People are still the most important source of value

Throughout the whole value chain, progressively complex manual tasks are automated, driving down cost. Business teams are highly skilled, focusing on high added-value activities like objective and strategic settings,  research and development, business development, marketing and customer service.

It takes vision, leadership, courage, drive and a specific set of soft and hard skills from the CIOs and their teams to realize the required change within the time frame allowed by twitchy customers and cocky competitors. Without them, change will either be too slow, or worse, not even progress beyond good intentions, long presentations and reports written by expensive consultants.

The longer the history of a company and its stability in the market, the wider and deeper the canyon that has to be bridged when game-changing technologies turn up on the horizon. To make matters worse, adopting a new strategy and accompanying  operating IT model takes time, and depending on the industry or market, there is little or no time when nimble startups enter the market with their new and disruptive business models.

The first principle is therefore primarily about the right mindset. To be more than a mere utility provider, the IT team of established companies has to be open minded, curious, proactive and constantly ready to adapt to change.

Less defensive, more offensive represents the attitude and skills required to lead in digital markets.