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Why Businesses Need To Embrace Technology (And How To Make It Less Daunting)

Wednesday 8 June 2022

I strongly believe that any company that isn’t either a tech product business or a tech-led business will disappear within the next ten years.

Avoiding technology in today’s world simply isn’t an option; embracing technology is a necessity if you want to compete.

However, for some entrepreneurs who don’t come from a “techie” background, the idea of focusing on technology can feel daunting. This is why I was so pleased to speak to the founder of the Pragmatic CTO community and CTO of thestartupfactory.tech, Aleksa Vukotic, on the EHE Capital podcast, Extraordinary Entrepreneurs Together. 

 

Aleksa and I have worked together for many years, and I’ve seen the value he has added to many businesses, both those in the startup phase and those looking for fast growth. 

 

In this blog, we are going to look at why technology is so important for every business, and how you can integrate it into every part of your organisation, even if you’re not a techie yourself. 

 

Creating a tech community

 

Aleksa recently recognised that many founders and CEOs were struggling to align technology across their businesses, which was holding them back. This prompted him to create the Pragmatic CTO community earlier in 2022.

 

Aleksa: “I realised how many challenges CEOs and founders have in both early-stage and high-growth companies when it comes to aligning technology with their commercial and growth plans. I also wanted to find a way to help tech employees and other people working in tech to engage with the businesses they work with and think about their career progression. 

 

After speaking to a few people in Manchester [where Aleksa is based], I realised there is a need for those of us working in the tech space to get together and help bring technology closer to the non-tech founders, stakeholders and board members who are part of many businesses. I wanted to create a tech culture and ecosystem, firstly in the North-West, but then across the rest of the UK.”

 

I know how important community is in the world of tech. At my previous business, Cake Solutions, we made sure that we shared our expertise with the broader tech community, and it served us very well. However, I have also seen entrepreneurs struggle to bring tech into their business – some of them seem to think of tech as some kind of “voodoo” magic, which makes them shy away from building relationships with those in the tech community.

 

Demystifying tech

 

One of the main reasons Aleksa set up a tech community that reaches out to the broader business community was to help entrepreneurs better understand the contribution tech can make to their businesses.

 

Aleksa: “Technology can often be a misunderstood subject. Sometimes it’s seen as a mystic thing that just happens; but it can make a huge difference if you can find someone to help you understand it, engage with it and really make it work for you. 

 

This is one of the main reasons I started the Pragmatic CTO, because I not only want to share that message, but also educate and mentor people to help them get into the right mindset [around tech]. I’ve seen the benefits mentoring can bring.”

 

Building relationships

 

It’s essential that entrepreneurs and “techies” work together to find pragmatic solutions to business problems, for the benefit of everyone. Clear communication and establishing processes that allow you to work together efficiently and effectively are essential components of this relationship.

 

Aleksa: “From my experience of talking to investors, business stakeholders and those at board level as a CTO and ‘techie’ person, the key to getting your message across is clarity and simplicity. It’s not about talking about the most complicated things or explaining everything in detail.

 

It’s about the big picture and getting everyone on board for that journey. You don’t want the way you communicate to go over everyone’s heads just so you can show how ‘smart’ you are. The point is to make sure that technology is part of the business and that it’s supporting the business. All those things need to be aligned.

 

Where I’ve had great success is with educating stakeholders, like CEOs and CFOs, about technology so that we are all sitting on the same side of the table, can talk about tech in the same way and all understand it. Being able to show that technology is important and embedded into a business has always got a good response from investors, stakeholders and external board members.”

 

Tech and talent: a winning combination

 

Aleksa: “When investors look at a company and the tech it has, they aren’t only interested in the tech but also the people you have in your team and how you motivate them. You need to make sure your team is in good spirits and delivering what’s needed for the business.

 

There will always be challenges: nothing is ever perfect and not all problems can be solved at the same time. There have to be priorities; but if you align these with the growth and development of your team and have a good team culture, it makes a huge difference to anyone external looking at your company either to invest or become an external board member.”

 

I couldn’t agree with Aleksa more, because I’ve always believed building a strong team culture across a whole business is an essential ingredient for its success. 

 

Is tech something that you find challenging to talk about within your business? You can join Aleksa and the rest of the Pragmatic CTO team at their next event on 16 June to join the community and start having those discussions. If you can’t make that event, or tech still feels a little too daunting, join the EHE Capital community to find mentoring, investment and peer support to help you prepare your business for a tech-led future. 

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