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How we help Australian business ‘win in the turns’

You can always rely on Gartner’s annual IT Symposium to set the scene for the trends influencing technology and this year was no different.

How we help Australian business ‘win in the turns’

Last month’s conference in Brisbane had the usual tracks on cloud computing and artificial intelligence that have dominated in recent years. But the over-riding message from the global analyst group was more back to basics this time around – organisations, and in particular CIOs in those organisations, must find the right balance between managing traditional operations and pursuing digital innovation.

In Gartner parlance, that means finding your “TechQuilibrium”. As we heard during the opening keynote delivered by Gartner senior analyst John Kost and colleagues, organisations, whether they be businesses, not-for-profits or government agencies, need to find the appropriate balance between maintaining the stability of the business whilst striving to take advantage of new digital business models and technologies to drive better experiences for their customers.

Finding that balance can take years for an organisation as it overhauls its systems and culture to become as digitally enabled as is possible and appropriate. But the quicker they get there, the better prepared they will be to weather the uncertainty ahead.

Accelerating into the turns

As Gartner put it in a recent article: “CIOs will face many uncertainties or ‘turns’ in the coming years, whether caused by geopolitics, economic shifts or digital giants. Turns are a sudden shift from the straightaway, and how an organisation deals — or is prepared to deal — with ‘turns’ and disruption will dictate how that organisation succeeds in the future.

“In 2008, during the last major recession, organisations that saw opportunities where others saw risk were able to accelerate into the turn and come out further ahead. Those that panicked and cut costs, or pulled back investment, fell behind.”

At Empired, we see it as our job to do exactly that, help our customers accelerate into the turns.

We don’t always know what is coming down the track economically, technologically or politically. What we can do is best prepare the organisations who put their trust in us to cope with change.

Helping you find your balance

For Empired, as a major Microsoft partner in Australia, that means leveraging the functionality and scale of Microsoft’s ‘three clouds’ – Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365, to deliver unprecedented capability to our customers.

It means drawing on the expertise and experience of Empired’s engineers, programmers and consultants to help customers find that TechQuilibrium as quickly as possible. It involves leveraging the best new tools available in AI, data analytics and cloud infrastructure while helping them also build a modern workplace for their employees and deliver a great customer experience to their own clients.

Most importantly, it means understanding the journey our customers are on and enabling them to prepare for the continuous evolution of the technology that enables their business.

As Gartner reminds us, the TechQuilibrium will shift and it is Empired’s job to stay ahead of the curve so we are best placed to help our customers change.

The need to experiment

Part of that involves being open to experimentation while managing the risk and uncertainty that goes hand in hand with that.

The Gartner Symposium also heard from Netflix co-founder and Silicon Valley veteran, Marc Randolph. Today Netflix is known as the largest streaming video subscription service in the world with nearly 160 million customers globally. But back in the early 2000s when Randolph was helping steer the company, its future was uncertain.

Netflix experimented with dozens of new products and innovations that ultimately failed before it settled on a winning strategy that exploited two things – the popularity of DVDs and the acceptance of monthly subscriptions.

It began mailing DVDs to customers with all-you-can-eat subscription service that let movie buffs send and receive DVDs via the US mail system. It was a huge success. But less than a decade later, after further experimentation, Netflix was scrambling to find a new TechQuilibrium. It ultimately succeeded by harnessing the power of streaming media and moving into content production so it could control the distribution of its own TV shows and movies.

Remarkably, Netflix’s DVD business still exists. This year, it delivered its five billionth DVD after 21 years in business. But the balance has shifted massively towards streaming. Netflix succeeded through a willingness to experiment and innovate and by readying itself to meet the turns ahead.

As a relative newbie to Empired, I came away from the Gartner Symposium with a greater appreciation for the priorities of our customers, many of whom I met on the Empired booth at the show. I look forward to working with our customers in the months and years ahead to help them find the right balance to thrive into the future.

Posted by: Craig Lennard, Executive General Manager, Eastern Region | 12 November 2019

Tags: Business strategy, information strategy

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