The rapid evolution of technology in the last 10 years has changed traditional industries across the globe. Every day, new tech breakthroughs promise to disrupt the business world as we know it. What’s more, the impact of the global pandemic has accelerated consumer and digital business adoption by 5 years.
From Cloud and edge computing services to the rise of SaaS business models, the tech and business worlds are becoming more deeply intertwined. As emerging technologies bring new opportunities, future businesses need to be ready to capitalize on them. To do this, business leaders must become more adept at navigating the changing tech landscape.
Tech-savvy leaders for future business strategy
Shockingly, according to a recent MIT Sloan School of Management report, only 7% of companies currently have tech-savvy leadership at the C-suite level. These companies also tended to outperform their peers by a whopping 48% in terms of valuation and annual growth.
Understanding the potential of new technologies to improve business impact will be essential to future business success. Leadership combining business expertise with an understanding of emerging technologies will be in the best position to achieve this.
Leadership that creates bridges
Business development and technical teams have famously had difficulty communicating with one another. As business and tech become more integrated, future business leaders must become more knowledgeable about the impact of technology on their strategic decisions, while also keeping their focus on driving business success. The key is for leadership from both the tech and business ends to improve their knowledge bases and create common ground for more cohesive operations.
Business-minded executives will need to become more tech-savvy to better understand their tech stakeholders’ needs and limitations. At the same time, tech leadership needs to become more business-literate, to help develop better-informed business strategies.
Growing leadership for the future
Key decision-makers will need to stay abreast of new technologies and trends that can be used to gain a competitive edge. They must also be able to align business demands and tech strategies to support company growth. This makes finding the right candidates for leadership critical. Fortunately, candidates likely already exist in your talent pool.
So, what’s the best way to prepare your talent for future leadership roles? There’s no one way to answer this; however, there are solutions that can benefit your organization in the long term. Here are our tips to build capacity for future business leaders.
1. Create roles for tech leadership
As companies around the world have been embracing digitalization, it’s no surprise that at the executive level, there has been an expansion of roles in recent years. The last decade has seen a steady trend towards roles in innovation and technology. Businesses of the future will likely see an even greater need for more holistic leadership.
CTOs, CIOs, CDOs, and CPOs are now becoming standard as businesses become more digital. Expanding and redefining roles in your enterprise can create room for more cross-functional leaders.
2. Support Continuous Learning
For executives at higher levels of management, opportunities for learning and skill development are crucial. To support this, create environments that support continued education for future leaders. Incentives and support for skills training and education in critical areas are two ways to achieve this.
Tech-focused educational opportunities are a good way for business executives to become more future-ready. Technical leaders, however, might benefit from business operations training. With the constant advance of technology breakthroughs, continuous learning and upskilling will be necessary for anyone aiming to lead.
3. Develop Capacity Natively
Promoting native tech talent is a better utilization of homegrown knowledge, experience, and existing professional networks. It also saves money in terms of recruitment costs and time to fill vacant positions.
Natively developed leadership can also apply their unique experience within the company to improve communication and cooperation inter-departmentally. As future tech leaders must be able to translate technical information for business stakeholders and communicate business needs to technical teams, it’s a good idea to develop leaders from these talent pools.
Integrating business and tech for success
Ultimately, the ability to stay ahead of the curve will decide how future businesses will perform in the coming years. Leadership that can integrate business operations with their technical departments will have the advantage over those too slow to adapt. Staying up to date with developments in tech and business spaces will no doubt be even more necessary. See our top picks for tech news here.