In episode 35 of the Growth Swarm podcast, John Siefert, Bob Evans, Tony Uphoff, and Scott Vaughan discuss what practitioners need to do to manage their businesses and technologies in today’s volatile and uneven economy, as well as some of the unique features and offerings of the Acceleration Economy Network.
00:12 — John Siefert introduces today’s topic, which covers what practitioners need to do to manage their businesses and technologies in today’s volatile and uneven economy. This is the foundational element of the Acceleration Economy Practitioners Network, whose 25 analysts are experienced practitioners who have implemented digital transformation at large and mid-sized businesses alike.
02:25 — Bob recalls how not too long ago, the discussion and view was vendor-centric, with companies that “made the stuff” presenting their five-year roadmaps, and businesses that “bought the stuff” adjusting their plans accordingly. However, this approach has completely flipped, with companies (buyers) from every industry dictating their needs and wants from the tech community (vendors). Even so, many analysts continue to follow the old model, where vendors are the center of the universe, and companies must work around them. Therefore, hearing from practitioners with experience is crucial to gain a more comprehensive perspective. Acceleration Economy takes a different approach; its practitioners provide an essential outside-in view that helps us understand where we are and where we need to go in today’s world.
03:51 — John says it’s also about how companies purchase, implement, and advance their technology, which has drastically changed. In many cases, technology runs the entire business; as a result, there are more stakeholders involved in the decision-making process. How does this translate into the work that the Acceleration Economy Network does?
05:51 — Tony says that in times of uncertainty and rapid change, people yearn for leadership and deep experience. In less dynamic markets, advice from people who may or may not have had experience may work. That said, overall business and technology cycles are moving faster than ever before, which creates a yearning for insight from practitioners who have driven down these roads, managed business technology cycles before economic cycles, and can add a sense of perspective beyond just the technology itself.
07:08 — John explains Acceleration Economy’s recently launched Top 10 shortlists featuring the top Cybersecurity, AI/Hyperautomation, and Data Modernization companies. Modeled on Bob’s Cloud Wars Top 10 lists, these lists have been vetted by industry veterans like CISO Chris Hughes and CIO/CDO/CTO Wayne Sadin. These lists aren’t telling you what to buy; rather, they’re telling you which companies should be on your shortlist when you are making some of those transformative business and technology decisions.
09:31 — In the real world, “things move fast,” says Scott, who found that a lot of the content he found before Acceleration Economy was mostly case study-based. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s content that breaks down the technical and framework aspects, which is also useful in its own way. What Scott finds, after talking with people, is that they’re looking for inspiration and ideas, along with practical tips and a place to start, delivered in a real-world voice. They want to hear from analysts who have spent time with people in leadership positions. They can search for technical details and outcome-driven stories later, but right now, people want inspiration and ideas with some practicality from those who have a telescope view, to make sure that they “look out the windshield to make sure they stay on the road,” but know when to drill down when necessary. This is where Acceleration Economy comes in: It provides a view from someone who has sat in the CEO chair, led security or data initiatives, or explored the metaverse or Web3, bringing a different perspective to the equation, which is powerful.
11:31 — John expands on a few things. One of them is point of view. “When you’ve just got one person who’s giving you a point of view, that’s a monologue,” he says, and unfortunately there’s a lot of that out there. What Acceleration Economy is pioneering is a dialogue that reflects what’s happening inside a modern business. For example, Acceleration Economy is bringing together chief procurement officers like Joanna Martinez, CISOs like Rob Wood, CIOs and chief digital officers like Wayne Sadin, and chief data officers like John Muehling to discuss data modernization in the real world, as well as Tony with his four-time CEO experience. This way, we replicate what the current or modern technology buying committee decision-making committee looks like — i.e. what people playing with sharp tools inside the company have to say about a major transformative decision that’s being made for the organization. We ensure that each point of view considers the other points of view in the discussion.
Join us on April 20, 2023, for Partners Ecosystem Digital Summit, a digital event analyzing the business and IT imperatives around cloud, AI, automation, and cybersecurity ecosystems that define the future of partnerships.
14:00 — John talks about Acceleration Economy guidebooks, including our latest on Retail Innovation With AI, Data, and Cybersecurity; guidebooks are called “Insights Into the Why and How” of various topics. Each of the practitioner analysts creates specific pieces of content aligned with each of these primary categories. Then, additional practitioner analysts come in and give their takes on exactly what the previous analysts write about, calling out specific points and urgent matters for other practitioners to consider. This is unique and built to reflect what’s happening in the world today.
15:24 — The goal is not to tell you what’s most important or how to break down technology into smaller pieces. Rather, it’s to help you understand why you need to consider something and how to evaluate it for your business, using multiple points of view. We have a couple of other links in our show notes that will give you some great examples of executive buying committee roundtables on major topics, a few of the guidebooks that have been successful for us, and more.
16:04 — John reminds everyone to tune into Acceleration Economy’s digital summits, including the upcoming CIO Digital Summit, which have a “for practitioner, by practitioner” approach. These summits are on a digital mainstage, where practitioners, including major CIOs and other executive leaders, discuss their experiences and their biggest decisions. Also coming up is the Partners Ecosystem Digital Summit, where chief partner officers from the largest companies in the world will join the Acceleration Economy team to share what their partners ecosystems are creating and how that impacts customers.
Want more tech insights for the top execs? Subscribe to the Leadership channel: