Challenges Facing Technology Leaders: What keeps you up at night?

As a CEO/CTO of a technology company in the post-financial crisis era, you thought you would have an easier time making the right decisions for growth compared to those that you were faced with during 2007-2010 WRONG. Because the majority of companies were confronted with a similar crisis, namely consolidation and cash conservation, the decisions you were required to make, while difficult to swallow, were you on a path that was well formed and crystal clear. Now faced with decisions on how to grow, how to optimize growth and how to incorporate growth as a part of the regular business process has many more variables, options and potential routes to take – Not for the weary Right?

As the leader in a software technology company, these are some of the things that kept me up at night.

– Do we have the right people to get the job done?
If we don't, can we recruit and retain the required people in a market where we have negative unemployment?

– Can we complete our development projects in time for maximizing the market opportunity window and within stakeholder expectations?

– Do we have the right expertise on the team to build lasting technology that will give us
a competitive advantage?

– Our budget is fixed yet new requirements seem to grow faster than the usual scope creep that we had planned – Will we succeed?

These questions weighed in heavily on me and often tended to force me away from the entrepreneurial, creative thought process.  As the person that typically sets target goals higher than people are comfortable hitting, but you believe are initially achievable, time tends to change your thinking. Often you are forced to reach back into your head to your files and experiences and come up with the simple answer – “Reduce.” Reduce requirements and lower expectations. Sound familiar? I have learned that what is needed is the right safety net; one that allows for the expansion and compression of the business and one that can help give your team the edge required for maximum success.

These questions weighed in heavily on me and often tended to force me away from the entrepreneurial, creative thought process.

To answer our first preoccupation, where can I obtain the right people to get the job done? Internally, we did consider hiring new resources. We created a plan with the HR team to evaluate the necessary requirements, but we quickly came to a halt due to our time frame and financial resources. First, we needed to train our new staff, which implicates our business culture, our mission, our values, our goals, and our working methodology. Secondly, the overall investment was above our expected budget. Moreover, we did evaluate a gradual hiring process, which would limit our investment, but this scenario was still too costly in the long run. However, there was still another option available, and there is for you as well.One of the best safety nets is to consider a real partnership with a firm specializing in global product development. A true partner is one that cares as much about your business as you and your team. One that sees from a different point of view, one that thinks critically and one that is focused on continuous improvement never resting or assuming that things are good enough. This path, from experience, is one that requires different navigation and can be quite tricky to balance but when leveraged correctly can make a difference!

Lastly, have you faced similar challenges in your enterprise? As a leader in a software company, did you opt-in for external or internal resources to get the job done?

At Intent Solutions Group we are always open to discuss your ideas.