Hindsight provides valuable lessons on how firms can become more innovative and confident in their ability to change and grow. When faced with challenges, I recommend looking back and documenting the progress you have made over the past three, five or 10 years.
This reflection on the past should provide you with the courage and commitment to take on both current and future challenges.
With that thought in mind, I decided to look back at older articles I wrote forAccounting Today. I quickly zeroed in on an article I wrote approximately 20 years ago that is extremely relevant in todays environment. It demonstrates how mindsets toward technology have changed especially in the last year. I revised and updated the related Technology Physical checklist (see page 26) to reflect the current capabilities and strategies employed by firms and businesses that have been able to sustain success and remain future-ready. Here are some key findings from looking back.
Technology management and governance
Firms that manage technology as an asset rather than overhead achieve higher levels of return. This thinking has advanced from managing annual technology budgets to a more sophisticated approach of recharacterizing technology budgets into investment portfolios.
Todays rapid pace of change in business and technology makes it difficult, if not impossible, to predict an organizations priorities or properly allocate money and resources a year in advance. In a new mindset, resources are allocated to the highest-value business outcomes. This can be technology but also includes leadership, processes, talent and growth of the business. This does not mean firms dont have a budget or a technology roadmap. It does mean firms are continually evaluating priorities, outcomes and future spending.
This is often referred to as more of a Shark Tank approach. All major projects should be run through a leadership team, and ownership of the project should be with service leaders or firm management, not the CIO and technology department. This will result in a higher success rate, with adequate resources and focus being allocated to priority projects. The current pandemic has demonstrated how rapidly firm priorities can change and how important technology is to success. Agility, urgency and flexibility are required.
Much is being discussed about the change in performance evaluations, upskilling and coaching. These positive changes also apply to IT professionals. Twenty years ago, the focus was on a career path and certifications for IT personnel. Today, IT professionals are contributing team members, team leaders and even firm leaders.
Over the past 20 years, the best firm leaders have recognized the need for technology to have a seat at the table. This has resulted in the need for IT professionals to develop beyond the technical and focus on communications, marketing of ideas, business savvy, financial skills and team building. Performance now is measured by team goals and shared outcomes. Previously, IT was built upon areas of competency with delineation such as applications, infrastructure, help desk, networks, project managers and architects.
Today there is a greater need for internal and external collaboration and accountability. Team goals take precedence over individual goals with ongoing feedback from multiple sources. In summary, more upfront visioning, planning, transparency and accountability are required.
Management of technical debt
Firms were not aware of this concept 20 years ago, and many in the accounting profession are still uneducated about technical debt. Technical debt is a term that refers to the intentional or unintentional violation of optimal coding or architecture practices, and it manifests itself in concessions or shortcuts in software and architecture that may need to be paid back later.
Examples in the accounting profession are the deferring of hardware, software, training and process improvements to a later date, thinking this will maximize current earnings. Ultimately you need to address technical debt, and training and processes may be the most impactful. The old saying goes, Its what you dont know you dont know that can be the costliest mistake. Members of our CIO Circles have been discussing technical debt for about seven years, but it has been difficult in many firms to get the partners attention. Firms must address technical debt irrespective of the source while balancing current earnings. This is why portfolio management is so important today.
Despite the best intentions, there will never be enough time for teams to address technical debt new projects always take precedence. Establishing a cadence for making it part of their normal workflow by dedicating a percentage of the teams time to addressing it is the only viable option.
The hybrid world
Twenty years ago, the cloud was not an option. Today it is the best option, yet most accounting firms are forced to operate in a hybrid environment. We often refer to the hybrid world as the fog, which requires more resources for keeping the lights on and less for innovation. Much of this is the responsibility of the core application vendors who were slow to move to the cloud because they had a captive audience. Most are publishing companies with a software division and were slow to react.
The core issue in a hybrid world is dealing with legacy applications on outdated platforms, out-of-support versions of software, and old architectures. Firms should have clear strategies and a roadmap for dealing with this issue.
The Technology Physical Checklist (below) is a way to assess your firm. Remember, progress trumps perfection. If your firm scored poorly and sincerely wants to improve, resources are available. Most firms will benefit from professional assistance in technology management, especially when it comes to talent, processes and plan development. There is no need to reinvent the wheel or do this on your own. Outside assistance will save time and get the firm to focus on strategic rather than tactical issues.It is normal to experience five distinct stages upon completion of your score:1. Skepticism;2. Defensiveness;3.Inquisitiveness;4.Being scared; and,5. Courage and commitment to improve.
Fortunately, technology is available for virtual or physical assistance from external resources. This approach reduces time and procrastination, identifies dangers, opportunities and strengths, builds consensus, and focuses on priorities. Small changes in mindsets, skill sets and toolsets can produce exponential results.
Think plan grow!
