Disruptive Change – The second Technology Leader Society event

On 29th November, Computer Futures hosted the second event in the Technology Leader Society line up. During the event we discussed “Disruptive Change”, focusing on two areas; API’s, and how they can improve your business and Leadership. Harry Porter shares his experience of the event.


At the event we had a variety of attendees - from start-ups and emerging leaders to corporates and experienced CXO’s. Thanks to the diverse audience, we were able to create a platform for people to learn from likeminded individuals with diverse experiences.


API’s are significant to your business
 

Our first speaker, Glenn Smith, former CEO of Cloudfind, started by sharing his experience of API’s and how they can play a significant part in your business. Instead of focusing on the complexity of how it works, we focused on how they can be leveraged, the benefits of using them, and how to create true business value for customers. 

Harry Porter, Client Relationship Manager at SThree, says, “I really like the way Glenn simplified what an API is and what it stands for by using an analogy based on an Electrical Plug.”

In addition, for those that are struggling with bandwidth or looking to create business agility, this can be a great place to start. Glenn explained by moving away from large monolithic architectures to creating Microservices, we can manage our software with increased efficiency. If you consider yourself ‘Cloud 1st’ then you could make significant savings by managing what aspects of your architecture needs scaling. By default, you can free up resources to focus on innovation.

API’s and their impact on innovation

When it comes to innovation, look to API’s for your proof of concepts. There are a large amount of API’s available and, with low commercial and implementation barriers, it gives you the ability and agility to test the potential value. 

I think the image below is a really useful place to start when thinking ‘what areas could API’s benefit my business?’

All in all, Glenn provided a great overview of how API’s can improve business and some great practical steps on where and how to start on this journey.


The cultural aspects of change explained
 

Our second speakers John Paul Corry (JP), Director of Growth Unlimited, and Thinus Delport, part of Growth Unlimited, looked at the cultural aspects of change, what bad and good looks like and what lessons can be learnt from rugby – particularly South Africa’s World Cup Tours. 

They kicked things off by explaining you need to create your culture. They did this by gamification, using Rock, Paper, Scissors. It worked; there were over 40 people up on their feet cheering and supporting their representative teams.

We then looked at the game of rugby and South Africa’s journey. Thinus focused on differences in culture between their performance in 2003 World Cup and 2007 when they lifted the Cup. We then studied the strategy of their performance and how they used data to design their own game, rather than playing another team's game.

Harry says, “I’m a rugby fan but have never looked at the game in this way. The synergy in strategy between rugby and business today is so closely aligned.” At its core is culture, layered up with a disruptive strategy and inclusive goal, the prospects are enormous. 

Below is an overview, in Thinus' opinion how South Africa came to win the World Cup in 2007.

The key takeaways from the event

Harry listed a number of key takeaways from the event, including:

  • The importance of creating an inclusive and diverse team and an all-inclusive purpose to strive for.
  • Use the ‘APES’ principal – Active, Purposeful, Enjoyable, and Safe.
  • We all have ‘pitfalls’ or challenges but these can be used to our advantage. 
  • Play your own game, do not copy or follow. You will not catch up and the rules of the game will be changed. With that in mind, look to data to understand performance and consider how to disrupt by creating your own game and rules.

Thank you to all of our speakers – we look forward to hosting more events just like this in 2018. If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss them, please do check our LinkedIn page as we share all upcoming events on there.