The HotTopics.ht technology leaders meetup, on the 3rd September, where CIOs, CTOs, CISOs, and data professionals come together once a month to debate a timely topic, asked its members to consider solutions, challenges or trends that are not getting the attention they deserve–and why. On account of perennial debates, like cloud technology, or long term strategies, such as digital transformation, other issues sometimes get relegated to fringe conversations, and the industry is the worse for it.
But technology leaders have a panoply of challenges to consider today, across business, political and socio-cultural contexts. True, not all affect CIOs in the same way, across all sectors, but if there is one thing we have learned since March 2020, it is that the world is far more connected that we had first assumed. Our just-in-time supply chain model was balanced delicately upon many services, operators and operations, themselves reliant on a further substrate of agents. Our supply chain is at risk, globally, partly because we failed to accommodate for the interconnectedness of these things, which is why highlighting more issues, the first step in solving them, is now more important than ever.
Re-adressing the balance
Discover below what these CIOs, CTOs, CISOs and data leaders felt the rest of the industry should sit up and take note of:
- Sustainability: one of the discussions at the technology leaders meetup focused entirely on sustainability and how businesses can possibly hope to meet the rising challenge we face as a species. Although businesses are beginning to pivot investments and strategies to greener pastures, the scale and complexity of climate change means there has to be collective action from local, national and international stages. Are we better encouraging Governmental change for wider spread action, or should we focus on our own businesses?
- Intersectionality: this lens through which we focus on people has been brought to the fore by the pandemic without any progress made on measurement.
- Talent and Education: With a dearth of technology talent causing mild panic across the industry, technology leaders are questioning how, first, they are going to solve the crises in their teams, and second, if and how higher education is failing graduates before they even start their careers.
- Leadership development: Isn’t it time we moved beyond courses?
- Future of cities: Businesses thrive when societies thrive; should we be focusing more of our attention on smart cities, greener cities, ones designed around human needs?
- Identity: Consumers aren’t fully aware of the dangers present with digital identity and the risks some organizations take with their customers’ data. Technology leaders have a clearer role to play in the education of a generation content to host their entire identity digitally.
- Hack-attacks: Hackers are only going to get smarter; is the industry of cybersecurity equipped to continually match and counter attacks, or is there another way?
- Quantum computing: Yes, it’s still a time away, but keeping abreast of the strides made in quantum computing will help CIOs, CTOs, CISOs, and data leaders match their visions with reality.
Technology leaders’ conclusion
When we think about what takes up technology leaders’ time, historically it would be technologies and processes. That has expanded to include culture and teams, leadership, business strategy and whole-company transformations. It means far more of CIOs, CTOs, CISOs, and data leaders’ time is spent considering far more varied challenges, which means things invariably slip through the net. The above list, however, is an inexhaustive list of those that should be thought about more, despite the precious little time technology leaders have today.
And although relative importance depends on myriad factors—sector, region, size of company—the meetup consciously placed sustainability front and center as it is both global in its reach as a challenge and threat, with an incredibly high risk factor alongside an almost certain likelihood. If there’s one thing we learned in this technology leaders meetup it’s that there is no such thing as too much attention when it comes to sustainability and our approach to tackling climate change.
HotTopics.ht’s technology leaders community meet virtually once a month to debate questions such as the above in the interest of shared insights, thought leadership and networking. If you want to join them for informal debate, get in contact with us and we would love to welcome you.