Five Technology North Stars to Drive 2021 Success

Author by Stephanie Siewert

As 2020 quickly comes to an end and you continue to build plans for 2021, one thing remains clear. Technology will remain at the forefront of your organization’s ability to succeed despite continued challenging business conditions. 

In the latest Executive Briefing led by Concurrency, host Concurrency CTO Nathan Lasnoski and special guest Microsoft VP Brian Willson broke down five technology north stars to make your 2021 efficient, profitable, and productive. Here are the five technology north stars: 

Technology North Star #1: Create Digital Lines of Business 

With businesses on the move in the digital age, having a strategic approach to digital lines of business is key. Understand how and why your business delivers new services and presents products and define what and how “smart” platforms can better execute on these. Gone are the days of a traditional business model, instead, those models are being transformed into service-based models, making companies a lot more agile with how they transform their businesses digitally. 

The execution of digital lines of business can lead to operational improvements by reimagining the distributor model with convenience in mind, but also open the door to many other opportunities in the B2B market. With digital lines of business, an organization is out to seek sales, but also to competitively propel itself in the market. 

Technology North Star #2: Deliver on New Revenue or Operational Savings through AI 

Artificial Intelligence is a vastly powerful resource, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or inaccessible to the majority. With a huge shift in focus on business outcomes, investing in AI can help optimize operations and create meaningful data sets for discovering new customers through machine learning and demand forecasting. 

The higher the efficiency and better clarity on data, the better predictability can be for performance and driving sales for target customers. The more pull there is for machine learning the more the state of data and systems are pulled higher up the Analytics Maturity Curve an organization can go. 

“Companies are focused on where they can provide use of AI and use technology to drive outcomes that could be as simple as operational efficiency,” Microsoft VP Brian Willson noted. “Types of projects where [companies] are trying to lower maintenance costs, reduce inventory, or aspects within their business.” 

Capabilities are heightened with the power of AI, it can optimize inventory, drive freed-up capital, and create strategic discussions based on compelling data.   

Technology North Star #3: Get out of the Data center Business 

Modernizing your data center is a critical part of your digital transformation and fewer and fewer companies are beginning to see data centers as a strategic asset, giving way to the accelerated rise of the cloud-based data center.   

With many adaptable models within data center modernization, the transition state from one step to the next on the Cloud Maturity Curve can be financially sound, and a manageable move. 

As Microsoft VP Brian Willson remarked, “I feel in many ways the Operational Cloud step in the maturity curve is the enabler/accelerator to transformation in a business. There’s a real opportunity to break through the barriers of operational aspects and embrace the strength the cloud business has.” 

IT should no longer be thought of as a non, it is a verb that should be used throughout an entire organization and influential to business decisions and strategies, and that starts with data centers and how your assets are stored. 

Technology North Star #4: Make Substantive Progress on Zero Trust 

If there is one proactive move you make in 2021, it’s incorporating the access model of Zero Trust to your security. Targeted security attacks and data breaches are on the rise and addressing security post breach is costly and time consuming. The philosophy of Zero Trust is important in today’s world. It proactively addresses security by assuming breach and prioritizes conditional access and identity management to secure your enterprise. The goal of Zero Trust is to mitigate lateral movement within your system to stop the spread of a virus, hack, or other breach.

Security is no longer an IT department’s issue, it’s a business issue that should be acknowledged and given actionable steps towards keeping your data and assets safe. 

Technology North Star #5: Measure and Increase Digital Productivity 

In the end, an organization cannot run properly without the support and hard work of its employees, which makes this final step a compelling call to action from the individual to the enterprise and how work gets done on a day-to-day basis. 

Reading through and performing productivity scores and workplace analytics company-wide ensures you’re able to see how your processes are working during the change into a remote workforce setting. Ask yourself: are these processes supporting the remote environment? 

On an individual level, increasing effective digital productivity means a simplified workplace and sustaining contentment with how work is done. Teams can collaborate, automate and maintain transparency amongst teammates. Enterprises can build upon existing processes and act when things need to change. 

There are many resources available in the marketplace to enable productivity remotely, including Microsoft 365, the Power Platform, and more. With these tools at your fingertips, analytics, application development, workflow automation and virtual agents create compelling stories within your organization and propel your teams forward in their work.

Whether you’re seeking a complete digital transformation for your organization or guidance in a particular technology, Concurrency is here to help you along your journey to a better 2021. 

If you’d like to learn more about the five technology north stars, you can view the webinar recording here