CTO, are you aware of these preventable mistakes?


A CTO, or chief technology officer is a necessity. And not only for software development companies. However, he/she can’t solve problems alone.

Technology is the new divinity. Often is looked upon as the modern century’s pragmatic messiah. It is polarising and impactful. And clearly, it has already deeply changed humanity’s course. While many articles focus on innovation and new technology, or the impact of it, there are very few that focus on the context of adopting it. As often with the divine, there are few that can rationally treat new technology, assessing it correctly.

CTOs know that real transformation is systemic

And just as often, technology per se, or a designated CTO, won’t save a business, organization, or community. The key is in systemic change and thorough analysis of data before having any expectations from the new technology. As the main pioneer of software engineering was a woman, Margaret Hamilton, our software would possibly look differently without the emancipation of women. Similarly, if your business is not ready for change, the new technology that is about to revolutionize the company will fail to bring the expected results.

This is how many companies fail at very basic steps, while it would’ve been preventable.

Therefore, Sven Blumberg, Thomas Delaet, and Kartikeya Swami of McKinsey have distilled ten technology antipatterns. By antipattern, they mean ineffective solutions for problems. These are aimed to help companies, that mostly rely on a CTO, to prevent possible catastrophes, through practical advice.

Here are some of the anti-patterns they have recognized:

  • decision-makers not fully understanding the implications of their technological decision out of fear of looking bad if they ask the simple questions
  • adopting a certain technology because of trends and not based on the assessed needs
  • when adopting new technology, not taking progress gradually
  • the implementation of new tools without adapting the delivery process
  • when the tech goal does not meet the business goal
  • managing IT based only on cost can turn out to be a very expensive mistake
  • outsourcing core business can lead to high vulnerabilities
  • talented tech people, when put in a management position, can lose touch with the technological part of their leadership

Since technological progress happens so fast, there is an overwhelming effect to it. This leads to certain psychological effects that ultimately affect the decision-making process. A chief technology officer can’t be the answer to all technological change. Very often, the problem lies in blindly following or over-calculating the value of new technology, creating unmeetable expectations.

While there are certain key factors that drive transformation, every real and sustainable change is a systemic transformation.

Image source: Pixabay

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