A full quarter-century into the era of the modern consumer internet, the C-suite is still grappling with the fundamental problem dubbed digital transformation. One reason this challenge is so pernicious is that it can’t be solved the way most transitions can, with money and management consultants. Instead, it requires the expertise of a new breed of corporate leaders: software developers.
Read about the new recent study from Stripe and Harris Poll which found that 61 percent of C-suite executives believe access to developer talent is a threat to the success of their business on CNBC.
The CNBC article provides some tips for the board of directors and executive leaders that want to optimize their use of technology in a world where developer talent is at a premium:
1. Understand your current costs and opportunity costs. For CFOs this means considering your allocation of developer time just as carefully as you would consider your allocation of dollars (if not more so).
2. Outsource. Fully embrace the cloud. Not just for storage and compute but for every business function that’s not unique to your business — from messaging, payments and CRM to planning, accounting and inventory management. Put your developers on higher-impact projects. If you’re considering buy vs. build, the answer is simple: buy. Unless you’re Amazon or Microsoft, you shouldn’t be deploying engineers to build data centers. Similarly, your developers should be working on what makes your business unique.
3. Hire leaders with technical backgrounds. If not C-suite, then as top lieutenants. Including software developers directly in strategic business decisions will ensure you have the right product road map, the right team and ultimately the right technology strategy for long-term success — and that you’ll avoid the pitfalls of increased technical debt and unnecessarily wasted developer time for years to come.
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