Leaders can start their data analytics efforts by investing in tools that provide data dashboards and visualisation tools. Leaders must also focus on recruitment efforts and hire team members with data analytics skills, such as data scientists, data analysts, and data engineers. Finally, leaders must track KPIs tied to their data and use these insights to guide decision-making. Using these standards allows leaders to understand their data and, in turn, understand their customers, marketing efforts, business results, and future strategies.
6. Embrace the cloud
Enterprise technology relies on cloud adoption. Cloud technology helps employees access their company's information and provides support to organisations by improving their data processing and management capabilities. In the wake of COVID-19, 69 per cent of businesses say cloud solutions helped them recover from the pandemic due to improved efficiency. There’s no question that leaders interested in new business technology must embrace the cloud, however, some are unsure where to start.
Organisational leaders can choose to host either a public, private, or hybrid cloud for deployment. They can also work with IT teams to launch the desired cloud delivery strategy and ensure computer resources such as data storage and processing power are made available through the internet. Overall, cloud applications can improve efficiency and help organisations consolidate data in one accessible place.
7. Upskill and reskill your employees
The rapid evolution of technology influences the workforce. According to Fortune Magazine, the tech skill gaps are “decimating” the global workforce and driving companies into a skilling crisis. The same source recognises that digital skills are in high demand, and employers are struggling to find and replace talent to meet their technology goals. As a result, leaders must upskill and reskill their teams to support business technology goals. Internal training, resources, and funding for higher education can all bolster learning and development efforts. Leaders should also lead by example and pursue further education to better understand the modern landscape of business and management in the context of new technologies.
8. Reimagine company culture
Technology is powerful, but it is ineffectual without alignment from people. The only way to scale technologies and support sustainable organisational change is by reimagining company culture and enacting a workforce transformation strategy. The pandemic also forced organisations to move quickly to embrace remote and hybrid work models, embrace digital-first strategies, and focus on employee engagement and satisfaction. “The need to support new working patterns in reaction to the pandemic enabled leaders to massively accelerate the pace of digital workplace adoption,” says Michael Woodbridge, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner. “In the next phase, employees want to enjoy their work more, get it done faster and, at the same time, find new ways to improve the quality of their work.” Establishing a company mission and communicating the importance of digital transformation with teams, can support leaders in their efforts to scale new technologies and processes.
9. Start an innovation lab
An innovation lab is a hub that organisations use to devise creative, thoughtful, and innovative business ideas that accelerate organisational growth. The innovation lab was popularised by agile startups and is increasingly used by enterprises and legacy companies. An innovation lab communicates to employees that leaders are committed to bettering the organisation and focused on the future. It is also a great place for teams to collaborate and experiment with new business technology.
For example, X, the moonshot factory, is a world-renowned innovation lab that partners with Google to prototype, experiment, and test new technologies. X is a successful use case that demonstrates how an isolated innovation lab can solve big problems using technology, including developing industrial robotics software for millions of organisations, artificial intelligence to grow more food for the planet, and underwater technologies to protect the ocean.
10. Constantly look for ways to improve technology
The journey to digital transformation never ends. Each year digital capabilities increase and new technologies for business are introduced, challenging leaders to adapt. Additionally, organisations collect more data daily; even when their technologies remain static, the ways in which they interact and leverage platforms shift. As a result, leaders should be lifelong learners, seeking new ways to improve their business. Tech experts should consistently audit and track the success or failure of new technologies and methodologies. Leaders must start from step one regularly and continue to read newsletters, consult with experts, communicate with teams, and launch revised strategies. Preparing for the future requires organisations and leaders to have a proactive mindset by expecting change at every turn.
How the Impact of New Technology in Business Will Shape Future Leaders
Technology empowers leaders. Cutting-edge technology offers leaders new possibilities, including the ability to accomplish more tasks in less time, inform data-driven decision-making, manage global teams from remote locations, overcome language barriers, and encourage and inspire innovation. In the future, leaders will automate manual tasks so they can focus more energy and effort on leading the mission and vision of their organisation.
Additionally, the businesses of the future will use technology to support societal impact. According to Forbes, leading with purpose is the key to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impact and public companies now consider societal impact and responsibility as their top priority, above shareholder returns. As a result, new technology in business will not just impact organisations, it will impact the state of the world. Passionate leaders can leverage technology to lead with purpose and mentor the next generation of ethical, socially conscious, and tech-savvy executives.
Prepare for New Business Technology At Aston University
World-class leaders understand that furthering their education supports their business and leadership skills. Aston University’s Online MSc Business & Management suite offers courses for international students in marketing, strategic management, operations management, and more. Aston University offers students the following benefits:
- Triple-accredited from AMBA, AACSB and EQUIS
- A world-class UK university that enables you to build international networks
- 100% online, 2-year programme
- Significantly lower tuition than many similar UK University business programmes
When you enrol in Aston University’s MSc in Business & Management programme, you instantly gain access to a network of knowledgeable mentors, educators, and peers that can help you start acquiring relevant technology skills for your future in business and management.