What does it take these days to be innovative in the world of technology? Is there a “superpower” that can cut through the increasing complexity of the IT infrastructure landscape, connecting the dots between technology and business?
In this generous and insightful #NomadFuturist podcast, technology industry analyst Charles Araujo shares his story and thoughts about the current state of IT and the career trajectory that led him to a position of leadership in the IT space as a thought leader, author and speaker, advising enterprise executives as they go through transformative organizational journeys.
A precocious geek and teenage entrepreneur, Araujo was able to articulate and translate technology concepts to upper management as a twenty-year old techie. This ability to provide a bridge to address a growing gap in understanding between technology and business remained a primary focus throughout his career.
“I think the ability to serve as a translator, to be able to explain the complexity of the underlying technology in business terms is becoming super important …Organizations that have people with those skills are going to be the ones that win!”
Araujo also believes that enterprise professionals need to practice the skill of empathy for the end user.
“…you’re not producing this stuff just because it’s fun and cool. You’re producing this because it’s generating business value and it’s making somebody’s life better in some way… large IT organizations can get highly specialized and it can get very easy to lose sight of that …it can lead you to make the wrong decisions because you don’t have that sense of empathy for whoever’s actually using it.”
Araujo offers a range of advice for those interested in enterprise IT:
“Try to do it all.” There’s a tendency because of the complexity of the technology to specialize—I’m a database administrator or I’m a cloud specialist…but the most important thing if you want to be in management or be this translator is to understand how all these different parts fit together.”
He also speaks passionately about the transformative aspects of technology and its true purpose—to make the world better.
“Being able to be simultaneously in awe of this technology but never losing sight of the fact that it exists for some reason beyond itself, I think that if you can master those two, then everything else will just follow. That will give you the proper rooting to be a rock star technologist!”
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, an internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation. He has authored three books including international best-seller The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. His forthcoming book, The New Human Age, examines the need for individuals and organizations to embrace humanness—creativity, imagination and empathy—to find purpose and profit in an era in which machines seemingly run everything.
As Principal Analyst at Intellyx, Araujo advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also a regular contributor to CIO.com and has been quoted or published in Time, InformationWeek, CIO Insight, NetworkWorld, Computerworld, USA Today, and Forbes.