12 Golden Rules For Technology Executives To Find Success Today

By Zilliant Pete Eppele SVP of Products & Science

Jul 19, 2017

This article first appeared on Forbes. 

Technology executives have options when it comes to creating success, but ignoring change isn’t one of them. The field demands constant adaptation and analysis. The processes that work well now may not hold up seven or even three years from now.

There are some overarching strategies, however, that can keep experts in front of what ever is coming next. Members below from Forbes Technology Council advise the following:

1. Cultivate Technological Breadth And Depth

The most important thing is to cultivate technological breadth and depth across the business. You simply cannot get by being a manager of the tech team. You need to be to an internal salesperson and force of change in order to drive technology innovation. I believe the line between technology, marketing, user experience and business strategy is increasingly blurring. — Jay Gopalakrishnan, Pefin Inc

2. Embrace AI

Build and execute a strategy to incorporate artificial intelligence across their organizations. Companies that effectively leverage artificial intelligence to know and serve their customers will be the leaders of tomorrow. This is a great challenge though, far beyond technology. It also requires support throughout the organization to drive the cultural change required for success. — Pete Eppele, Zilliant

3. And Use It To Gain Competitive Insights Previously Unattainable

We are living on the verge of a new digital revolution — the one which is being driven by recent advances in AI research. Technology leaders across the world have to embrace AI-based tools to analyze data and equip their organizations with competitive insights, unattainable by “old-school” approaches. — Andrii Buvailo, Enamine Ltd

4. Innovate At The Intersection Of Multiple Trends

Tech executives need to be students of technology — not only their own and their competitors’ but of what’s happening in the broader industry. Trends develop quickly, and the best tech companies often innovate at the intersection of multiple trends. Engaging the industry with broad curiosity is critical for continued innovation. — Kieran Snyder, Textio

5. Focus On Emotional Intelligence

It is clear that emotional intelligence needs to play a bigger role in the IT space, all the way from the CTO down to the system administrator. The skills to perform a job or a task can be learned, but if the individual performing that job does not understand how to treat people both within and outside their organization, then there could be major issues that may tear the company apart. — Alex Lesser, PSSC Labs

6. Show The Value Of Sharing Data Between Organizations

Be aware of where the data lives, and beware of silos in the data. Information is power, and it can be hard to get people to share. Technology executives must show the value of sharing data between organizations and how the value of combining what they know (along with appropriate processing and visualization) is greater than keeping the data to themselves. — Jeff Catlin, Lexalytics, Inc

7. Call For Candor And Diversity

It’s very easy to build an organization of people who think like you and agree with all of your decisions. All of the best teams are filled with people who are comfortable speaking up and arguing with each other in order to come up with the best solutions. Focus on candor and diversity as you scale your group, in order to ensure that all of your team’s ideas are the best ideas. — Nick Seegmiller, Vivint Smart Home

8. Set A Vision And Strategy That Others Will Adopt

In today’s world of rapid change around business operating models and serving evolving customer needs, technology executives need to operate from a position of setting the vision and strategy for today and the future, which can be understood and adopted by the culture of their organization. An organization of agility always succeeds. — Gabby Nizri, Ayehu, Inc

9. Make A Difference When It Comes To Cybersecurity

Everyone needs to have a fundamental understanding of how cybersecurity impacts their world. It can make or break projects, companies and careers. And the common thinking is that it will only get worse. Technology executives are in the best position to make a difference for their companies and should be a part of security, no matter what aspects of technology they are involved in. — George Finney, Southern Methodist University

10. Learn From Those Doing Something Extraordinary

Don’t believe the hype: The company getting the most attention isn’t necessarily the one doing the most important things. Look beyond the current flavor of the day, dig a bit deeper and discover what people and organizations are actually doing truly revolutionary things behind the scenes. Then examine how you can extrapolate lessons learned to your area of expertise. — AJ Abdallat, Beyond Limits

11. Make Sure Quality Software Is Used In Your Goods

Technology executives need to understand the impact of software on their business. A wide range of manufactured goods — from jet engines to temperature sensors — are integrating into more embedded computing capacity and relying more on software to control the behavior of the device. The quality of that software has a direct correlation with the quality of their brand. — Jeffrey Fortin, Vector Software

12. Discover How Scalable Your Growth Strategy Really Is

Technology executives need to understand how to produce revenue on an efficient unit-economics basis. Too many venture-backed tech companies rely on user growth or topline growth to mask deeper inefficiencies. Unit economics such as your cost to acquire a customer and lifetime customer value are good indicators of how scalable your growth strategy really is. — Cory Capoccia, Womply

Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only, fee-based organization comprised of leading CIOs, CTOs and technology executives.

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