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How to not become 'the last video store on the street'

Divina Paredes | Oct. 6, 2015
A Victoria University of Wellington forum distils key lessons for enterprises, IT managers, and their teams on how to respond to the accelerated pace of IT change.

“We experienced this dynamic at Fronde,” explained Clarke. “These days, the company’s growth is driven by cloud partners like Google, Salesforce, AWS and NetSuite.

"We spent a lot of time explaining that was where our our future is going to be," he stated.

He added that one of the most interesting things they have observed is the shift in the skills being required by clients.

“We are seeing much greater demand for technical people with strong business orientation. They are better able to relate to the business people, they have skills that are more useful across a range of types of engagements than being purely technical.”

Aubert, meanwhile, said the enterprise has to adjust “on all levels” to respond to drastic change.

A key question is, ‘How can we reimagine our business?’

“When you are rethinking your organisation, just challenge every assumption you have about how that business will be conducted,” stated Aubert.

He cited Uber’s disruption of the taxi industry. Most taxi drivers felt safe, because people would still need a cab to go from one place to another.

Uber just came from the left field, said Aubert. “Suddenly, we have mobiles to match people with cars...It is really hard to go against what your customers want.”

The other element is the pace of change, interjected Aubert. “If you don’t recognise those signals very early, somebody will see that before you and will take advantage of those possibilities.”

“Part of it is accepting some of the things that were good and profitable have to be let go and your business will be shifting to a different model,” advised Aubert.

He pointed to another industry severely impacted by change: “You don’t want to be the last video store on the street.”

He said for individual IT workers, it is important to recognise those weak signals for change, because “your skillset is what is valuable in the market.”

Aubert stressed: “Only you have responsibility for your career.”

He concluded that amidst all the disruption ahead, “IT is a great industry to work in if you like some action.”


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