Leveraging Technology to Create Value
Roger Woodworth, principal consultant at Mindset Matters, helps others align strategies for greater impact. Previously he was vice president and chief strategy officer of Avista Corp. He’s chaired Edison Electric Institute’s customer service executive advisory committee and was board president of the National Hydropower Association and the Northwest Gas Association.
The ways of the world are changing our attitudes and actions. Tried and true business models are giving way. Vertically integrated, stand-alone enterprises of all kinds are engaging in horizontal networks of allies. A fresh focus on customers, to create new services and deliver more value, seems to be everywhere.
Technology too often is credited for such changes. But that's wrong. Technology is a critical component, but it is simply enabling.
Yes, the cost to sense data from nearly anything, anytime, anywhere has collapsed. So, too, has the cost of accessing the nearly unlimited computing capability of the cloud. Add to this the emergence of machine learning and the advanced analytics of data science.
In combination, these tools allow us to discover patterns that have long been undetectable. And to design new ways to address unmet needs.
But technology like this is nothing without innovators. It is people who imagine new ways to put technology to work. It is people who see great potential and willingly try to make things better.
The real drivers of transformational change are these entrepreneurial thinkers and doers who strike a chord with consumers.
The proof can be seen in breakout innovations across industries as diverse as agriculture and automobiles, banking and baseball, phones and planes. And yes, slowly but surely, utilities, too.