We’ve got answers.
We’ve got answers.
Business-savvy IT executives can be hard to come by, and that’s a big problem if your company relies on technology to exist (it does). Maybe it’s time to start growing your own.
Two weeks ago, I asked the IT executive readership of my weekly newsletter, The Heller Report, to answer the question: If you had a magic wand, what one talent problem would you solve? Responses poured in and addressed challenges around recruiting, developing leaders, and retaining the talent that they currently have. But more than 70 percent of readers would use their magic wand to do only one thing: give business skills to their technologists. Their people, they worry, are so narrowly focused on the technology that they fail to see the forest through the trees. They do not understand the business context of their technology work, nor can they have a meaningful discussion with the leaders of the business areas their technology supports.
This lack of business-savvy technology talent is a serious problem for every company that relies on technology to exist (which is, of course, every company). Those beautifully “blended executives,” who can talk technology in one meeting and can talk business in another, are rare birds. Yet with technology moving directly into the revenue stream of your company, you need them, and your need is only going to increase.
Do you really know what’s inside the electronic devices you use? Neither the U.S. military nor an increasing number of large corporations knows what’s in theirs. Between 2005 and 2008, the number of companies reporting incidents involving counterfeit chips—including recycled parts passed off as new, those that fail testing and are sold anyway, and some that are phony from the beginning and were never intended to work at all—more than doubled. Some of these supply-chain catastrophes have found their way into aircraft such as military jets and helicopters—and into an untold number of commercial systems that don’t face the level of scrutiny the military brings to bear.
The global trade in recycled electronics parts is enormous and growing rapidly, driven by a confluence of cost pressures, increasingly complex supply chains, and the huge growth in the amount of electronic waste sent for disposal around the world. Recycled parts, relabeled and sold as new, threaten not only military systems but also commercial transportation systems, medical devices and systems, and the computers and networks that run today’s financial markets and communications systems.