In part 1, we took a look at a couple of mindsets that companies have towards tech progress that you might categorize as “negative”. In this post, we’ll look at the opposite side of the spectrum. Continuing from last time…

3. Technological Progress is a Key Component of Our Business

Businesses with this perspective likely aren’t leading the way, but they are doing their best to keep up.

The first thing that comes to mind is automakers who have developed higher tech vehicles with touch screens and some amount of driver assist. These companies are clearly investing a lot into improving their products with technology, but it’s also clear that they aren’t as focused on tech development as a company like Tesla.

Companies in this category are likely doing the right thing for the most part. They are taking technology seriously but are hesitant to go overboard due to the uncertainty that it presents to their existing business. This is a rational position to take. Steering a large corporation is akin to steering a large ship – you don’t want to turn too quickly.

4. Our Company is Founded on Technological Innovation

Companies with this mindset were typically born as tech companies, even if that’s not their primary product or service.

Think: Amazon, Tesla, Uber, etc.

(Obviously tech companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google fall into this category, but that’s a bit less interesting to this conversation since the technology aspect is pretty much baked into the cake.)

However, it is possible for older companies to make a full transition to a tech-driven foundation.

Harvard Business Review recently discussed digital transformation at DBS Bank. In 2009, the new CEO Piyush Gupta said that he wanted to turn the bank into a “27,000 person start-up”. They went from having an abysmal customer experience to winning multiple “Best Bank in the World” awards in 2019.

Making this sort of transition is difficult because it requires a complete rethink of the way that you do business. It’s the very definition of “disrupting yourself”. Most companies aren’t prepared to do anything that radical, and for good reason.

In the early 2000s, Nike reportedly spent $400M transitioning to a new ERP technology for managing their supply chain. The entire thing backfired costing them $100M in lost sales and a 20% drop in stock price.

Digital transformation is both critical to success and not something to be taken lightly.

That’s why we are taking some time to look at the reasons why software projects fail.

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