My pal Vinnie Mirchandani, just published his latest book, "The New Technology Elite: How Great Companies Optimize Both Technology Consumption and Production." His message is quite simple, yet profound: tech-savvy companies—whether they sell insurance or airplanes—are becoming tech vendors themselves. The lines have blurred between those providing technology and those consuming it.
How does an organization increase its tech savvy to get aboard this movement? Vinnie discusses the common attributes of the technology elite, which can be boiled down to “three Es,” “three Ms,” “three Ps” and three “Ss”:
Elegant: “If you aspire to be one of the technology elite, you have to put industrial design high on your agenda.”
Exponential: Have a lot of options for users and customers; maintain a “thick application catalog.”
Efficient: “The technology elite don’t just focus on innovation to improve the top line; they are also intently focused on efficiencies.”
Mobile: “To become a tech elite you have to be a Marco Polo and a Gulliver – suppliers and captive units in exotic locations can provide unique competitive advantage.”
Maverick: “Disruption is not a dirty word in technology.”
Malleable: “Technology-elite companies have shown that creativity in pricing and efficiency in costing are just as important as good product design and logistics.”
Physical: The “physical” experience – enabling customers to test drive products and be served by knowledgeable, friendly customer service separate the leaders from the laggards.
Paranoid: In today's cybercrime-ridden environment, it pays to be a little paranoid. “Of course, being paranoid does not mean being paralyzed. The technology elite just look at it as a cost of doing business.”
Pragmatic: The technology world is laden with patents and intellectual property issues. “The technology elite know that good lawyers are just as important as engineers in technology.”
Speedy: “A key trait of the new technology elite is their speed – in product innovation, in anticipating changes in competitive landscapes, in managing volatility in demand forecasting, and even in their back office.”
Social: “The technology elite know how to live in a world of chatter, human and non-human.”
Sustainable: Sustainability—running green—is high on the list of members of the technology elite.
Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.
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