Originally published on Forbes, October 30, 2017
Getting started as a new tech company is hard enough in this highly competitive landscape, but actually staying in business and achieving sustained growth is infinitely more difficult. Yet constant growth is exactly what all businesses should strive for if they want to survive, according to McKinsey research showing that growth is the most important factor for a tech startup, as it generates higher returns, predicts long-term success, and matters more than margin or cost structure.
The research also found that although each company is unique, there is a recipe for sustained growth that any business can follow based on general principles of development stages and the ability to scale operations at the right moment.
Below, eight members of Forbes Technology Council discuss several ways tech executives can achieve success in promoting quick and irreversible growth for their companies.
1. Engage Customers In Your Vision
We need to think about how the customer interacts with products in a new way. The “good product + good service = satisfaction and success” model has changed. Technology delivery is different today. It's so easy for SaaS customers to make a change. You need to engage them in your vision for the future, share your roadmap, and show them how you will exceed their expectations in the long term. - Lea Chatham, Solutionreach
2. Understand And Implement AI Capabilities
Today’s technology executives need to do a better job understanding and implementing applied machine learning research. It no longer serves just to know some blue-chip buzzwords and high-level promises. A continuously refreshed, scientifically grounded, realistic understanding of tomorrow’s AI capabilities is the only way to make well-informed decisions today. - Carson Kahn, Volley.com
3. Have A Risk-Based Approach To IT Strategy
Technology executives need to create a business-driven and risk-based approach to their IT strategy. IT leaders need to be business leaders as well, basing their technology decisions upon a deep risk-based understanding of their organization’s current and future needs. - David Melnick, Weblife
4. Search For The Human Factor In Technology
Tech executives today need to be searching for the humanity in technology. There is a human factor that is overlooked in our environment. Contract and remote teams have begun to dehumanize the workforce. Development of the human and technological relationship factor fosters innovation and opportunity to flourish, increasing productivity and teamwork. - Jana Gilmore, pawTree
5. Understand Your Employees’ Needs
Executives need to better understand their employees' needs and desires. Executives sometimes lose touch of basic employee needs. Employees need a purpose, they need to feel empowered and that they make a difference. If you work with employees to better understand them and their needs, you will build a strong technical team that is growing personally and technically and will be more engaged. - Michael Hoyt, Life Cycle Engineering, Inc.
6. Connect Technology At An Emotional Level
Having the ability to connect technology at an emotional level will be important. As technology continues to become more ubiquitous, people will choose what they adopt, and technologies that people can relate to emotionally will hold higher value and loyalty. Also, technology offers so many altruistic possibilities that it's important for us to shape it with the human factor in mind. - Peter Kuang, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness
7. Understand The Impact of Cybersecurity
Understanding how cybersecurity can impact their business is essential. All too often, we see breach after breach with companies that deployed all the flashy boxes for next-generation cyber protection. Deploying controls is a very important part of security, but an in-depth review of the effectiveness of those controls in their environment is often overlooked until the company experiences a breach. - Andrew McNicol, BreakPoint Labs
8. Think Out Of The Box
One thing technology executives need to be doing differently is thinking out of the box because the rate of change is so fast, especially in all things digital. - Mike Armistead, Respond Software.
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