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5 Ways Businesses Benefit From Having a Tech-Savvy CEO In today's world, a tech-savvy CEO significantly gives the company an upper hand in the market. Here's how.

By Steve Taplin Edited by Chelsea Brown

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In the digital age, you are either moving along with technology or being left behind by an entire industry. As everything is taking on a technological advancement approach, the best decision a board of directors can make for a company is to ensure the leadership is tech-savvy, or at the very least, can grasp these concepts quickly. The essence of a cutting-edge idea or innovation is its ability to solve existing problems that present a challenge for a large population. However, today, whatever innovative and people-conscious a company attempts to be, the cream of the crop is set apart based on its technical components.

Looking at it from the other end, a CEO whose only focus is on technology and coding cannot successfully run a business because while it has fresh technical concepts, it lacks other equally vital aspects of running a business. For instance, without marketing, well-coordinated and balanced finance and customer service, even with the best tech, a company will innovate only to maximize storage space. The bottom line is that a CEO needs to be well-versed in many different factions of business. However, in today's world, a tech-savvy CEO significantly gives the company an upper hand in the market.

Since we have already established that technical know-how is a crucial component for visionary companies, our natural next step is to analyze any benefits a company enjoys by having a tech-savvy CEO:

Related: 6 Things You as a Leader Need To Know About Technology

1. Bridging generational gaps

A lack of the foundational skills that younger employees have learned might lead to a significant gap between management and staff, which could be problematic for the CEO and the direction of the business. According to Jay Leonard of Business 2 Community, millennials are stepping into employment with high expectations of how technology should be utilized. They can incorporate consumer app stores in their work to compensate for where older technology leaves a gap. With a tech-savvy CEO, the importance of such advancement is not lost. Communicating and understanding each other is more accessible when these tools are readily available.

2. Understanding what matters and what doesn't

Technology continues to evolve every day. This can present a challenge for a CEO who is not tech-savvy. How? First, they will struggle to sift through what is available and necessary for their business. You cannot use everything available, and knowing what you require might be difficult when you don't understand what each has to offer or what your company needs.

Secondly, the employment front might also suffer. You will need to know how to separate academics from fundamental skills and technical know-how. If the CEO's technical skills are somewhat lacking, they will need an effective team in the tech department. This aspect of your business will be left for co-workers and employees to run. Essentially, even with their advice, it takes away the CEO's decision-making capacity. While there is no problem relying on employees, the company's future needs a CEO who knows the basics and can make unbiased decisions.

Related: Are Your Technology Decisions Helping or Hurting Your Employees?

3. Incorporating tech-based solutions

Technology can improve whatever it is — from your sales statistics to efficiency and productivity. When the phenomenon was examined, researchers discovered that many companies grow incredibly after incorporating tech-based solutions into their businesses. The tools required for this step are relatively accessible, but before you get to them, you will need a CEO with tech knowledge to give directives and choose to incorporate them into the organization. If a CEO lacks the expertise, the company suffers as well. For instance, accomplishing the company's KPI will become more expensive if the CEO makes the wrong decision about which technical components to implement.

4. Creating sustainability

In this case, sustainability refers to a company that can stand the test of time and remains relevant for many years. Look at a company like Microsoft, which started in the 20th century, and how it managed to stay pertinent as one of the most successful software companies today. Almost every year, Microsoft unveils new technology. They have expanded their reach from software to include hardware, and while exploring their limits, they have kept up with developments in the tech world to maintain relevance. When cloud storage came about, OneDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage, was brought into play.

The most sustainable companies that will continue to dominate the industry have technologically advanced CEOs. As times change and technology develops, they can make decisions for the business to usher it into the new era.

Related: How Technology is Evolving to Make Companies More Productive

5. Gaining a competitive advantage through the use of artificial intelligence

Machine learning algorithms will bear the immense task of sorting through terabytes of information every minute. Massive amounts of data collection will be meaningless without artificial intelligence-powered computational models. The CEO can therefore redirect the human resources to deal with more pressing and urgent issues.

Ilya Lipovich, Forbes Councils Member, believes that with this cutting-edge technology, firms can develop a long-lasting competitive edge that their rivals are unaware of. This feat alone could give a business a long-term strategic advantage that gives it a leg up over competitors.

While assuming that tech savviness is the only determinant for a good company CEO, it is also presumptuous and reductive since the many factions of the company also need governance and direction. At the same time, the digital age makes technological know-how an essential skill for the development, sustainability and rational decision-making that give a company its competitive edge.

Steve Taplin

CEO of Sonatafy Technology

Steve Taplin is the CEO of Sonatafy Technology (www.sonatafy.com), a premier nearshore software-development-services firm that provides its clients with expertise in cloud solutions, web and mobile applications, ecommerce, big data, DevOps practices, QA, IoT and machine learning.

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