Every business understands technology is essential to growth, profitability, and even survival. The dynamic nature of the global economy requires an agile response to stay abreast — and ahead — of rapidly changing, emerging technologies.
McKinsey & Company's 2021 IT strategy survey predicts that the uptick in investment in technology that began during the global pandemic will accelerate as companies find significant competitive advantage in data-driven decision-making (DDDM).
The report describes "tech-forward" companies as those that have eliminated partitions between business and information technology management, adopted user-centric technology architecture, and deployed data and advanced analytics across the enterprise.
Altogether, McKinsey reports that the survey found "talent is the holy grail of technology transformation," and the demand for business-focused technology experts continues to outpace the supply of qualified candidates, making it "valuable to pursue but difficult to execute."
"Respondents believe that more than 40 percent of their workforce will need to be either replaced or fundamentally retrained to make up for their organizations' skills gaps. But only 15 percent of respondents say their companies plan to pursue a talent-strategy transformation in the next two years, even though the talent challenge remains considerable," McKinsey reported.
The bottom line is that there will be a very healthy job market for tech-savvy business professionals upon graduation from an advanced program.
How Do IT and DDDM Positively Impact Business Outcomes?
Business intelligence (BI) comprises processes and methods for collecting, storing, and analyzing data from business operations in order to inform DDDM and optimize performance.
As companies implement complex, enterprise-wide information technologies that support individual, workgroup, partnership, and international DDDM, they often find that that those practices deliver significant benefits, according to tech consultancy group Tableau. Among those benefits, these tools also accelerate the following procedures:
- Identifying ways to increase profit
- Analyzing customer behavior
- Tracking performance
- Optimizing operations
- Spotting market trends
Tech and personnel consultancy group Personiv sums up the benefits of a data-driven culture: higher-quality decisions that enable organizations to "cut cash flow to initiatives that are not generating the necessary results and redirect those resources into the initiatives that provide the most return."
Organizations Are Integrating Data to Inform Operations
Deloitte surveyed 4,800 global businesses for its 2019 study of digital businesses in conjunction with MIT Sloan Management Review. The respondents were self-segmented into three categories: digitally mature, maturing, and those in the early stages of adoption.
Digitally mature organizations — those using technologies and capabilities to improve processes, engaging talent enterprise-wide, and supporting evolving value-generating models — are "far more likely" to cultivate relationships and collaborate with external tech-forward partners to facilitate innovation.
Moreover, the survey found that internal, cross-functional teams in mature companies are evaluated on unit performance, supported by senior management, and given greater autonomy in accomplishing goals oriented toward products rather than projects.
While mature companies already are well into those internal and external innovations, the digital maturing and late-stage adopters reported a different perspective.
"The [mature companies] believe their organizations have the power to adapt to changes wrought by digital disruption and expand their capabilities, [but] the latter see disruption as a result of market forces they cannot control," the article noted.
McKinsey: People-focused Plays Are the Most Valuable
The global consulting firm reports that "companies' people and talent strategies are among the highest-values moves" in how they are transforming technology.
Technology management professionals who want to step into roles ranging from computer systems engineer or architect to consultant can open career paths with a Master of Science in Information Technology program. Emporia State University's degree program in this area equips graduates with core competencies to understand and deploy emerging technologies that drive DDDM to enhance productivity, efficiency, and bottom-line success.
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