In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • 2 Big NRF (National Retail Federation) Themes – Innovation & Vision
  • Flexible ERP system and process with SAP Fashion Management
  • Making IT Part of the Strategic Conversation & Corporate Strategy
  • Advice to retail CIOs who are looking to layer on a BI strategy
  • What makes the world of IT and technology so fascinating
  • Scaling IT and engineering teams
  • What keeps a CIO up at night

A friend of mine bought a 4-wheel drive car recently. He lives in California, where the weather is always great. 

He never used to drive out to the desert or the mountains, but now he’s there every week. His behavior totally changed to fit the tech he purchased and now he’s going to get eaten by a bear.

Don’t let your company make the same mistake. You should adopt technology to suit your current behavior, not the other way around. 

That’s one of the many things I learned from my guest today, Ram Reddy, CTO at Nagarro and former CIO at Rockport

As you can probably tell, Ram’s experience has taught him a lot about instilling a technology-focused approach in an organization. But he’s also learned a lot about doing it the right way. 

Today, Ram shares some of his secrets, including:

  • How to become more technology-focused
  • Why companies CIOs should spend time thinking about what they should not do
  • How to future proof your technology

Let’s get started!

How to adopt a technology focus in your company

Companies need to be more technology-focused. Some of the greatest success stories we see across many industries hinge on companies adopting a tech-forward approach to their goals. 

And at Rockport, Ram oversaw just such a success story. 

His secret? 

Well, on the technological side, Ram built a cloud infrastructure, a real-time analytics team and built a truly global process for Rockport from the ground up. 

But that’s only half the story. Ram wouldn’t have been able to do anything without the buy-in of the rest of the c-suite. And that required a structure that encouraged interaction between these executives and the technology side of the business.

So, if your company wants to transform its approach to technology, you need to remember to set up your lines of communication so as not to wall off your tech experts from the rest of your leadership. 

Sometimes it’s about what you should NOT do…

As a company:

For Ram, the most exciting things in technology right now are AI, real-time customer service and data. 

So, if you want to become more technology-focused as a company, it’s easy to fall into the trap of going and buying the newest, shiniest business intelligence solution on the market to leverage all the available data. 

Not so fast, says Ram. 

If you want to incorporate BI into your business, you need to first focus on your enterprise architecture. You need to have an enterprise architecture diagram of all your systems, future-proof it and then go pick a product that fits your business. 

One of the biggest mistakes Ram sees companies regularly make is buying the software and then trying to fit their architecture strategy into that box. 

Just like my friend who is dodging rattlesnakes just because he thought a car looked cool. 

At Rockport, Ram didn’t care about cool cars. He cared about selling shoes. The tech could have been glowing, miracle-promising magic beans — but if it didn’t help the company sell shoes, it was useless. 

As a CIO:

The same logic applies to CIOs. 

Often, a CIO’s job is just as much about what they should not do as what they should. 

With so many vendors in the marketplace and so many products promising miracles out there, a CIO has to make endless choices. And sometimes, one of the best ways to figure out what your priorities are is by cutting out anything that isn’t. 

You should find what you need to focus on for the next few years to grow your business and avoid losing the lead to your competition. 

Everything else is noise.  

Future-proofing your technology

Technology has changed a lot and it’s going to change even more. It’s inevitable. 

When it comes to your enterprise architecture, this simple fact of the world presents obvious challenges. Nobody wants to hit a point where they have to start from scratch every few years as technology improves.

Which is why Ram is a big proponent of future-proofing your enterprise architecture. 

Simply put, this means having a system prepared to handle switching out components over the few years it takes to replace them, while still functioning for your goals. What you need is flexibility. 

It also means prioritizing which aspects you need to replace — and in what order — so that your systems always remain current. 

Another way to future-proof your company for technological change is to always remember: No matter how technology-focused your company is, it should always be more people-focused.

You hear stories all the time about breakout success stories by companies operating out of a garage or with huge technological limitations — but you never hear stories about the success of companies with great tech and horrible employees. 

We need to be more technology-focused, but not at the expense of our goals or our people. 

This post is based on a TechTables podcast with Ram Reddy. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to TechTables here. 

PS: You can also email me at joe@techtablespodcast.com for anything related to the podcast and joe.toste@nagarro.com if you are interested in learning more about Nagarro and our philosophy on #thinkingbreakthroughs. 

Looking for a deeper dive?

Check out more from Nagarro below ⤵️


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