To lead a technology team, immerse yourself in the business first

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Leading a technology team these days — whether you’re a chief information officer, chief innovation officer, or other IT manager — is no longer a matter of corralling programmers and administrators into a common purpose. Now, CIOs and other tech leaders need to corral the rest of the business into their orbits as well. The question is: Are IT teams still too entangled in managing infrastructure, applications, and related security issues to lead their businesses down new paths?  

Also: 5 ways to prepare for the impact of generative AI on the IT profession

Technology leaders such as CIOs are increasingly tasked with running the business and moving it forward, a recent Deloitte survey of 211 CIOs confirms. Close to half of the respondents, 46%, report their greatest priority this year is shaping, aligning, and delivering a unified tech strategy and vision. 

In addition, they have high visibility, and many roles beyond the CIO are now involved. Nearly two-thirds (63%) say they report directly to the CEO. Transformation and innovation also topped to-do lists of tech heads, at 59%. A majority of tech leaders, 54%, consider themselves to be change agents. Currently, 83% of organizations have either a CIO or chief digital information officer, 52% have a chief technology officer, 31% have a chief information security officer, 30% have a chief data analytics officer, and 22% have a chief technology innovation officer. 

Moving into these technology leadership roles means “not only have a firm grasp of the tech landscape and the capabilities available, but they are becoming fully immersed in the business and market trends, Anjali Shaikh, managing director and CIO program experience director at Deloitte Consulting, told ZDNET. “This ability to be ‘bilingual’ puts tech leaders at a clear advantage within the business because they

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Is Spotify Technology Stock Outpacing Its Business Services Peers This Year?

The Business Services group has plenty of great stocks, but investors should always be looking for companies that are outperforming their peers. Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) is a stock that can certainly grab the attention of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to the sector as a whole? A quick glance at the company’s year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Business Services sector should help us answer this question.

Spotify is one of 315 individual stocks in the Business Services sector. Collectively, these companies sit at #2 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank gauges the strength of our 16 individual sector groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups.

The Zacks Rank emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find stocks with improving earnings outlooks. This system has a long record of success, and these stocks tend to be on track to beat the market over the next one to three months. Spotify is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).

Within the past quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for SPOT’s full-year earnings has moved 33.9% higher. This shows that analyst sentiment has improved and the company’s earnings outlook is stronger.

Our latest available data shows that SPOT has returned about 61.3% since the start of the calendar year. Meanwhile, stocks in the Business Services group have gained about 7.4% on average. This means that Spotify is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.

Another Business Services stock, which has outperformed the sector so far this year, is Inter & Co. Inc. (INTR). The stock has returned 10.1% year-to-date.

Over the past three months, Inter & Co. Inc.’s consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 6.6%. The stock currently has

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Breaking Boundaries: How Process Analytical Technology Benefit Any Manufacturing Business

The concept of Process Analytical Technology (PAT) may not be familiar to manufacturers and processors outside the (bio)pharmaceutical industry, but they may already be leveraging aspects of it. By knowing what PAT frameworks can offer, businesses can take key steps to implement these value-adding elements into their practices. This can not only enhance their quality-to-cost ratios and profitability, but also effectively futureproof their operations.

Chris Vickers, Global Sales Manager at Optimal Industrial Technologies, looks at what PAT is and what it can deliver to manufacturers across various sectors.

The origins of PAT can be traced back to the early 2000s. This is when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) introduced an initiative aimed at promoting a system of analysis and control strategies to monitor production processes in real time. The ultimate goal of this programme was to encourage pharmaceutical manufacturers to modernise their processes and adopt more science-based approaches to ensure product quality, and ultimately, patient safety.

Real-time monitoring of product properties, data analytics, process control, Quality by Design (QbD) and regulatory compliance represent the key pillars of PAT frameworks. While they fall into the domain of PAT in the (bio)pharmaceutical industry, these elements are also used in other industries by many companies leveraging process and factory automation. These include chemical facilities, as many of them use on-line monitoring for control purposes.

More than process control

The individual PAT components mentioned above are rapidly growing in popularity, especially as more industry players embark on digital transformation projects. However, while the adoption of even a single element can deliver benefits, the creation of a complete PAT setup can add considerable value to the operations of any manufacturer – whether they are serving the (bio)pharmaceutical or other markets.

The on-line monitoring systems typically used in the chemical sector, for instance, are

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Progressive technology with an added bit of soul: Fluency Inc.

