IT Strategy: is Traditional Business Dead?


Business Insight

An insight from CEO, Paul Sweeney 

Although I love the IT industry I sometimes wake up and think wouldn’t it be nice to be in a traditional industry where the pace of change and innovation happens over decades rather than months and you can set your IT strategy 5 or 10 years in advance.

In IT your strategy is in a constant state of flux with new technology, new competitors and in some cases, competitors being acquired. This is really a double edged sword for me as it seems that every day there is a new challenge, which is also the thing that gets me motivated every day.

I know I couldn’t work in a stagnant team. I am more comfortable working in agile teams that reflect on their work in regular retrospectives. As a result of the sheer pace of the industry, I am part of a team that zeros in on problems that are slowing them down or making delivery unreliable. Since delivery cycles are short, new problems can be detected quickly before they can threaten the project and our business.
Working in the tech industry means working on the cutting edge of innovation. With short project turnarounds, our team must move quickly, think critically, and adapt rapidly to change. Though technical prowess is a must, communication, teamwork, leadership, and (believe it or not) social deftness are crucial to success.

My motto has always been you have to get your work done, and done well. At ANS we know what are doing and we enjoy doing it. But I don’t kid myself into thinking we are alone in this, surely every business has their experts and those that are bursting with passion for their role within that organisation? In turn these organisations strive for innovative, fast IT infrastructure to serve a customer.

This led me to thinking is there really such a thing as a traditional business anymore? The answer is no. Every business now is virtually an IT company, they simply couldn’t function without applications and data. It’s almost despite what the business is, whether it insurance, manufacturing, legal or a hospital. If non-tech organisations apply IT directly in what they are selling or what services they are offering then they are becoming tech companies too and they too are in an arms race for better and quicker IT.

That said I think the answer to the question is no, and what a great place and time to be running an IT business.

Posted by Paul Sweeney