IT Strategy

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How Digital Changes the Role of Leaders

Digital transformation often starts with leaders identifying a fundamental change in the competitive environment and moving quickly to counter a potential disruption. But as Jeanne Ross explains, even the most forward-looking strategies are bound to fall flat unless leaders themselves evolve — and in some pretty dramatic ways.

Closing the Innovation Achievement Gap

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What makes a company an innovation leader? To a great extent, it’s a matter of mindset. Executives whose technology-led transformation projects aren’t delivering the expected value must make strategic shifts in terms of their companies’ technology adoption, technology penetration, and organizational change.

Blockchain Isn’t as Unbreakable as You Think

Between 2011 and 2018, at least 72 blockchain breaches were reported, costing users over $2 billion. Many of these were possible because blockchain is vulnerable in some of the same ways conventional record-keeping systems are. The rest are even more troubling, because bad actors were able to exploit the very features that make blockchain revolutionary. Managers should look closely at both types of vulnerabilities so they can weigh the risks before exploring business applications.

Demystifying the Intelligence of AI

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Three common trouble points impede companies moving toward using AI: Leaders are unclear what it means to adopt AI; systems are drawing from too much junky data; and there isn’t a careful balance between customer loss of privacy and the value returned. These problems can be resolved only when leaders pay close attention to the strategic challenges of bringing AI on and approach AI as an integrated element of their processes.

Seven Key Steps for the Evolving CIO

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As “digital” becomes the competitive priority in every industry, CIOs must lead their companies’ digital transformation — which requires much more than technology leadership. The technical side of operations — communications networks, software applications, and data management and security — must still run smoothly, CIOs must also adopt new practices and missions if they’re to evolve into transformative digital leaders.

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The Regulation of AI — Should Organizations Be Worried?

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As companies pour resources into designing the next generation of tools and products powered by AI, many are failing to simultaneously examine the question of who is ethically and legally responsible for the societal backlash if these systems go awry. Over 80% of Americans now believe that robots and/or AI should be carefully managed. Because there are no clear-cut answers or solutions, the talk of regulations — and, more lightly, standards — is getting louder.

Transformation Without Technology

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In our present age of digital disruption, the fact that digital technologies cause many of the challenges companies face doesn’t mean that technology is necessarily the solution to those problems. Where do companies focus their transformation efforts if not on technology? They focus on their most valuable assets: their people.

Casting the Dark Web in a New Light

Cyberattacks are increasing in frequency, sophistication, and impact. Defending against them requires a new perspective on the attacks and the attackers. By applying a value chain lens to the problem, we can better understand the dark web as an ecosystem in which well-orchestrated attacks are assembled by entrepreneurs and supported by well-organized service offerings. This casts new light on the dark web and suggests more effective and proactive responses to cyberattacks.

Using AI to Enhance Business Operations

Companies can turn AI hype into operational hay by developing their capacity for enterprise cognitive computing. This capacity entails five capabilities: data science competence, business domain proficiency, enterprise architecture expertise, an operational IT backbone, and digital inquisitiveness. The capabilities shape and are shaped by four practices: identifying use cases, managing application learning, cocreating applications, and thinking “cognitive.”

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How to Choose the Right Digital Leader for Your Company

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Striking the right balance between competence and credibility is essential to digital leaders’ success, but it depends on what a company expects its CDO to do. While external candidates can bring critical digital competence and experience to organizations seeking a better digital footing, they may struggle to build the necessary credibility for organizational change.

The First Law of Digital Innovation

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Most of us know Moore’s law, that the power of semiconductor chips grows exponentially, not linearly, over time. Moore’s law, though, is only part of the technology equation. There’s another critical law that needs more attention. It’s this: While technology changes quickly, organizations change much more slowly. That means digital transformation is as much a leadership challenge as a technical one.

It Pays to Have a Digitally Savvy Board

Companies whose boards of directors have digital savvy outperform companies whose boards lack it: Among companies with over $1 billion of revenues, 24% had digitally savvy boards, and those businesses significantly outperformed others on key metrics such as revenue growth, ROA, and market cap growth. Companies can improve their boards by knowing what characteristics to look for in existing and new board members, managing board agendas differently, and cultivating new learning opportunities.

Navigating a New Industrial Infrastructure

Converging technologies are realigning how organizations operate in an increasingly connected world. Companies that take the time to understand and invest in crucial technologies will benefit from lower barriers to entry in new markets and sectors and greater ease in developing and scaling new capabilities in the next generation of business.

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The Internet of (Wonderful and Scary) Things

The benefits of smart devices are wide-ranging: the IoT-powered communication and analytics have the potential to do more than just add convenience to our daily lives, but to actually radically improve the way we work and live. But without taking the right cybersecurity measures, products can fail before they have a chance to see wide adoption.

The Uncertain Status of Gig Work

Many workers value the flexibility and income that gig work provides; customers like being able to find people to do things they want done. However, the extent to which gig workers, typically self-employed individuals, should be afforded the legal rights of employees has yet to be fully resolved in many jurisdictions.

What Cloud Localization Means for Organizations

In the world of cloud computing, the spotlight has mostly been on cloud providers and their ability to help organizations digitally transform. With new scrutiny around data localization and privacy, enterprises must consider localization impacts on their cloud computing strategy as they invest and innovate with emerging technologies.

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