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BRMs Must Lead Digital Conversations and Demystify Tech-driven Innovation for their Business Partners

Assets/Capabilities / 27 Jan 2017 / By Ibrahim Jackson

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Most well-managed IT groups have moved their firms as far as they can go with traditional technology. Now, management expects IT to take them to the next level with digital solutions along the lines of the superior, user-friendly technology they enjoy on their iPhones and at home.  

To become effective digital leaders, BRMs must experience the new technologies and their effects at a level beyond published articles, by investigating actual cases and applications in the field.  Proactive, ‘haptic’ sensing involves talking to users, not just vendors, and understanding how the new technology works to produce powerful business changes and superior customer experience.  Business partners will want to focus on those few opportunities that support their strategy and business change agenda, not on every app that might appear to offer a positive business case.

Now of course, the power of digital is most visible in new entrants or disruptors, unencumbered by legacy systems and processes. Disruptors usually capture value in a particular component of the traditional value chain, not in the entire business. 

As an example, start-up ‘Money.Net’, who compete in the financial terminal marketplace, didn’t take a build in-house approach, but more of an outside-in approach for analytics.  They used Xignite which sits on Amazon for high power computing.  This approach contributed to their subscription-based terminals selling for more than 90% less than current industry leaders.

Generally speaking, disruptors combine available platforms and capabilities to create a superior user experience, building only the key, new capability themselves. BRMs need to go into the start-up communities and learn not only the technology, but how these new firms actually work.  The disruptor culture is worlds away from traditional IT.

The matrix

In no way are we suggesting that legacy systems are irrelevant.  BRMs need to understand and identify those game-changing capabilities that can augment or replace legacy systems and traditional ways of working.  They also need to identify the new skills, aptitudes, and even partners that the firm will need to stay in the game and avoid being left behind.  Business leaders will look to IT and its BRMs to make sense of it all and communicate the art of the possible. They are asking: “What stays, what goes, and do we have what we need?”

In our BRM event on February 16, we will discuss techniques, frameworks, and leadership approaches to assist BRMs in becoming digital business leaders. Sitting as they do between the legacy past and the digital future, BRMs have a unique opportunity to lead their firms, if they can seize it. 


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21st Century
Adaptive Execution
Proactive, Haptic Sensing
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