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The New Technology Elite: How Great Companies Optimize Both Technology Consumption and Production Hardcover – March 27, 2012
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
From the Inside Flap
The New Technology Elite
How Great Companies Optimize Both Technology Consumption and Production
Their zip codes are far from Silicon Valley. Their industry codes show retail, automobile, or banking. But industry after industry is waking up to the opportunity of "smart" products and services for their increasingly tech-savvy customers. Traditionally technology buyers, they are learning to embed technology in their products and become technology vendors.
Meanwhile in Silicon Valley, you marvel at the challenge of rolling out 25 million Apple iPads in the first year of the product, 20 million users for Google+ in its first month of service, and the infrastructure to support over 750 million Facebook users. They are considered "consumer" tech but have better technology at a larger scale than most enterprises do in their data centers, retail stores, application ecosystems, global supply chains, and design shops. They are the new best practice leaders in many categories.
The New Technology Elite describes these two powerful trendsthe "consumerization of enterprise technology" and, in contrast, "the enterprising of consumer technology." These trends are revising the definition of who qualifies today as a technology elite. The seventeen case studies and four guest columns throughout the book bring out these elite attributes in detail.
It is no longer about being able to talk geeky terms like HTML5 or SQL Injection or cloud architectures. It is now about:
Product design elegance
Physical presence in strategic retail locations
Ecosystems of developers and thriving app stores
Paranoia in the world of hacker groups such as LulzSec and Anonymous
Pragmatism in a world where attorneys are even more influential than engineers
Being able to fly to Xiamen or Xanadu at a moment's notice
And much more
Designed for business practitioners, CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, technology vendors, venture capitalists, IT consultants, marketing executives, and policy-makers, The New Technology Elite provides the essential building blocks your company needs to go from 0 to 60 on the innovation gauge by emulating the secrets of the technology elite.
From the Back Cover
Praise for The New Technology Elite
"Technology-enabled innovation is the future, but make no mistake, that future is here today. Mirchandani uses technology athletes to inspire us in that even the things we may think are impossible are in fact either a current or near future reality."Michael McNamara, CEO, Flextronics
"This book will inspire and energize you. Countering the prophets of doom who proclaim the 'death of IT,' Mirchandani vividly illustrates through dozens of case studies that IT and related digital technologies are thriving in organizations big and small, public as well as private, changing the very nature of business products and processes. To the CIOs of organizations currently focused on spending millions of dollars on supporting traditional IT, this book is an urgent wake-up call that the emerging CIO role is to lead their organizations boldly into this digital world, or else risk getting swept away by the relentless tide of new technology."Phiroz Darukhanavala (Daru), VP and CTO, BP p.l.c.
"In The New Technology Elite, Mirchandani reveals the secret sauce that separates corporate leaders from laggards and market winners from also-rans in the unforgiving global economy. He neatly deconstructs the creative spark, innovative thinking, and excellence of execution that successful companies must continuously master to translate smartly conceived and efficiently delivered technology solutions into market outperformance and sustainable competitive advantage. Doing so reminds us that while technology innovation may start with tightly orchestrated ideation in the dark recesses of the virtual back office, success is often determined by the industrial scale that is unleashed to create products and services that deliver vibrant and intuitive user experiences, as well as rich and utilitarian capabilities that anticipate customer needs, today and tomorrow, and measure up to, if not exceed, rising consumer and business expectations." Francisco D'Souza, President and CEO, Cognizant Technology Solutions
"This book isn't for those who want to stick to 'IT as usual.' Mirchandani uses real-world examples to catalog the wide range of forces driving IT leadership to adapt or fail in the digital economy."Chris J. Murphy, Editor, InformationWeek
"Today, every company must 'rethink everything' from their core processes to their fundamental business models. In his new book, Mirchandani shows countless examples of how new technologies have removed historic barriers thus allowing companies to rethink everything. Mirchandani's book is a must-read for business leaders who want to inspire and rededicate their workforce. More importantly, it will serve as a guide to the new ways with which collaboration, innovation, technology, and more will fundamentally, permanently, and perpetually change the businesses of today. If your firm has the will to change, this book has the guidance."Timothy Christen, CEO, Baker Tilly
"Mirchandani has done it again. After opening our eyes to compound technology innovations in his last book, The New Polymath, he now instructs us to become technology prosumers (producers and consumers), no matter what our business or industry. Traditionally technology consumers for back-office automation, smart companies are now learning to embed smart technology in their products and become technology producers that delight their tech-savvy customers. Carpe diem, or become a footnote in business history. Mirchandani tells us why and how."Peter Fingar, business strategy advisor and author of Business Innovation in the Cloud and Enterprise Cloud Computing.
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However, the fundamental message is valid - technology will continue to have a big, likely increasing impact on our lives. We need to educate ourselves on its potential and risks. We have way too few people who are more interested in mastering how to use and control technology than in how to use Apple's latest products.
I don't always agree with Vinnie, but if you take up an argument with him, be on notice that he researches his points of view exhaustively. This book is packed with anecdotes pertaining to themes like design thinking, mobility, social business and sustainability - each backed up with a case study, such as how Google has reduced data center energy consumption by 50 percent. I consider Vinnie's books to be required reading for anyone with a stake in enterprise-level innovation. The biggest challenge with Vinnie's work is that you do have to put in the time to get the benefit. His views may be new school but his approach to research - the kind few of us do anymore - is decidedly old school. It's worth the time. I do find myself wanting to learn more about how Vinnie thinks individuals should respond to these trends which are disrupting IT departments across industries. He does get into the new flavor of executive that is making these projects happen, but that's a topic that I will want to learn more about in future blogs and research.
Vinnie's fast-paced writing style matches his subject matter. Just one example: in Chapter 15, he discusses how quickly GPS technology evolved from in-auto dashboard systems, to standalone GPS devices, to smartphone apps--in less than a decade. He then launches into a discussion about technologies that are being embedded in home appliances, enabling them to connect to smartphones, tablets, and other devices and how this is leading to Samsung--a consumer electronics company--to take market share away from appliance market leaders, such as Whirlpool and Kenmore. He then jumps to an analysis of how difficult it is to forecast demand for new products such as Amazon's Kindle, or Nintendo's Wii.
If you have attention-deficit disorder, Vinnie's book is for you. He piles on examples one after another, barely giving time to take a breath. For the rest of us, it is disorienting. But it serves a purpose: to give the reader overwhelming evidence of the magnitude and pace of the changes taking place in all industries.
Although his book is on new technologies, Vinnie's research style is definitely old school. Today too many so-called industry analysts take the lazy way, getting nearly all of their information from vendor briefings and press releases, writing analysis that regurgitates vendor PR talking points, and rarely speaking directly to customers. As a result, they have no original insight.
Vinnie's way requires more work, but it's more rewarding: Do your homework, pick up the phone, talk to those at the center of the action, and learn something new.
Then, take a position. Those who engage with Vinnie on Twitter or in blog comments know that he doesn't hedge his views. From time to time, I get into debates with him. Although I don't always agree with him, I respect that he doesn't arrive at a position lightly, and that his opinions are research-based. He doesn't shoot from the hip. (At the same time, though, I do see an evolution of his thinking in the final version of the book, as compared to some of his earlier blog posts on the same subjects.)
So, there's much to learn from _The New Technology Elite_. Moreover, there's a lot to learn in imitating the author's example.