Required managerial roles and competencies for technology sourcing

Unpacking technology sourcing

Technology sourcing capability refers to the effectiveness of an organization’s processes/ practices for finding, choosing, and procuring technology resources required for its current and desired enterprise architectures. Digital technology' advancements and digital disruption have expanded the focus of technology sourcing from cost minimization and risk mitigation to driving innovation, revenue growth, customer retention, speed, adaptability, and agility.13 Through finding, choosing, and partnering with the right vendors, and through getting contracts right and managing the relationships appropriately, organizations can reap rewards such as having superior hardware/software/networks relative to competitors, undertaking product co-creation with vendors, vendor-induced migration to state-of-the-art practices, vendor originated to new technologies and new customers, and so forth. Through finding, choosing, and adopting breakthrough technologies and products, an organization can speed up realization of their desired enterprise architectures or exceed what they thought possible from enterprise architecture. For example, imagine an organization being one of the first companies to discover, choose, and procure Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud back in 2006. That organization would have been able to spin up a virtual desktop, fully equipped with all of the organization’s systems and data, on any computer anywhere in the world. Depending on the nature of its core products, this could have given it unfair global scalability and portability advantages relative to competitors.

New or enhanced managerial roles and competencies required for technology sourcing

Hospitality and leisure managers can play critical roles in technology' sourcing including scouting for transformative technologies and vendors, building collaborative relationships with vendors, engaging in co-creation efforts with vendors,14 sourcing informal advice from vendors, scouting for innovative business models that could be applied in the hospitality and leisure industry, scouting products/services used in the organization that are no longer needed/that need upgrading/or that have better or cheaper alternatives on the market, engaging their teams to be the organizations eyes and ears with regard to new technology breakthroughs or star vendors, and more. They can also fill formal roles such as procurement director, technology sourcing manager, vendor relationship manager, business engagement manager, and contract manager. To effectively undertake these roles, hospitality' and leisure managers need to build working knowledge of the role, functioning, strategies, and potential value of the technology procurement and sourcing function. They' need working understanding of different digital technologies, of related products and services, and of the vendor landscape. They also need to have an understanding of the organization’s enterprise architecture and how to engage constructively with the enterprise architecture management team.

Required managerial roles and competencies for data management, data science, and data analytics

Unpacking data management

As one of their key disruption areas, digital technology advancements have made and continue to make vast quantities of internal and external data available. For example, more than 500 million tweets, 294 billion emails, 5 billion search engine searches, and 4 petabytes of Facebook data are created each day — and it is estimated that there are up to 40 times more bytes of data than there are stars in the known universe.15 The big challenge for organizations is how to leverage the vast quantities of internal and external data to improve their efficiency, differentiation, adaptability, and agility.16 Effective data management and data analytics, which are covered in more detail in the digital technologies deep dive section of the book, play a critical role in addressing this challenge.

Data management capabilities refer to an organizations processes and practices for collecting, validating, storing, and using data most effectively.1' This can be a challenge, given the growing avalanche of internal and external data to manage, and the growing sources of such data. For example, data can come from software as a service (SaaS) applications, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, legacy systems, databases, data warehouses, and data lakes. Or it may come from the web, social media platforms, or open data and commercial data platforms. Alternatively, it may come from any number of devices including phones, computers, wearable devices, sensors, or monitoring devices. All this data has to be collected safely, validated, stored safely, and formatted and presented so that different parts of the organization can access the right information at the right time and in the right format to make the best decisions. This requires that organizations have the right technical leaders, the right technical specialists, the right technology platforms, and the right policies, procedures, and practices. The data management function typically plays a leadership role in issues such as data governance (who has what decision rights and what accountability for data quality), data architecture (what rules, policies, standards, and models are in place to determine what data is collected, how it is stored, how it is integrated, and how it is used), data modeling and design (defining and analyzing data required to support business processes), database and storage management, and data security and privacy.

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