Prepare to Pivot: Change is the New Business Norm
Agility and adaptability now become the keys to business longevity across industries.
Businesses today operate at breakneck speeds, working to keep pace with emerging technologies and evolving customer demands. That’s why the new directive is to not only embrace change and welcome transformation, but also to design for disruption.
Businesses must model their company on the premise that it will change and it will change often. While standardization and stability were long considered the keys to business longevity, now agility and adaptability represent the true path to survival and ultimately success. That’s a common thread that brought technologists and leaders from businesses across industry verticals together at the annual CA World Conference.
“A hallmark of human evolution is our ability to evolve and adapt to changes in our environment. Even more important is the ability to change that environment to meet our needs,” CEO Mike Gregoire said in his opening keynote. Understanding the value of change is critical to business success, and the new model companies must implement is “built to change,” Gregoire explained.
“CNN used our software the change the election experience. That’s democracy powered by data, and another strong demonstration that all companies are becoming software companies.”
— Mike Gregoire, CEO, CA Technologies
Dreams of Space Become Reality
NASA and other government entities boast the first successful missions into space, from low-orbit flights to landing men on the moon. But today the aerospace industry features many private companies with space exploration ambitions—some of which are becoming reality.
Astronaut Captain Scott Kelly experienced great success in his work with NASA, but admitted the shift in the industry from government-funded missions to private companies also exploring travel to Mars is exciting to witness. At first skeptical about Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Kelly said now ventures such as that give him hope.
“I thought Elon Musk was out of his mind, and I was wrong,” Kelly said. “I’m encouraged by this new idea of having private companies taking over lower-orbit development and developing new technologies. Hopefully that will give NASA the opportunity to go to Mars.”
Rocket scientist Natalie Panek wants to go to space, and hopefully one day she will achieve her personal dream. But she isn’t just focused on her goals for the industry. She wants to create an environment in which everyone believes they can affect change with what some might think are just big ideas.
“The bigger picture in this is how do we inspire the next generation and to keep pushing in the face of people that tell them that this is crazy or this isn’t possible,” Panek said. “The world needs more everyday explorers, more people that are curious about what’s in our own backyards. We are cultivating a world of everyday explorers that will create communities in which anything is possible.”
Cars and Customer Engagement
For General Motors, a car is much more than a vehicle to simply transport a driver from point A to point B.
A car is a computer on wheels, which can now be pesonalized to accomodate each customer's preference. It isn't just an opportunity for GM to make cash; the connected car is how GM can maintain a continuous connection to customers. That's a big change for the automotive industry, which typically would have to wait the four or five years between new car purchases to reconnect with customers.
“At GM, we recognize that customer engagement is much more than selling a car and seeing you back here in four years. We want to have a constant connection with you so we can add value to do you day-to-day activities,” said Sid Madamanchi, project manager for OnStar at GM. “We are embracing this disruption because vehicle technology is a top consideration when buying a car. People are demanding their car be as smart as their phone.”
That means equipping the technology with APIs allowing integration between the car’s system and mobile apps to enable features such as remote access to vehicle capabilities, such as sending a text to the vehicle owner to alert them if the gas is getting low.
“We want to partner with weather stations, traffic monitors and insurance companies. Much more is going to possible as the vehicle intent engines are becoming more and more accessible,” Madamanchi said.
The Unpredictability of Politics
Regardless of where voters stand on the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the results forced a change in how politics will be perceived going forward. For instance, relying on polls to estimate the outcome proved even the most advanced technology couldn’t predict what people might really do.
Brianna Keilar, CNN Senior Political Correspondent, covered the Hillary Clinton campaign for the past two years. She tapped into the CNN political app, which was created using software from CA Technologies. The app aggregates data from multiple sources, provides insights and presents findings in easily digestible formats for users. Still all the polling technologies didn’t deliver the correct results, and Keilar could only speculate on why.
“Technology is changing and people might not answer the question accurately. And the way you ask a question does change it,” she explained. “For instance, if you looked at the polls, people who said Trump and Clinton were both unfit to be president in the polls, then you wake up on election day and seven out of 10 voted for Trump despite saying that.”
The power of the data, Keilar said, would lead to assumptions and those assumptions were not necessarily correct. “There was an assumption by many people that if a voter said a people said he was unfit to be president that they wouldn’t vote for him and that was wrong,” she said.
This election will change how journalists and pundits follow campaigns and use technology to process what the people might be thinking going forward. Keilar said fact checking would become even more critical in the future.
For software companies such as CA Technologies, the use of technology in presidential elections just proves that the world is being run by software, and that trend will just continue to grow.
“CNN used our software the change the election experience. That’s democracy powered by data, and another strong demonstration that all companies are becoming software companies,” Gregoire said.