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In a recent 2023 Deloitte Global Technology Leadership study surveying 1,179 global leaders, more than half of respondents said that they are either currently generating revenue from selling data, technology, or tech-enabled services, or plan to within the next two years. 
In this blog, we will discuss why becoming a “tech” company is a must, how to become a tech company, and the benefits of being a tech company - regardless of what your current products and services may be. We will also share with you some recent examples of how Charter is helping three of our clients become tech companies.
There are many reasons to become a tech company. By combining technology with people and processes, a digital business can create new or incremental revenue streams, improve competitive posture, and drive expansion into new markets. S&P Global Market Intelligence has found that digitally driven organizations outperform digitally delayed ones across a host of key metrics, including customer satisfaction, average time to respond to customer inquiries, customer lifetime value, customer acquisition, and marketing ROI. 
Becoming a tech company is additive to a company’s core business. An energy company is still going to explore and produce oil/ gas, but technology will allow it to increase productivity and improve worker safety. If you think like a technology startup company, you will accelerate your time to market (TTM), time to revenue, and enable a culture of innovation.
In Canada, we have been slow to make the investments in people, processes, and technology that lead to increased productivity and innovation. A TD Bank study points to several factors that contribute to a decline in research & development (R&D) spending - which has led to an innovation gap.  Becoming a tech company and leveraging all the new advances in technology to transform your business can allow you to narrow that innovation gap. The process of business transformation and innovation is reinventing organizational strategy, operations, and culture to adapt to the ever-evolving digital landscape. This is a top-down initiative, led by the organization’s senior leaders and driven by focusing on business cases and measurable outcomes.
All public/ private sectors and industry verticals can achieve real business benefits by becoming tech companies. A pivotal aspect of this transformation lies in harnessing the collective strengths of Digital Information Technology (IT), Operational Technology (OT), and Internet of Things (IoT) systems.
Digital IT systems provide the foundation for efficient data management, real-time analytics, and seamless communication across the organization. Expanding communications has never been easier with wireless technologies such as LoRaWAN and 5G. 5G and LoRaWAN wireless technologies enable the collection of a wide range of data (video, audio, temperature, gases, vibration) for analytics and data-driven decisions. 2024 marks the arrival of private 5G in Canada and businesses should start the process of applying for a license now. 
From property managers and farmers to roadway and mill operators, everyone wants to make data-driven decisions. By connecting the unconnected, insights into the operations and management of buildings, livestock, crops, roadways, and many other physical assets can reduce operating costs, create new revenue streams, increase safety, and transform business.
Two recent examples of local businesses leading the way in applying technology are the City of Leduc and OneCup AI.
The City of Leduc is piloting a green cart inspection program that will use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to improve contamination detection in residential green carts. A collection truck will be outfitted with AI cameras that will scan green carts for contaminants such as hard plastics, clothing, etc. The use of smart technology will allow the City of Leduc to streamline and enhance services as carts will be inspected during each collection, instead of periodically. Ninety percent of Leduc households sort correctly and to maintain this standard, the city will use customized information to target education for households that are not sorting correctly. 
OneCup AI has developed an artificial intelligence system named BETSY. The company is offering BETSY to cattle producers to improve efficiency, herd health, and peace of mind. OneCup AI is using facial recognition to track up to 1,000 cattle using upgraded Wi-Fi and security cameras mounted in high-traffic areas, such as watering holes, salt licks, or feeding stations. BETSY can enhance farmers’ return on investment by serving in many observation and notification roles, including early disease detection by tracking respiration, coughing, limping, back arching, and depression. “What we provide is an extra set of eyes on the ground when farmers can’t be there,” said OneCup AI CEO Mokah Shmigelsky. “This is like an AI ranch hand being there when they’re off farm, doing their other work, or wanting to get some sleep during calving season. We are a proactive monitoring system.” 
Software applications play a crucial role in driving business transformation by enabling organizations to streamline processes, enhance communication, and make data-driven decisions. The fear, uncertainty, and doubt about software development aren’t true anymore. Every business has a backlog of applications the line of business (LOB) needs. The good news is it has never been easier to develop applications with a partner or by having your domain experts create business applications, with no-code/ low-code and generative AI tools - effectively improving and transforming your business.
Some guidelines and points to consider when starting the transformation of a business process are:
1. Establishing why you’re doing it. Engage key stakeholders to do a pain-point assessment of the business.
2. Gain a deeper understanding of your customers and other critical stakeholders with empathy and design thinking.
3. Create a change team that focuses on getting employee participation. Senior leaders need to lead the way and give regular progress updates as part of a communications plan.
4. Build a transformational business plan that reflects the needs of your stakeholders and creates new outcomes for you and your customers.
