Your Business Technology Team is Obsolete: Two Tests to Determine How Bad It Really Is


Steve Andriole, Contributor

September 14, 2015

The chances are good that your business technology team is obsolete.

Staying current is a challenge for even the most forward-thinking business technology professionals and companies.  Complicating things even more is the seamlessness of business and technology:  neither exists without the other, which is the new permanent reality.  So any understanding of trends must be interdisciplinary and interconnected.  This is tough for many traditional business technology teams, especially since all of this synergism and interdependency is new.

Many of your business technology professionals are already near dead with little or no sense of where things will be in two to three – let alone five – years.  Way too many of them are exhausted putting out brush fires like “why does Powerpoint keep crashing?” and “how do I use social media to discuss my products and services?” – and other incredibly basic queries, like, God forbid, “do we need more storage?,” or “how do I upgrade to the next version of SAP?”

As I’ve described before, what dominates emerging business models are the themes of continuity, pervasiveness, real-time, location and currency.  Business models now “travel,” are always open and proactively/reactively locate/widen/deepen/connect/accept/service/reject through analytics.  Technology has made this possible as well as the digital management processes around tracking, selling and servicing customers wherever and whenever they might be.  The same is true about manufacturing, supplychain management, and product/service distribution.  There are new proactive/reactive analytics-driven ways to find, track and attract employees, suppliers, distributors and customers.  All business is global, and transactions will largely be automated – even when crowdsourced, subscribed, auctioned and exchanged.

Technology will continue to personalize and consumerize and these technologies will find almost immediate corporate applicability.  Wearable devices, for example, enable location-based services.  The cloud stores everything personal and professional.  Devices provide different mobile screens to different employees, suppliers and customers.  Social media provides insights, ideas, reactions and prescriptions to all business models.

 Emerging Business Models

So here’s the first test you should give your business technology professionals.  Ask them, “(1) can you tell me what these emerging business models are, (2) how they might impact our business and (3) what our competitors are doing with the models?”:

  • Multipurpose crowdsourcing and crowdfunding
  • Real-time structured/unstructured data analytics for sales/marketing/services
  • Continuous supply chain, distribution and sales transaction processing
  • Multi-focus freemiums for lead-generation
  • Real-time continuous auctioning
  • Subscription-based product and service delivery
  • All-lingual 24/7 online/offline global transaction processing
  • Digital/organic interconnectivity for profiling/sales/marketing/service
  • Location-based sales & services
  • Intelligent augmented transaction processing …

How did they do?

Emerging Technologies

The second test includes the same questions but applied to technologies. “(1) Can you tell me what these emerging technologies are, (2) how they might impact our business and (3) what our competitors are doing with the technologies?”:

  • Public/private/hybrid cloud computing and especially cloud container technology
  • Open, hybrid and proprietary architectures, including proprietary and open source APIs
  • Social networking and social media
  • Real-time business intelligence and structured and unstructured data analytics methods, tools and techniques
  • BYOD and the # of preferred devices and screens
  • Virtualization, simulation, gaming and augmented reality
  • Smart, networked wearable devices
  • Internet of Things and the Internet of Everything (IOT/IOE)
  • Real-time location-based technology
  • Multi-level biometric authentication
  • Quasi- and fully-automated automated reasoning …

How did they do here?


It’s challenging to objectively grade your team, any team.  The problem with grading moving targets is just that:  business models and emerging technologies – as well as the professionals who understand them – are always changing.  This means that by definition – unless you invest heavily in continuous training and education – your team has a short shelf life.  By definition this means that in order to remain competitive you must refresh your entire business technology team every three years.  The whole notion of “tenure” on any level disappears when business models and technologies constantly change – unless both the company and its employees fully commit to continuous learning.

Unfortunately, continuous learning is time-consuming and expensive, so seldom, if ever, occurs.

Which means you probably need a new business technology team right now — and another one in a few years.

This article was written by Steve Andriole from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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