3 reasons most CEOs don't understand technology and how to overcome it

Unless an individual is a CEO of a technology company, it’s okay if they do not have in-depth knowledge of technology. Wait, what?! Yes, we are saying it is acceptable if a CEO sticks to what they do best, which is to create and promote an overall vision for a company and fulfill that vision through the execution of high-level strategies and corporate decision-making. Wow. It’s time somebody said it.

For the majority of companies, technology is just a tool and it should remain so. If technology is just a tool then, why do some CEOs tend to view technology as a noxious burden or a nuisance? Well, technology is continually advancing, in fact at a breathtaking speed much of the time. In many cases, there is a fairly large price tag associated with an investment in technology as well. Last but not least, it’s a bit disconcerting when individuals who are supposed to know everything about a running a business, find themselves in the position of asking questions when they are supposed to have all the answers. However, we say that a good CEO only needs to understand one thing about technology. It is a tool they can use to make their company run more efficiently, increase profits and stay competitive.

Embracing Technology as a Tool

We’re not going to lie. It is essential that CEOs understand that technology is a vital tool, because it is here to stay. Those CEOs who try to ignore or sweep IT under the rug are doing a grave disservice to their company. However, it isn’t necessary for a CEO to become a geek or a nerd in order to embrace technology. Just as one doesn’t need to be an HVAC expert to know they want the air conditioning unit to cool their building in the summertime, a CEO doesn’t need to be a computer geek to know they want their IT department to be a great asset to their business. It’s time to relax and simply appreciate the fact that, just as with the modern day use of central air conditioning, technology does have quite a bit to offer modern day businesses.

It’s Time to Delegate 

Alright, so you are CEO and you have decided to embrace technology as a corporate tool.  How can one do this without becoming an expert? Just do what CEOs always do — delegate authority to others. Whether a CEO decides their company is large enough to require an in-house CIO (chief information officer) or if they decide to delegate IT responsibility to an external contracting company, a CEO only needs to understand someone else is in charge of IT. It is up to the CIO to have an understanding of the daily operations of IT, along with meeting the goals set by the CEO. Essentially, a CIO is a bridge between the overall business and the geeks in the IT department. It is their job to use their department in a manner that provides key support to the overall corporate goals, as well as comprehend all the mysterious lingo that IT daily operation managers need to discuss. 

Make the Right Investments

Investment in technology is much like an investment in anything else. A CEO has every right to expect that a noticeable return, perhaps in terms of employee efficiency or increased profits, will appear as a result of their significant investment in IT. This is where a CIO can provide such a positive impact.

A good CIO will understand the overall vision of the company and they will recommend investments in technology that will help achieve corporate goals. Technology is a fast-moving, complex field with a fairly large price tag attached to it, and no CEO should be making substantial corporate investments without real expertise behind their investment decisions. A good CIO will provide the facts and figures that show how a recommended investment will pay for itself by becoming a key factor in:

  • Improving employee productivity,
  • Reducing overall costs,
  • and allowing a company to stay competitive.

Summary

If you are a CEO, it’s time to stop fighting with technology and recognize how it can revolutionize your company if you choose to harness its power to work for you. If you would like to learn more about acquiring the right expertise to help you smash next year’s corporate goals, please contact us!

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