Centric Consulting’s Cleveland office hosted a breakfast panel session during OHTec Tech Week, covering the topic of Disruptive Technology.
The breakfast covered the topic from three unique perspectives: practical impacts to industry, near-term disruptive tech, and change management in disruptive times.
Our panelists included John Fleischer, CIO - CBIZ, along with Matt Dierker and Phil Swettenham from Centric Consulting.
A Focus on Disruptive Technologies
According to Forbes, digital disruption, or disruptive technology, is the flip side of digital opportunity. Established companies and startups alike enlist new technologies in the fight to dislodge incumbents, protect entrenched positions, or re-invent entire industries and business activities. Very academic to be sure, but true nonetheless.
More interesting, I think, are survey results from MIT/Sloan indicating that 87% of responding IT execs expect moderate to significant digital disruption to their business, yet only 44% think their organization is preparing adequately.
Doug Wenger, OHTec Executive-in-Residence, kicked off the session by sharing details on this year’s Tech Week. He was quite chipper considering they’d just hosted the 13th annual Best of Tech Awards the night before.
John Fleischer offered salient points on the potential impacts of AI, which is definitely disruptive tech to the accounting industry. While his comments included vision on the potential for industry disruption, he also offered valuable thoughts on leveraging disruptive tech in one’s own business. Among those points:
- build a valid business case
- data must be high quantity and high quality
- ensure adequate scale
- actively engage the team
On the near-term disruptive tech topic, Matt Dierker shared information focused on robotic process automation (RPA) as well as AI. As with most automation endeavors, Matt shared that principal values to the enterprise centered on efficiencies gained by eliminating or reducing repetitive, human-performed, low-value tasks.
However, other benefits include:
- increased speed to market
- re-orienting staff to higher value roles
- improved alignment from a process-centered approach
Finally, Organizational Change consultant, Phil Swettenham, offered insights into the people aspects of disruptive technology change environments. Surprisingly, it’s not unusual to find companies, even now, fairly neglecting their staff when implementing automation or other disruptive technology.
However, according to Swettenham:
- Leveraging effective change management strategies and tactics can dramatically improve project outcomes.
- Project success can move from the typical 26% likelihood to 80% with good change management and to 95% with an exceptional approach.
- It’s critical to understand people move through the disruptive change adoption curve at different paces with unique, emotional reactions.
Our guests were engaged and posed a variety of intriguing, thought-provoking questions for the panel.
We enjoyed hosting the session, and we’re proud to be a part of Tech Week this year. Most importantly, we’re delighted to be able to share valuable information from our experiences as well as from leaders in our market.