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5 Top Takeaways from TSIA World: Interact 2022

Addressing Industry Challenges with Real-world Solutions

2 min read
Last week, tech executives from across the globe gathered in Orlando, Florida for our annual TSIA World: Interact conference. This hybrid event featured an all-star line up of industry experts and was our first conference of 2022. Attendees gained invaluable insight into the state of the tech industry and the future of business while having the chance to connect with one another.

With dozens of breakout sessions and keynotes, it can be hard to distill all of that leaning into just a few bullet points. That being said, here are 5 takeaways from last week’s conference:

1. Digital Transformation Is Not an Option.

The effects of digital transformation can be felt in every part of the tech industry and were addressed throughout the conference. TSIA President & CEO J.B. Wood made it clear that this transformation is something that will be required of companies, despite the difficulties it can cause.

It’s gonna be hard and it’s not gonna be perfect. [So] why are we doing this transformation? Because it’s what our customers want…it’s not like this is an option. We’ve got to get there and we’ve got to get good at this.” - J.B. Wood   

While customers are the driving force behind digital transformation, it’s important to remember that it’s up to executives to implement best practices for digital transformation.

2. You’re Not as Far in Your Digital Transformation Journey as You Think.

Many sessions at the conference highlighted facets of digital transformation that tend to go unnoticed. Whether because of a desire to be “done transforming” or a lack of understanding of the complexities of digital transformation, this is a problem.

In an interview-style keynote, TSIA Executive Director & Executive VP Thomas Lah sat down with seasoned technology executive and Board Director Sue Barsamian. The pair talked about how many companies have a false sense of security when it comes to where they’re at in their digital transformation.

"There are legacy companies that still have a transformation they need to go through. They think they have a lot of runway… but things change a lot faster now. The market is changing faster, business models are changing faster." - Sue Barsamian

In his own keynote, Lah echoed this sentiment–which he and Wood go into great detail about in their newly released book Digital Hesitation.

"Have vision. Pull your companies through this. Please–do not hesitate.” -Thomas Lah

3. The Digital Customer Experience Is More Important Than Ever.

This can prove difficult for companies of any size or in any stage, as crafting a great digital customer experience requires immense collaboration and coordination to see it through. No department can stand alone and companies need to rally behind a common goal.

"How do we come together with the customer at the center?” - Mari Cross, SVP Global Support Services & Strategy and Operations at Confluent

We saw this idea come up again and again throughout the week, with one of our Pathways tracks focused on the topic. Pathways were introduced at this conference to help executives navigate the many sessions and activities, offering a progressive learning approach over the course of the three-day conference. TSIA World offered seven different Pathways tracks ranging from creating viable XaaS offers to accelerating recurring revenue.

4. Use Data to Place Good Bets in Sales.  

To end the week, Wood went after the “sacred cow” of the sales budget. This wasn’t to say that the sales team doesn’t play an integral role in the industry. It was a challenge to be smarter about the ways companies “place bets” on which prospective customers will turn into clients.

What if we got really good at studying our current customers [and then] applied what we learned to new prospects? We need to collect more data about the client company, the client industry…We need to start discovering what outcomes are driving the customers to buy, and document it.” - J.B. Wood

Collecting more data and making analytics-driven decisions on where to place resources is a “no brainer” for companies, especially those looking to transform their business model. However, this will require buy-in at all levels and, most importantly, executive leadership.

5. Exceptional Leadership Is Needed to See Digital Transformation Through.

Tech companies are encountering real-world challenges as the industry shifts to being service focused and the global landscape of business seems to be turning over constantly. With change on the horizon, it can be difficult to make adjustments in real time–but that is what TSIA World: Interact was all about.

“You have to make some bold moves as a leader if you want to go where the growth is.” - Thomas Lah

This challenge is easier said than done, and will require an immense amount of hard work and risk. This can be daunting and even discouraging, which is why “Interact” hoped to give executives a collaborative space to share stories of both triumphs and challenges.

“Whether you’re an old company or a new company, everyone needs to go through a transformation. As a TSIA community, we need to share these stories of ‘how.’ ” - J.B. Wood

Conferences are a great forum to share openly and receive practical next steps to meet industry challenges. They are also a perfect way to step back and connect–check out a "boots on the ground" look at what TSIA World: Interact was like below.

 May 26, 2022