Recently we spoke to GOTO Accelerate speaker Adrian Cockcroft to get some insights into what he’s looking forward to discussing at GOTO Accelerate in November.
Adrian told us that he is absolutely seeing a growing number of industries accelerate growth via technology and data and he’s been part of this at companies like Netflix and an advisor and investor in a number of others successfully achieving this.
This is not uncommon, says Adrian. It often happens because one or two incumbents start to innovate using new software and service development approaches. This then provides an existential threat that forces other companies in the sector to begin to act to make their own leap, or risk being leapfrogged.
Adrian quoted the financial sector as an example: The innovation that businesses like ING and Capital One have brought to market is driving the whole industry to adapt. This kind of change typically happens on a sector by sector basis as a single innovator creates a threat or disruptive force affecting the wider marketplace. Media and retail, for example, were early movers as companies like Amazon, eBay and Netflix changed the way consumers were able to interact with them.
And Adrian says he thinks Tesla could be a start of this shift for automotive/ manufacturing environments. It sometimes simply requires one breakout company to challenge the status quo and innovation erupts from there.
A key difference in businesses or industries that have yet to make this pivot to innovation, is that IT is considered a cost centre rather than an enabler of the wider business. This shift in focus is a key step in the switch to a growth trajectory. Adrian says that you can hear CIO’s talk about the need to better support the business goals as an indicator of an organisation yet to make these changes, even when this type of digital transformation has been going on for more than a decade.
Anecdotally, Adrian told us that someone in a large traditional company recently said to him that they’d be able to innovate if they had more engineers like the ones at Netflix. “The reality is,” said Adrian, “Netflix hired all of their great people from exactly those kinds of legacy companies. The difference was how they were managed, structured and rewarded by Netflix.”
Changing the focus of IT also needs to be see an examination of the structure of the IT function including determining how we get the best out of our people including, managing, encouraging and rewarding staff for this new focus on enabling growth.
It is exactly this cultural shift which lies at the core of what Adrian aims to explore at GOTO Accelerate in November. Shifting your culture to support the drive for innovation is key for any business seeking to use technology and data for growth. Join us in November