Technology and Business Chasm – A Techie’s dilemma


For most techies, especially those working in Tech industry – these questions ought to have crossed their minds at some point in time. Should I remain a techie all through my career?  Is gaining a modicum of business perspective even relevant to me as a techie?  I like my technical domain and I don’t think I should look at the gory side of business – or should I?  What if I gained some business perspective combined with my techie experience – does it give me an edge over others? In some societies, there’s even a cultural barrier not to step into the business/ commercial/ marketing domains.  And many more such soul-searching questions and imponderables. I for sure went through these mental hoops and loops at every conceivable career milestone. It made me think hard as to what were my innate desires, my skills and most importantly, what I wanted to do with them.

The World that we live in

The technology industry is likely to be worth $ 25 trillion by 2025. Big bets are being placed on developing and leveraging cutting edge technology across various domains, that will touch every aspect of life, from our homes to offices to ways we travel and much more. Yet, the loop is apparently incomplete if one does not understand or have an appreciation of its applicability and value (both utilitarian and financial). Gone are the days when business organizations came to techies with the mind set “I’d like you to do this for me”. Instead, the tenor has changed to, “what’s the next great idea you have? What is its value proposition? “. As techies in the traditional sense, are we ready to deal with these questions and be a relevant partner in today’s journey?  If the answer is tending towards a “YES”, its obvious that Technical Skills AND business orientation seems to be mantra for techies aspiring for continued success. So, was this really a dilemma? Perhaps not as much. I would even state that a progressive techie should consider the equation:  technical skills + business orientation = Improved Success as the way forward.

The connection between technology and its usage is what determines its value. One could explain value as the usefulness of the technology and the financial consideration users are willing to pay. Techies with an eye on usage of technology are more likely to think on the lines of value, which is the fundamental reason why businesses exist. The other perceptible development that has happened with the pace of technology changes is – conventional ways of working are increasingly being challenged. Some examples to look at – focus has changed from owning software assets to consuming software as a utility, the pace at which features / incremental functionalities are expected to be delivered, the over-arching applicability and reach of certain technology like AI, ML, automation and the scope it creates for point-innovations for value creation. Yet, what has remained pretty much steady state is the technology-value prerogative and the need to constantly find answers that pivot around usage and financial benefit. Techies who consistently think of business value have a leg-up over others, whether it is promotions, recognition, their ability to become successful entrepreneurs, etc.

In this Introductory blog, my intent was to open up the dilemma and kindle your interest in bridging the technology-business chasm as a techie. I hope you see the context, the opportunity in front of us and the obvious choice we have to put this dilemma to rest. If this blog has indeed met its intended objective, over the next few blog series, I would be happy to share some perspectives and insights from experience and observation as to what are the key inhibitors to bridging the chasm and some simple yet effective methods to overcome some of the barriers. In the spirit of rekindling your interest, I would be covering aspects around (a) a peek at yourself (b) Your life-icons and how they can help you shape your choices (c) personal and social barriers (d) building your personal identity / brand.

Hope you like it. See you soon on the next edition of this topic.

What do you think?

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