The convergence between technology and almost every industry sector has become a hugely significant part of the FT’s reporting in recent years.
A growing network of tech correspondents on the ground not just in Silicon Valley, but across Europe and Asia as well reflects the need of businesses who subscribe to the FT to gain a greater understanding of the landscape, and the opportunities and risks that new technologies pose. A recent survey of 600 FT subscribers who sit on company boards revealed that digital technology was the area that board members felt they most needed to improve their knowledge of in order to be more effective in their roles.
While professionals from finance to pharmaceuticals get to grips with the technologies that have the potential to revolutionise their sectors, what about the tech organisations that are having a transformative impact on the world? What are the key issues and themes they need to be keeping on top of?
In this post we explore some of the ways that tech professionals and their colleagues use commentary and tools from the FT to make better business decisions.
The need for breadth as well as technical expertise
Different roles and job functions in any organisation require different types and levels of knowledge. In a tech company it stands to reason that an engineer will have a greater depth of expertise in their discipline than perhaps a people manager or sales consultant, where a broader sense of the business and what’s happening on the outside is required.
Having employees that have deep expertise in their own narrow field is absolutely fine, but the most successful companies encourage their people to demonstrate a greater curiosity of the outside world, to help frame their decision-making in the context of wider business and societal trends.
Employees at Microsoft all have access to global intelligence from the Financial Times through an FT Group Subscription. Whether you’re a graduate trainee, sitting on the board, client-facing or in a technical role, the company wants all its people to be well-informed. Understanding the markets they work in, challenges that clients are facing, what competitors are doing and the economic and social environment the business is operating in, helps teams across Microsoft back up the decisions and actions they’re taking on a daily basis.
Without the FT, I wouldn’t be as prepared.Engineering Program Manager, Microsoft
Oksana Meleshykhina is an engineering program manager for Microsoft Teams, which is the part of the company that maintains the service and writes the code. For Oksana it’s important that her and her team have an appreciation of what their clients are dealing with in order to inform product development. “Without the FT, I wouldn’t be as prepared,” she says. “This is probably the one source where I can find anything to do with the financial markets, and understand how my customers are doing.”
For client-facing teams, this understanding of customer issues is a must in order to establish credibility. Sam Sides, a solution specialist for Microsoft’s Azure product, sells enterprise projects and programmes. “I find that I need to stay current on not only my customers and their business problems, but also the industries in which they operate,” Sam explains. “These factors that drive those businesses to make decisions, I have to know inside out. For this, the FT is my go-to source of information."
I find that I need to stay current on not only my customers and their business problems, but also the industries in which they operate. These factors that drive those businesses to make decisions, I have to know inside out. For this, the FT is my go-to source of information.Solution Specialist, Microsoft
The core of what the FT offers organisations like Microsoft is not that we’re trying to contend with someone’s knowledge in their field of expertise. It’s what happens on the periphery that matters and where the FT helps.
Connecting the dots
The FT doesn’t look to compete with specialist tech publications, as the focus is very much at the intersection between business, finance, politics, economics and policy. Our writers and editors tend to have spent time in various markets, and therefore have that ‘big picture’ view that subscribers often tell us they find so valuable. But where specifically does the FT fit and stand out among the other information sources that tech firms will have available to them?
Richard Waters is the FT’s west coast editor and has access to leaders and senior contacts at some of the world’s leading technology companies. “Tech firms need an awareness of the context in which they’re working and the impact their technology is having,” he says. “We help to give people that understanding and perspective that helps them fit what they are doing into the world.”
The FT’s Singapore correspondent (and formerly Asia technology commentator), Mercedes Ruehl explains further. “It doesn’t matter if you are just a middle manager, the founder of a very small startup in Indonesia or the head of a large multinational. You need to be aware of what the trends are, what the danger areas are, what investors are thinking, what consumers are thinking, and invest where the opportunities are.”
You need to be aware of what the trends are, what the danger areas are, what investors are thinking, what consumers are thinking, and invest where the opportunities are.Singapore Correspondent, Financial Times
Through the connected nature of its reporting, and the reach and access of its 600-strong editorial network, the FT provides the most complete view on what tech professionals should be taking notice of.
What FT content and tools do technology professionals use most?
Through an FT Group Subscription organisations get access to the full spectrum of news, analysis, opinion and business tools the FT offers. Below are a few highlights we’ve picked out based on what subscribers in the tech space tell us they use most.
Curated email newsletters
FT editors curate over 30 email newsletters that cover a wide range of topics and sectors, including:
- #techAsia offers deep and exclusive insight into the region's technology sector. Gain on-the-ground knowledge from 170 expert correspondents in over 20 Asian cities and understand who’s winning, losing and disrupting in one of the world’s most dynamic tech regions.
- Lex is the FT’s premium business and finance column and its twice weekly newsletter delivers independent opinion and analysis of company news, macroeconomics and the financial markets.
- Due Diligence is a must-read newsletter on global corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions, and private equity. No global briefing on M&A is more complete and it’s a one-stop shop for readers to not be blindsided.
- Moral Money is the trusted destination for analysis on the fast-expanding world of socially responsible business. Understand how other organisations are recovering from the pandemic and learn how investors and clients are thinking about ESG.
- FintechFT is your curated briefing on digital disruption in the financial industry. Every Monday, subscribers receive an original piece of fintech reporting from our team of reporters based in Europe, Asia and the US.
- Swamp Notes sees the FT's senior US columnists Rana Foroohar and Edward Luce discuss the biggest themes driving US politics, business and markets from Washington, New York, the valley and beyond.
Efficiency tools and integrations
The sheer volume of news and content available digitally can often lead to professionals suffering from information overload. The FT provides a number of tools and other features to help corporate subscribers quickly get to the information that’s most crucial for their business, and to use that information to spark conversations with other colleagues, or clients and investors.
- myFT lets users follow specific regions, sectors, topics and even people to get a personalised view of the news that matters to them. Email alerts can be configured to be sent instantly or on a daily or weekly basis.
- Gift articles enable subscribers to share up to 20 articles each month with non-subscribers. Each article link can be opened a maximum of 3 times, making it ideal for 1 to 1 sharing with a single colleague or client.
- Enterprise Sharing* links can be opened 100 times or more. This enables much wider article distribution than gift article links, and is perfect for sharing FT articles on socials, in email newsletters and across internal collaboration platforms.
- FT Single Sign On (SSO) provides seamless access to FT.com and FT apps using a centralised login system.
- Third party channel access allows FT content to be accessed on over 60 news aggregator and media monitoring platforms.
- FT Microsoft Teams App is a free integration that surfaces award-winning FT content in your Teams workflow and provides personalisation options to ensure you see the right stories at the right time.
*Enterprise Sharing is an additional service available to customers who have a Premium FT Group Subscription of 5+ readers.
Group Subscriptions - Get in touch
An FT Group Subscription extracts the intelligence that’s relevant to your business and delivers it via the media and technologies that suit you best, saving you time and keeping you informed on what matters.
Help your team make better business decisions with the FT’s trusted commentary and analysis. For more information about how the Financial Times can help your organisation or to request a free trial, please get in touch.