Hanson Robotics' Sophia is great, but what's her industrial application? Source: Shutterstock

Hanson Robotics’ Sophia is great, but what’s her industrial application? Source: Shutterstock

The next wave of digital transformation needs leaders not managers

BUSINESSES have been talking about digital transformation for almost half a decade now, if not more.

However, as new and interesting technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing become commercial-ready, old ones, such as social media and the cloud become more common-place.

It’s why an Accenture report earlier this year said that companies need to make the transition from SMAC (social media, analytics, and the cloud) to DARQ (distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence, extended reality, and quantum computing) technologies in order to gain a competitive edge in the digital-first era.

Digital transformation isn’t foreign to companies in any way.

However, most find that it’s quite a challenging task when you think about actually climbing the digital maturity curve, moving from scaling and implementing one emerging technology after another, across the organization.

It’s why organizations that want to continue to succeed with digital transformation in the new era must look for leaders, not managers.

Of course, this doesn’t mean burdening existing leaders in the organization with shop-floor level responsibilities.

Instead, it means helping managers and executives across the organization think like leaders and create a mindset that suits the fast-paced environment we live in.

Companies can’t fathom the possibilities that new and emerging technologies can create for them in their factories, warehouses, across different divisions, and within their supply chains.

Those ideas need to come from leaders running and operating in those environments on a daily basis. And when they do, organizations will be able to deploy their resources appropriately to create those opportunities.

Essentially, what that means is, Hanson Robotics might create a humanoid robot like Sophia, and that’s a great combination of technologies, but it’s up to the organization’s people to think outside the box and look for ideas where that bot might actually create big opportunities.

The move to the DARQ technology stack has one primary difference when compared to the SMAC stack — and that difference is the key reason companies need to democratize leadership as far as technology projects are concerned.

Unlike SMAC, DARQ technologies thrive when they support, complement, and augment one another. That’s how the technologies help companies gain unimaginable new feats, wowing customers, optimizing processes, and earning outsized returns in the bargain.

Accenture’s Chief Technology & Innovation Officer Paul Daugh believes that distributed ledgers, AI, extended reality, and quantum computing (DARQ) are the next big technology catalysts for change.

If companies want to really leverage the power of DARQ technologies, they must act now and start building a leadership mindset among all their employees. It’s critical to their survival.

Experts believe that changes in mindset take a little longer to take effect — which is why organizations that really want to become pioneers in the creative use of technology across their organization must start working on building the mindset now.

According to recent predictions by IDC, the world will be spending just over US$1 trillion on digital transformation technologies this year.

If executives think like leaders, that investment will create phenomenal value for customers and stakeholders, and provide a competitive edge that catapults the pioneers far ahead in the marketplace than any of their competitors.