5. Benchmark your company’s productivity:
a. Capital Productivity: Evaluate how efficiently the company uses its capital or investments to generate revenue or output.
b. Operational Efficiency: Analyze the efficiency of specific processes within the company. This might involve assessing the time, cost, and resources required to complete a task or produce a product. Key Performance Indicators(KPIs) are often used to monitor and improve operational efficiency.
c. Sales Productivity: Measure the revenue generated per salesperson or the efficiency of the sales team in converting leads into customers.
d. Time Productivity: Assess how well time is managed and utilized within the organization. This includes measuring project completion times, response times to customer inquiries, and minimizing downtime.
e. Customer Satisfaction and Retention: Productivity is not solely about output but also about delivering value to customers. Monitoring customer satisfaction and retention rates can indicate how effectively a business meets customer needs.
f. Benchmarking: Compare productivity metrics with industry standards or competitors to gain insights into the company's performance and identify areas for improvement. The BDC provides a tool to help businesses assess productivity relative to their peer companies. 
6. Build an OT and IT data monetization strategy across the enterprise.
7. Create an investment roadmap that aligns your business priorities, business drivers, SMART outcomes, and KPIs. The plan should identify the Time to Value (TTV) for each item in the roadmap.
8. Transform and automate your business processes.
Charter has been actively helping businesses transform and become tech companies. Please find below “The Why, The How, The What” for four business transformation case studies - for three of our customers, and one for Charter.
Charter offers a variety of services to assist customers in transforming their businesses, across all three pillars of people, process, and technology.
• Charter Business Architecture can assist with the fundamental process of Business and Digital Transformation and building a roadmap for your organization.
• Charter Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) offers full compliance capabilities, to assist you in assessing your alignment with regulatory requirements and overcoming gaps where discovered.
• Charter Security Services works with customers to build a comprehensive security framework and toolkit to protect your business from inside and outside threats.
• Charter Cloud Services can advise customers on how best to select and adopt the right Cloud for your business needs, from Infrastructure, to Platform, to Software as a Service solutions.
• Charter Modern Workplace will assist in mapping the evolving landscape of desktop and mobile applications to provide world-class user experiences to all your stakeholders.
• Charter Application Services can develop applications and AI solutions to drive insights and operational efficiencies into your business, using full, low, or no code solutions to meet your demands.
• Charter Managed Services provides fully managed service capability to take the burden of day-to-day operations off your shoulders, so your team can focus on Business Transformation efforts.
• Charter Staff Augmentation delivers skilled and capable hands and experts allowing your business to respond to demand and be agile when needed.
Please get in touch with Charter at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
 All companies are technology companies now | Thomson Reuters. (2018, March 21). Thomson Reuters Institute. https://www.thomsonreuters.com/en-us/posts/news-and-media/all-companies-are-technology-companies-now/
 2023 Global Technology Leadership Study. (n.d.). Deloitte United States. Retrieved October 6, 2023, from https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/chief-information-officer/articles/global-technology-leadership-survey.html
 Intelligence, S. G. M. (n.d.). S&P Global Market Intelligence Information Technology Outlook Report finds that digitization leaders outperform in equity and credit markets. Www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved October 6, 2023, from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sp-global-market-intelligence-information-technology-outlook-report-finds-that-digitization-leaders-outperform-in-equity-and-credit-markets-301421558.html
 Mind the Gap: Canada is Falling Behind the Standard-of-Living Curve. (n.d.). Economics.td.com. https://economics.td.com/ca-falling-behind-standard-of-living-curve
 Innovation, S. and E. D. C. (2023, May 3). Government of Canada announces new framework for improved connectivity and innovative 5G applications. Www.canada.ca. https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2023/05/government-of-canada-announces-new-framework-for-improved-connectivity-and-innovative-5g-applications.html
 recycling, organics, blue bags, compost, waste management. (n.d.). Www.leduc.ca. Retrieved October 6, 2023, from https://www.leduc.ca/waste
 BETSY. (n.d.). OneCup AI. Retrieved October 6, 2023, from https://www.onecup.ai/betsy
 Business performance benchmarking tool. (n.d.). BDC.ca. Retrieved October 6, 2023, from https://www.bdc.ca/en/articles-tools/entrepreneur-toolkit/business-assessments/business-performance-benchmarking-tool
Wade is the Principal Business Architect for Charter, directing their Business Architecture practice and driving digital innovation for companies across North America. Wade also leads the unique Charter mentorship program for Business Architecture and Design Thinking with implementations across multiple industries and enterprises.
With decades of IT experience, he has held positions at Cisco, PCL Construction, Bay Networks/Nortel, SHL Systemhouse, and Digital Equipment Corporation.
A lifelong learner, Wade is a certified Enterprise Architect, Business Architect and recently completed his certification in Industry 4.0: How to Revolutionize your Business.
LinkedIn profile [ bit.ly/41KUTqZ ]
Charter, an award-winning IT solution and managed services provider, was founded in 1997 in Victoria, BC, Canada. We offer a comprehensive portfolio of innovative IT solutions, managed services, project delivery, and consulting services. Our mission is to align people, process, and technologies to build better organizations, enhance communication, boost operational performance, and modernize businesses. Our team of experts leverages a business architecture methodology and a human-centered design approach to drive successful digital transformations for our clients, unlocking new opportunities, generating value, and promoting growth. We provide knowledge and support that extends beyond our clients’ businesses, empowering them to focus on their core operations.
Business in Vancouver Magazine has recognized Charter as one of the "Top 100 Fastest-Growing Companies in B.C. in 2023" based on 5-year revenue growth from 2018 - 2022.
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