The view from Silicon Valley? Being really good at building and maintaining technology is just not good enough for the tech leaders of 2020 and beyond.
If they want to keep their jobs longer-term, they already need to bring higher value for their companies, says Cira Apps Ltd. Founder Vern Weitzman.
“To win, leaders have to lead. The real value comes from anticipating trends for the next two to five years, so you’re not always one generation behind. Look at what Adobe did, for instance—shifting their business model to SaaS while they were still profitable and leading in their niche. And, because they disrupted themselves, they’re still leaders.”
That’s the conclusion based from countless conversations with representatives from dozens of enterprise clients using their SaaS solution, CiraSync, that enhances productivity and profitability with automatically synced contact lists and calendars to smartphones.
Weitzman came from building hardware and software himself before becoming a CTO and founder in his own right—and to him—the changes he’s seen in Silicon Valley are happening fast.
“A simple example from not too long ago: I saw a CIO spend $5 million on a call center that would last them for the next 5 years,” Weitzman explained. “But by then, the call center was dead! They could have done the same thing for maybe $50,000 a month with VOIP and the Cloud.”
- To get everyone using the new tech also takes time. You have to factor that into the speed of your adoption.
- IT needs to be a partner for other departments. These days, every department buys software, not just IT. They can provide value by helping other departments select the best, most cost-effective solutions.
- While looking forward, still pay attention to the low-hanging fruit of improving efficiency within the company. As an example, he points to the CTOs who reach out to CiraSync because they understand that simply by syncing up contact lists and calendars across a large person enterprise, the company can potentially realize major gains.
“For many years, I saw that a lot of IT managers were basically like plumbers of the tech world, duct-taping their infrastructure together with short-term fixes and swapping in off-the-shelf enterprise solutions,” Weitzman says. “But as tech leaders, they need to be able to see and act on opportunities that come up and not just wait for the person at the top tells them what to do.”