Fluency co-founders, from left, Eric Mayhew, Brian McVey, Scott Gale and Mike Lane. Fluency photo.

by Joyce Marcel, Vermont Business Magazine

“We have a super-complex, nuanced and nerdy business,“ says Fluency CEO Mike Lane. “But we’re building a great business. That is really the goal here.“

Fluency Inc. is a privately held, self-funded, successful and still-growing company founded in Burlington in 2017 by former executives from Dealer.com. The company automates digital advertising for large clients, who then place their ads with large global companies like Google and Meta (parent of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp).

To understand Fluency, one must first know a few things about Dealer.com.

Dealer.com was founded in Burlington in 1998 by Mark Bonfigli and a few technologically gifted friends, including Lane. It created a software platform that helped auto dealers manage and sell their inventories. In 2007, the company began selling its services not to car dealers but to car companies.

In 2014, Dealer.com was sold for $1.1 billion, a staggering figure for a homegrown Burlington business. (It was sold again two years later.)

As a co-founder of Dealer.com, Lane probably became a very wealthy man. But instead of sailing around the world on a private yacht, drinking cocktails and draping diamonds on supermodels, he, along with his close friend Eric Mayhew, Dealer.com’s senior director of advertising products; Brian McVey, Dealer.com’s former account executive; and Scott Gale, the company’s former software engineer, started Fluency.

“We missed the startup days,“ Mayhew said. “We missed the growth of a new organization. We missed what it felt like to build something new from scratch. So together with Brian and Scott, Mike and I decided it was time to go do it again. We wanted to give another alternative to Vermonters for high-tech jobs. You know, it’s always a little bit

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Technology is changing how companies do business

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In the fast-paced world of modern business, technology plays a crucial role in shaping how companies operate. One area where this impact is particularly significant is in the organization of production chains—specifically the way goods are made and distributed.

A new study from the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business advances understanding of the U.S. production chain evolution amidst technological progress in information technology (IT), shedding light on the complex connections between business IT investments and organizational design.

Advances in IT have sparked significant changes in how companies design their production processes. In the paper “Production Chain Organization in the Digital Age: Information Technology Use and Vertical Integration in U.S. Manufacturing,” which published April 30 in Management Science, Chris Forman, the Peter and Stephanie Nolan Professor in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and his co-author delved into what these changes mean for businesses and consumers.

In running a manufacturing plant, a key decision is how much of the production process is handled in-house and how much is outsourced to other companies. This decision, known as vertical integration, can have big implications for a business. Advances in information and communication technology, such as those brought about by the internet, shifted the network of production flows for many firms.

Forman and Kristina McElheran, assistant professor of strategic management at University of Toronto, analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data of over 5,600 manufacturing plants to see how the production chains of businesses were affected by the internet revolution. Their use of census data allowed them to look inside the relationships among production units within and between companies and how transaction flows changed after companies invested in internet-enabled technology that facilitated coordination between them.

The production units of many of the companies in their study concurrently sold

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Small businesses turn to technology to automate tasks

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Tiny businesses support above $17.7 trillion in profits and far more than 99 million careers when they use know-how, in accordance to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 2023 Empowering Compact Organization report. These numbers are powerful and underscore the relevance of using technology in enterprise regardless of dimensions.

Hall

“As somebody who has crafted and scaled organizations and now will help other individuals do so, (I imagine) it’s exceptionally significant to leverage technologies,” stated Flossie Hall, main government officer of Stella, a 501(c)3 that connects feminine-recognized founders and buyers to the correct useful resource at the ideal time. “When I operate with any small organization, the first thing I do is put into practice technologies to help them.”

Corridor points out that today’s engineering instruments for tiny enterprises are additional economical and person-friendly than at any time and can inordinately aid organization entrepreneurs with task administration, layout, automation, interaction, and quite a few other spots.

“If there’s a undertaking that you’re accomplishing repetitively as a smaller business enterprise proprietor, you should consider to figure out how to use know-how — or automate it — mainly because you should really be baking the cakes or making the scarves, not manually typing in your accounting receipts,” Hall stated.

She explains that several know-how equipment today automate duties and are great sources to lean on, not only for firm and operations but scalability.

“I have labored on and run distant groups for about seven decades, and I can only do so with technologies,” explained Corridor, who is based in Rochester and oversees a team distribute throughout numerous time zones and continents. Amid the many technological innovation equipment the group uses are Slack for communication, Asana for task administration, Canva for design and style companies, Squarespace for

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