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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds Hello, my name is Vaughan Michell. I’m the Programme Director for the MSc in Business Technology Consulting here at Henley Business School. I want to tell you a little about digital technology leadership. Technology is everywhere in the world today. To many young people, technology has always been present in the swiping of a screen or the voice from an electronic toy. Web technology dominates our lives by enabling transfer of information, ideas and decisions at light speed. In many cases, almost to every one of us. Although technology started with man’s first attempts at controlling and surviving in the world, it took an information automation revolution that was driven by electronics and the integrated circuit to arrive at the internet age.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 seconds Today, we are poised on the cusp of an even greater revolution with the introduction of disruptive electronic technologies. But how do we harness such riches? The answer lies in the human condition. Since the age of the Greeks and ancient civilisations, we needed the leadership of visionaries. Those that saw further than others. Those that took risks and bore failures and successes. We need, in short, leadership of technology. The exciting but difficult visionary path that marries an understanding and insight about new technology to the dreams of man. This module will explore how business leaders can harness technology to make a new future for their businesses.

Skip to 1 minute and 29 seconds We start with what principles link technology to business strategy and leadership. To implement strategy, any successful business must first identify its goals and guiding principles. And through these, define the services that the business must provide. But services delivered through capabilities and work processes. These are executed by a combination of people and technology. In the past, most processes were human-driven, supported by standalone machines that had to be constantly adjusted by people. The advent of a mechanical computer enabled increased provision of military information for decisions in the first part of the 20th century. The mechanical computer itself underwent disruptive change into an electronic form with the Turing machine and the integrated circuit and microelectronics.

Skip to 2 minutes and 17 seconds But it was not until the start of the electronic digital age in the ’50s and ’60s that speed of machine information processing was fast enough for data, information, and knowledge to be stored, processed, and transmitted within a business. In terms of key digital principles, these encompass the digital encoding of data with the electrical transfer that has enabled the rapid collection of data, processing of it, and the information. And presentation and dissemination of this information has contextual facts for business decision-making in the computer processor and its interface. Technology capability has advanced through devices, tools, and machines, and the knowledge to use them to aid our work.

Skip to 2 minutes and 58 seconds The addition of digital information and control systems and of cheap, fast electronic computing power has made the information more pervasive and instantly available. Digital disruptive technologies take advantage of these digital principles to create new value and new markets and act as enablers to increase efficiency and reduce costs of work processes whilst delivering the business strategy. Examples of these neighbours of work include social media, the ability to record and synthesise human views and feelings via digital technology, mobile technology, platforms and applications to enable computing any time any where. And also, analytics. The analysis of massively increased and available sensor data and human information to identify useful patterns. For example, drug effects in a hospital or new social trends.

Skip to 3 minutes and 48 seconds This is supported by cloud computing. The use of globally networked computers to provide, process, store and disseminate data at low cost. Also, the Internet of Things. The applications of sensors and actuators connected wirelessly to objects and people to enable remote or automated control and decision-making globally. But how has technology changed business? This is best illustrated by Tidd and Bessant’s 4 P’s of innovation space model. As we can see, there are four key areas. Changes to the mental model of what is done, the paradigm; changes to the product and service, changes to the marketing position, and changes to the way things are done, the process.

Skip to 4 minutes and 31 seconds In terms of process changes and the way things are done, analytics can be used to uncover hidden effects in drug responses in intensive care. Therefore, completely changing the process of capturing new methods and models. Internet of Things can be used to sense moisture in the soil, and automatically alert farmers to drought. And therefore, change the process of managing crops. Products and service changes can also occur. Mobile technology can be used to monitor home security now from anywhere in the world. And 3D printing is itself both a new product and a new service to create a new device or new structure. And also, it changes the design process.

Skip to 5 minutes and 15 seconds In terms of the paradigm changes to the model of what an organisation does, we can think of social media, capturing data on sentiments from social media can be used now to predict stock market performance. And finally, the position, the marketing position of the product, in terms of the products and services. For example, cloud computing can now be used to store backup data as a backup service. And Internet of Things to monitor and ensure drivers can adjust their behaviour and reduce their insurance premiums. But the process and technology used will ultimately depend on the human. Ultimately, it’s the human as leader that determines the success of technology.

Skip to 5 minutes and 57 seconds We will examine four key types of technology leadership– enterprise technology leadership, the visionary leadership of a chief executive officer in terms of enterprise. Technology implementation leadership, the leadership of a chief information officer delivering the right capability at the right point in the operating model. Technology innovation leadership, the leadership of the chief technology officer in developing innovative technology, delivering the right capability and products and services. And finally, technology thought leadership, technology solutions through thought leadership to deliver the right problem-solving and solution capability. In summary, in this course we will go on a journey of exploration of how tomorrow’s leaders can identify and lead tomorrow’s disruptive and innovative digital technology to produce the right future for the right business of tomorrow.

Technology Leadership

In this video, Vaughan Michell discusses the importance of digital technology leadership in business.

You may like to view a larger version of the 4P innovation model featured in this video.

What’s the difference between technological leadership and digital leadership?

Digital technology leadership, focus on the concept of technology as an enabler and provider of competitive advantage as an aspect of digital leadership. While digital leadership gives CEOs and CDOs (chief digital officer) a general view on the combination of business, strategy and technology; technology leadership focus on the skills especially for CIOs and CTOs on solution design and innovation that translate market requirement to technology solution.

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This video is from the free online course:

Digital Leadership: Creating Value Through Technology

University of Reading