Defining your technology roadmap with Office 365 - part 1
Modality Systems CTO Nick Seagrave talks about the effect of digital disruption on modern businesses, and how they can stay competitive in Industry 4.0.
"Entering the market with the knowledge that you might fail is really important. You've got to have the ability to keep innovating."
- Nick Seagrave, CTO, Modality Systems
Watch the full interview below hosted by Global Head of Strategy Justin Morris.
More in this series:
Part 2 - Top considerations for addressing business change with Head of Global Marketing Ian Guest
Part 3 - Enterprise collaboration with Microsoft Teams with Project Manager Lyndsay Ansell
Part 4 - Supporting user experience with ongoing measurement with Principal Solutions Architect Tom Arbuthnot
Justin: Nick, from your perspective as a CTO, what do you think are the biggest challenges and opportunities you can help with?
Nick: The two main things for me are agility and innovation - for both the consumers of technology within a company and for the customers you're serving. You've got to be able to meet the requirements that they're looking for. If you're not keeping up-to-date with how people want to be served, from an internal perspective you'll start losing staff - because they want to work a certain way inside the business and with their customers - and obviously the people you're delivering your services to externally will want to consume in a certain way. If you're not able to change to meet those requirements in this agile world, then unfortunately you will start losing people.
Justin: So it's about customer and employee retention.
Nick: Yes, you can't just sit there from a company perspective and think, 'customer, customer, customer', you've got to consider the people actually delivering your services. Obviously it's important to make money but it's also important to retain your staff - they're the real intelligence behind your company.
Justin: I think that's a good point on agility and innovation. We've seen that seventy percent of companies in the Fortune 1000 ten years ago have vanished because they haven't been able to keep up with the demands of their customers.
In your view, what do you think are some key things that a CTO can do to instil that agile and innovative mindset?
Nick: I suppose shortening the cycle of failure. You can't be looking to build something for a three-year market now. You've got to build for a much shorter period, maybe eighteen months, knowing that you might have success in that period but that you've got to keep building and innovating on top of that. If you just build something and think you've got the next three years sorted as a company, unfortunately I think your consumers will move on within that period of time, and you could be left with nothing to sell.
Entering the market with the knowledge that you might fail is really important. You've got to have the ability to keep innovating.
Justin: Having the right culture to support that 'fail mentality' is important, isn't it?
Nick: Yes. Modality Systems has a real appetite for change in everything we do. Being able to change every day is a real culture thing as you say. Some people want to turn up to work and know what they're doing. Other people are happy to take that change. That emanates through your business, right through to the way you approach your customers.
Justin: As organisations are looking to achieve competitive advantage through this fourth industrial revolution, there's a big focus on data. Are there some key considerations around the data a CTO should be focusing on?
Nick: The right kind of data from the perspective of your customers is the data that's valuable to them. You're right, everything has a data point now, and we're able to put more and more into that data pot, but you need to listen to your customers to find out what's important. You may think something is a great data but if you're not listening, you're not going to hit the mark in terms of what that means.
Justin: And it's about extracting the right insights that you can take action on as a business.
Nick: Yes, actionable items from data is where we drive our tool sets. There's no point giving people lovely dashboards of information when it's not driving something to do next. There are a lot of people providing software that show something but it's not showing what to do next within your company. Everything Modality Systems does is driving an actionable item. We know that's what's going to push a company forward and benefit them in some way.
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