See more here:
- Global Automotive In-Cabin 3D Sensing Technology Market Report 2021: Market Penetration for Level 2 Cars and Expected Market Penetration for Level 3... - March 3rd, 2021
- Security Technology Strategies at the Core of Business Operations - SecurityInfoWatch - March 3rd, 2021
- CoSN2021: Technology in the Classroom Promotes Equity in Education - EdTech Magazine: Focus on K-12 - March 3rd, 2021
- Lumen Technologies to present at the Morgan Stanley 2021 Technology, Media and Telecom Conference - The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel - March 3rd, 2021
- Here's the Technology Government Needs in 2021 - Government Technology - March 3rd, 2021
- How criminal investigations have evolved along with technology - THV11.com KTHV - March 3rd, 2021
- Chatbots that resurrect the dead: legal experts weigh in on disturbing technology - The Next Web - March 3rd, 2021
- How technology can help us achieve at least 30% ocean protection (commentary) - Mongabay.com - March 3rd, 2021
- Recovering from the SolarWinds hack could take 18 months - MIT Technology Review - March 3rd, 2021
- Leading facial recognition technology provider Corsight AI announces expansion into the Asia Pacific region - PR Newswire India - March 3rd, 2021
- Microchip Technology Announces Changes to Its Board of Directors - GlobeNewswire - March 3rd, 2021
- Parallel Flight Technologies to Participate in the Federal Aviation Administration's BEYOND Program - PRNewswire - March 3rd, 2021
- Bryce Space and Technology Rebrands to BryceTech - Via Satellite - March 3rd, 2021
- Artificial Intelligence Technology Solutions Announces Executive Team Expansion - Business Wire - March 3rd, 2021
- Unifrax, Backed by Clearlake Capital, Announces Lithium Ion Battery Anode Technology Coming Early Next Year - Business Wire - March 3rd, 2021
- How beers and Vikings gave Bluetooth technology its name - Yahoo Finance Australia - March 3rd, 2021
- Exro Technologies Inc. - Integrity Statement from the CEO - Yahoo Finance - March 3rd, 2021
- Relivion Wearable Brain Neuromodulation Technology Cleared by FDA for the Treatment of Migraine - Business Wire - March 3rd, 2021
- China eyes next-generation chip technology to take on global rivals - The Japan Times - March 3rd, 2021
- Need a break from technology? Participate in a National Day of Unplugging scavenger hunt - SILive.com - March 3rd, 2021
- Horizon Technology Finance Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Financial Results - PRNewswire - March 3rd, 2021
- Gary Wojtaszek, Former CEO of $12 Billion Data Center Technology REIT CyrusOne, to Join Quantum Loophole Executive Board - Business Wire - March 3rd, 2021
- Elys Game Technology Comments on the Status of Legislation to Legalize Single Event Sports Betting in Canada - Business Wire - March 3rd, 2021
- U.S. to Impose Sweeping Rule Aimed at China Technology Threats - The Wall Street Journal - February 27th, 2021
- What Technology Would Catch Your Eye If You Won the Lottery? - Drovers Magazine - February 27th, 2021
- Technology Landscape, Trends and Opportunities in the Global Motion Sensor Market, 2021 Report - ResearchAndMarkets.com - Yahoo Finance - February 27th, 2021
- Learning from history: How forward-thinking legal professionals approach technology - JD Supra - February 27th, 2021
- Farm-Tested Technology a Win for Grower and Startup - Agweb Powered by Farm Journal - February 27th, 2021
- Facebook is 'looking at' facial recognition technology for upcoming smart glasses, executive confirms - CNBC - February 27th, 2021
- Leveraging Technology to Manage Big Data in Antitrust - JD Supra - February 27th, 2021
- KULR Technology forms partnership with the CSA Group to develop a new battery safety standards - Proactive Investors USA & Canada - February 27th, 2021
- AMSE and Dept. of Energy partner to teach history of technology and science in Oak Ridge - WBIR.com - February 27th, 2021
- Camp Hill-based company to use partnership to develop technology platforms for client institutions - PennLive - February 27th, 2021
- Integrating nature with technology to strengthen climate adaptation - Daily Planet` - February 27th, 2021
- Proposals to meet global challenges in artificial intelligence and technology regulation - Brookings Institution - February 27th, 2021
- Is Technology Changing The Real Estate Industry? - BOSS Magazine - February 27th, 2021
- Engineering student's technology could revolutionize the use of drones - University of Miami - University of Miami - February 27th, 2021
- Ideas, technology and a fire in the gut fuel young entrepreneurs - Jacksonville Daily Record - February 27th, 2021
- Technology and Art of Light in the Spotlight: Artists from around the World Gather at Shenzhen International Light Art Forum - PRNewswire - February 27th, 2021
- Chevron launches $300 million fund to focus on low-carbon technology - Reuters - February 27th, 2021
