Why IT Doesn’t Matter In Today’s Exponential Organizations

The 21st century has seen the emergence of a hyper-competitive marketplace characterized by innovative business models, better informed and demanding customers, nimble and smarter competitors and a rapidly changing regulatory and threat environment. In this dynamic global marketplace that is fueled by constant changes in the underlying social, economic, political and technical landscape. Competitive advantage, market valuations and reputations that used to take decades to build and develop are created and destroyed in a matter of weeks and months. Many of today’s successful Digital Businesses such as Wealthfront, Lending Club, Uber, AirBnB, Tesla and Kaggle were born Digital. They have a significant structural advantage that allows them to achieve Minimum Efficient Scale rapidly by leveraging today’s technology infrastructure and processes to act as challengers and disruptors in traditional industries. Salim Ismail from the Singularity University calls these companies Exponential Organizations (ExOs).

An Exponential Organization is one whose output (or impact) is disproportionally (10x) larger than its peer because of the use of innovative organizational techniques that leverage exponential technologies. In short, ExOs have Business Agility as a core capability that allows them to out-maneuver significantly larger and more established competitors in all industries. As today’s incumbents compete with this new breed of ExOs, they have to recognize that their fate is inextricably intertwined with technology and the road to becoming an ExO is paved by the smart and effective use of technology to reimagine every aspect of their business. However, many of these incumbents are saddled with IT departments, organizational structures, management models, operational processes, workforces and systems that were built to solve “turn of the century” problems of the past.

In this talk we will focus on why IT as we know it is dead and what today’s IT organization’s can do to go beyond operational excellence and deliver a distinctive strategic positioning through innovation and the pragmatic use of technology.