Technology continues to reshape industries both within the organization and externally. Here is an executive overview of the challenges technology poses and the pressures and imperatives for change required by organizations. Despite these challenges many organizations have overcome and mitigates these issues, the main imperative driving positive adoption is people, delivery team orientation to customer value, and rapid learning cultures.
When introducing new technologies there are a number of challenges that face an organization:
- Focusing on benefits versus costs: organizations who are considering new technologies must be laser clear as to the benefit and let that drive the prioritization process versus weighting projects by cost or complexity
- Anticipating the needs of the user: replicating existing technology creates a follower positioning, for organizations in a competitive industry this in the long-run amounts to investing in a position that lags behind rather than surges past competitors
- Validating technology use cases: companies no longer can afford to guess if their technology investment can make an impact, leading organizations now validate from the get-go to determine the impact and viability of proposed investments
- Need to define robust processes: implementing technology also creates momentum to converge processes, it forces an organization to identify what are their leading practices, and doubling down on making those more precise and efficient
- Pressure to run large corporations like a start up: a natural human tendency is seek comfort and rest in the status-quo but technology introduces change and new practices into an organization that can cause resistance in upper and executive levels of management
- Changing convention from drawn out projects to short delivery increments: if technology is to make a lasting impact on an organization it needs to continue to evolve. Sprint sized or story centric delivery is no longer a mantra but a reality that focuses on delivering organization outcomes regularly while avoiding the inherent risks in large project scope.
- Vying for competitiveness amidst backdrop of regulations: enabling operation of new technologies may sometimes be at odds with regulatory bodies, the added burden to an organization is lobbying and getting clearance to utilize technology and data in new ways for large institutions versus nimble start-ups
- User adoption challenges: users will often resist change and adopting new systems particularly when they haven’t been consulted nor if their reporting organizations do not incentivize them to do so
Challenges for Organizations when new Technologies are Introduced in their Industry
As competitors harness new emerging technologies or as digital solutions in their nascence are maturing here are the key challenges of technologies to an organization:
- Repurposing or releasing talent: with new technologies comes a need for new skills, often times the size of a department may be reduced due to consolidation of work. Further organization may require to retrain or hire new talent as a result.
- New technologies often have security vulnerabilities: as new technologies work through a maturity cycle there are points for disruption and breaches, adopting new technologies can expose industries and organizations to new security threats (source).
- Service providers may cease to exist: with the many now defunct start up and SaaS companies there is also a risk that current partners may be at risk to closure thereby risking and endangering aspects of your enterprise data.
- Hype of technology can squander resources: technology hype may cause organization to expend money without properly assessing and vetting business models around their investments. In fact only 50% of companies investing in Big Data are seeing positive returns (source)
- Places pressure on companies to look for tech talent: there are a number of industries that are currently still struggling to find tech talent, including manufacturing, Insurance, and other established industries. Without proper talent branding to attract new and bright minds it isn’t even feasible for organizations to reap the benefits of the new technology.
- Temptation to over rely on SaaS or off the shelf solutions: companies rely on packaged solutions, organizations should be aware that this becomes an area of parity rather than advantage as the same technology is available to all players in the field.
How Organizations can Overcome the Challenges of New Technologies
Commit to a Culture of Learning and Responsiveness
Organizations must quickly validate their planned investments in technology and determine operating models around these big bets. Despite the many failed start up stories the ones who are disciplined and are focused around a rigorous validation and response process end up changing their industries and shifting influence away from established industry players. Industry banners who quietly took the lunch away established industries include Amazon, UBER, and SalesForce have all been pivotal to ushering new eras in their industries. These organizations have created a DNA that simply operates and recognizes the need to learn and respond to what is happening versus delivering on a established schedule and plan.
Create a Talent Brand to Attract and Retain the Right People
Organizations that attract the best and brightest talents have compelling brand statements that aren’t simply centred around shareholders in fact its actually more about changing the world:
Amazon: Work Hard. Have Fun. Make History (source).
UBER: Build Together, Grow Together. Solve big problems that make the world move (source).
SalesForce: We believe everyone can be a Trailblazer, and we’re building the technology to make it happen (source).
Commit to a talent brand and experience for your team and ensure executives are accountable, without great people, innovation doesn’t happen, without innovation technology simply is reduced to bits and bytes that don’t add up to very much.
Avoid Missing Powerful Resource Behaviour Changes when Focusing Only on Project Goals
Despite projects being driven by scope, schedules, and budgets if an organization fails to harmonize and integrate learning within these projects it risks realizing only part of the benefit of undertaking innovative risks. Leading innovation requires organization to not only define project success in terms of attainment of triple constraints of :cost, schedule, and scope. But rather a focus on developing its only source of innovation its own people. One of the key paradigm shifts is embarking on projects to improve behaviours rather than simply focusing on delivering projects. This is a key insight to the latest Agile practices to delivering scalable systems and teams (source).
Lead your Industry
Despite the many challenges that come with new technologies being introduced within an organization and outside of it, each organization and its’ people are given the choice to lead or follow in their industry in how they serve customers. Organizations that seek to stay ahead of the technological waves should focus, not on reacting to digital changes, but instead fixating themselves on their customers. Technology doesn’t simply drive change within an industry or ecosystem but rather the combination of technical advancement and the gaps and shortages faced by their customers.
Mindfield Consulting has helped organization achieve bold visions with technology while operationalizing mission critical teams to break best practices. Our team has successful helped organizations become industry leading organizations enabled by custom software, eLearning at Scale, and Worfklow Optimization.