- Sweden's KTH Royal Institute of Technology Selects Hewlett Packard Enterprise to Build New Supercomputer to Advance Academic and Industrial Research -... - February 27th, 2021
- 10 Information Technology Stocks With Unusual Options Alerts In Today's Session - Yahoo Finance - February 27th, 2021
- Dots and Bridges Launches New YouTube Channel to the Highlight the Technology, Humanity and Culture Intersection - Business Wire - February 27th, 2021
- Desert Storm attack pilot integrates 30-years of tactics with new technology - Robins Rev Up - February 27th, 2021
- The Pellicano Hotels Group Selects Lybra as a Preferred Technology Partner, Implementing Lybra's Assistant RMS in all 3 of Their Luxury Properties in... - February 27th, 2021
- Is It Time To Consider Buying Amkor Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMKR)? - Yahoo Finance - February 27th, 2021
- 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2021 - MIT Technology Review - February 25th, 2021
- New Year, New Technology Priorities - Ward and Smith, PA - February 25th, 2021
- Technology and Innovation Report 2021 - UNCTAD - February 25th, 2021
- Wearable Technology Market Expected to Exceed $74 Billion By 2026 As Wellness Craze Kicks into High Gear - PRNewswire - February 25th, 2021
- OneConnect Financial Technology and Singapore Exchange collaborate to address the region's ESG reporting needs - PRNewswire - February 25th, 2021
- GRAPHISOFT Empowers Mission of 400 Forward as Official Software and Technology Partner - PRNewswire - February 25th, 2021
- Taking future wireless technology from science fiction to scientific reality - Penn State News - February 25th, 2021
- CRN Names BetterWorld Technology to 2021 MSP 500 List in the Pioneer 250 Category - PRNewswire - February 25th, 2021
- GSCW chat recap: Naeem Zafar on using technology to feed the world - FreightWaves - February 25th, 2021
- What Old Technology Do You Think Is Cool? - The New York Times - February 25th, 2021
- New brain scan technology hopes to help people recover from addiction - WBIR.com - February 25th, 2021
- How Technology Will Fuel the COVID-19 Vaccine Administration - Healthcare IT News - February 25th, 2021
- Rackspace Technology Named Cloudflare Worldwide MSP Partner of the Year - GlobeNewswire - February 25th, 2021
- Lattice and Future Electronics Collaborate on Virtual Technology Sessions for Machine Learning/AI, Embedded Vision, and Secure System Control -... - February 25th, 2021
- Baldwin-Whitehall's Peretin named Technology Administrator of the Year - TribLIVE - February 25th, 2021
- Christian Poellabauer appointed to lead new Applied Analytics and Emerging Technology Lab at Notre Dame - ND Newswire - February 25th, 2021
- The 6th Wave of Advertising Technology: Privacy - AdExchanger - February 25th, 2021
- Global Hydrogen Aircraft Market and Technology Forecast to 2029 - Featuring BAE Systems, Bell Helicopter and Boeing Among Others -... - February 25th, 2021
- Northern Refrigerated Transportation Adds SmartDrive Video-Based Safety to Technology Suite - Business Wire - February 25th, 2021
- How Nanoemulsion Technology Is Drastically Affecting the Food & Beverage Industry - PRNewswire - February 25th, 2021
- AI could have profound effect on way GCHQ works, says director - The Guardian - February 25th, 2021
- Analog Devices, University of Limerick and Stripe Collaborate to Leverage Software Technology for the Transformation of Engineering Education -... - February 25th, 2021
- Adhesive Tapes Market Research Report by Resin Type, by Technology, by Backing Material, by Category, by End-use Industry - Global Forecast to 2025 -... - February 25th, 2021
- NUBURU Establishes Advisory Board of Seasoned Technology Experts - Business Wire - February 25th, 2021
- Joby Aviation to List on NYSE Through Merger With Reinvent Technology Partners - Business Wire - February 25th, 2021
- The U.S. Needs a Federal Department of Science and Technology - Scientific American - February 21st, 2021
- Treasure hunting with technology add geocaching to your outdoor activities during COVID-19 - ABC27 - February 21st, 2021
- AIM Institute Offers Free Introduction to Technology Course to Demystify IT - kneb.com - February 21st, 2021
- SAG-AFTRA Leaders Explore Promises & Threats Of New Technologies And Their Impact On Residuals Labor Innovation & Technology Summit -... - February 21st, 2021
- Mobilaris & Lule University of Technology working together to improve AI-based positioning in mining - International Mining - February 21st, 2021
- Apple is already working on developing 6G wireless technology - Ars Technica - February 21st, 2021
- Local buses equipped with technology said to remove 99.9% of COVID-19 from air - WTAE Pittsburgh - February 21st, 2021
- Why Osprey Technology Acquisition Stock Popped Again Today - Motley Fool - February 21st, 2021
- Meet College of Health Sciences and Technology Dean Yong 'Tai' Wang - RIT University News Services - February 21st, 2021