Are we at a strategic inflection point?

7339014-information-technology-data-network-as-a-abstractWhen I first entered the CPA profession in the early 80s (back when the wheel was invented), accounting was done on mainframes and mini-computers (DEC, IBM 36/38, Wang, Univac).

Then the PC was introduced (and the Apple Mac).

Then they were connected, networked together, and everything changed. Computing power was distributed throughout the organization and users were in control more than ever. New software and applications proliferated (Peachtree, Great Plains, Excel, Lotus, Visicalc, T-Value).

We had to learn new skills and new technologies. I remember my first committee helped to plan and implement the MACPA Computer Lab, one of the first in the U.S. to help bring technology training to CPAs.

It was a strategic inflection point.

"Strategic inflection point" was defined by Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel Corporation as follows:

"Strategic inflection points can be caused by technological change but they are more than technological change.

They can be caused by competitors but they are more than just competition. They are full-scale changes in the way business is conducted, so that simply adopting new technology or fighting the competition as you used to may be insufficient. They build up force so insidiously that you may have a hard time even putting a finger on what has changed, yet you know that something has.

Let's not mince words: A strategic inflection point can be deadly when unattended to. Companies that begin a decline as a result of its changes rarely recover their previous greatness."

We felt another inflection point during the late 90s and early 2000s due to the Internet revolution.

I think the cloud, SaaS, social, and mobile -- combined with the first generation of digital natives -- are causing an inflection point right now. Technology and these trends showed up as four out of the top 10 trends identified by the CPA Horizons 2025 project.

That is why we hosted our MACPA Innovation Summit two weeks ago and will be talking about this in our upcoming town hall / Professional Issues Updates for MACPA members (free CPE!).

Are we at a strategic inflection point?

What are you doing about it?

How can we help?